Taking a photo today is easy. The real problem, especially with stock, is finding the photo or finding the “right” photo. Many organizations have tried, and done their own variation. Today the most popular system is the International Press Telecommunication Council, IPTC for short. All that data is called the metadata.

Since Lightroom 3, Adobe has expanded the IPTC supports and many other legacy software/standards. Here are some explanations and clarifications:

Metadata Explanation
Author used for Creator
By-line used for Creator
By-line Title Author position or Creator’s Job Title
Caption used for Description
Caption Writer Who wrote the Description
Category Deprecated, do not use anymore
City Name of the city where the image was captured or use sub-location
Contact Info Person or organization that created the image
Address (Contact info) Copyright holder’s company or personal name
City (Contact info) City of copyright holder
Country (Contact info) Country of copyright holder
Email (Contact info) Email of copyright holder. Multiple emails are separated with commas
Phone (Contact info) Phone of copyright holder. Multiple phones are separated by commas. should include the international format: +
Postal Code (Contact info) Local postal code (such as ZIP code) of copyright holder
State/Province (Contact info) State or Province of copyright holder, should spell out the name instead of the 2 letter abbreviation
Website(s) (Contact info) Web address of copyright holder. Multiple addresses are separated with commas
Copyright Notice Legal language, shows who owns the copyright. Should be in form appropriate for the country: in the US: ©2010 Artsi Fartsi… in Europe: Copyright 2010 Artsi Fartsi, all rights reserved
Copyright Status Exists only as part of the Photoshop XMP Name space. Many programs do not recognize it
Copyright URL Exists only as part of the Photoshop XMP Name space. Many programs do not recognize it
Country (legacy) Full name of the country of the photo
Country Code (legacy) Country Code of the country of the photo. Upper-case/3 letters
Creator Name of the photographer or company
Creator — Job Title Job title of the photographer
Credit Line Acknowledge the supplying person(s) and/or organization(s) when publishing the image
Date Created The date when the shutter was pressed - not the date when the photo was edited
Description Often referred as Caption the who, the what…
Description writer The name of the person writing, editing or correcting the description of the photo
Headline Synopsis/Summary of the photo
Instructions Instructions from the provider/creator to the receiver of the photo
IPTC Subject Code The IPTC Subject News Code taxonomy
IPTC Scene The IPTC “Scene/News Codes”
Job Identifier Your tracking number
Keywords Keyword terms separated by a delimiter, like as a comma. Some software allow semicolons and/or greater than sign >
Location Replaced by sub-location
Object Name Replaced by Title
Original Transmission Reference Replaced by Job Identifier
Provider Replaced by Credit Line
Special Instructions Replaced by Instructions
Sub-location Could be a specific area within a city (Manhattan), or the name of a well-known place (the Louvre in Paris)
Supplemental Categories Deprecated, do not use anymore
Title Shorthand reference for the photo. Used for identification
Transmission Reference Alternative for Job Identifier
Urgency Deprecated, do not use anymore
Writer/Editor Replaced by Description Writer



  • Metadata: “Data that describes the data.” In our case, the metadata describes the photo. Actually it’s not a photo, but only a set of data that we interpret as a photo.