EXIF and IPTC metadata


When you upload photos Zenfolio extracts and makes available to you metadata information containing the shooting conditions and equipment used when taking the photograph.

This metadata information comes from EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) -- an industry standard for storing interchange information in image files, especially those using JPEG compression. Most digital cameras now use the EXIF format.

Generally, you do not need to do anything special to transfer this information.

The type of information available through EXIF depends greatly on the digital camera model used and its manufacturer. Zenfolio will make available most of the meaningful information presented in EXIF, formatted in a way convenient to read.

To view the EXIF information for any of your photographs

  1. In the Dashboard, go to Photos.
  2. Select the gallery in the Organizer containing the photograph you would like to see. Thumbnails from the gallery will load in the Main Area and the title of the gallery will display at the top.
  3. Select the thumbnail of the photograph in the Main Area you would like to see. The thumbnail will highlight and photo-related information will be loaded in the Toolbox.
  4. Click the Info icon in the Toolbox.
  5. Detailed file and EXIF information will be displayed in the Information panel that appears.

Reading EXIF Data

Note: If you do not see EXIF information showing for a photograph, most likely the EXIF information was not present in the original uploaded photo. This may happen for various reasons, the most likely reason being that the file was manipulated and saved in a way that does not preserve original metadata.



If you use desktop software for editing IPTC descriptions, they will be transferred to your account and become available as part of the photograph description. This will save you time in organizing and adding descriptions your photos. Some examples of software offering IPTC descriptions are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Photo Mechanic, and Aperture. You can also edit descriptions manually using the Toolbox.

This Description metadata comes from IPTC (The International Press Telecommunications Council), an information standard developed by the Newspaper Association of America to identify transmitted text and images.

If you edit IPTC data by using one of the available software tools, Zenfolio will extract Title (Document Title field), Caption (Description field), Copyright (Copyright field), and Keywords (Keywords field) from your files, saving you significant time on re-entering this information.

Unlike EXIF, IPTC is not recorded automatically by your camera but is optionally edited through the use of special software. A number of software programs designed for manipulation and editing of photos allow users to add text descriptions in IPTC standard. It is a very useful and convenient way of adding titles, captions, and keywords to your photographs.

You can also edit the data normally gathered from the IPTC data by editing the description of the images in your account.

You can also edit the description of all photos in a gallery easily by editing using the Bulk Update Metadata feature.

The data in your image's IPTC data can help greatly with your site's Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Below is a list of all the EXIF and IPTC fields Zenfolio recognizes and can display:

EXIF fields:

  • Equipment Make
  • Equipment Model
  • Shutter speed
  • Exposure bias
  • Exposure program
  • Exposure mode
  • ISO Speed
  • Lens aperture
  • Maximum lens aperture
  • Focal length
  • Focal length in 35mm equivalent
  • Metering mode
  • Flash
  • Digital zoom ratio
  • Date taken
  • Date modified
  • Image title (*)
  • User comment (**)

IPTC fields:

  • Headline (*)
  • Object Name (*)
  • Caption (**)
  • Keywords
  • Copyright notice

Some notes about metadata:

 (*) One of these fields is used to set the photo title when the photo is uploaded. We first check for IPTC Object Name and if it is present it is used for the title. Otherwise we check for IPTC Headline and, lastly, check for EXIF Image Title. If none of these fields are present, the photo title will be empty.

 (**) One of these fields is used to set the photo caption when the photo is uploaded. We first check for IPTC Caption and if it is present it is used for the caption. Otherwise we check for EXIF User Comment. If neither of these fields are present, the photo caption will be empty.