Snip Tag

What is Image Metadata

Image metadata refers to digital tags that either your camera or you embed in digital photos. These tags store technical, descriptive and administrative information about the photos.



There are different types of image metadata:

EXIF metadata

Technical information e.g. camera make, model, image size, aperture, focal length, shutter settings, GPS coordinates, date etc. Digital cameras automatically add EXIF data. You should generally not modify it.

IPTC metadata

Descriptive and administrative information. The photographer has to input this. IPTC standards define hundreds of tags for this purpose.

Amateur photographers will find date and time created, location, description and keywords to be the most important descriptive tags.

Professional photographers should also add administrative tags, e.g. personal profile, licensing and copyright information.

For more information, see

XMP metadata

This incorporates all IPTC data about an image, plus other details. In particular, it includes information related to editing - typically in a separate 'sidecar' file.

Why should you use metadata?

Incorporating metadata into your photos beings many benefits:

  1. It makes the pictures instantly findable in your photo library. Most photo programs - SnipTag, Photos for Mac, Google Photos, Flickr and others - let you search for photos. Not just keywords, type in anything you remember to retrieve instantly.
  2. EXIF information can be a valuable learning tool. Study the shooting parameters to see what separates a good photo from a mediocre or bad one.
  3. For photos used in websites, meta title, description and keywords help in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They tell search engines what the photo is about, allowing it to rank higher in search results.
  4. Photographers can embed contact details and copyright information into metadata to assert their intellectual property rights.

How to view and edit image metadata?

SnipTag app for Mac lets you easily add and edit image metadata by typing or dictating. Visit SnipTag website to learn more and get a free trial.