How to optimise image marketability.

Metadata is the digital equivalent of the label on the back of the photograph, but it can do much, much more. It contains all the available information about the image — descriptions, captions, keywords — and for born digital images, even the shutter speed, aperture, camera type and much more. The data is embedded invisibly into the digital image.

The greatest picture in the world would remain unseen if it were locked in a filing cabinet without a label. That's how important metadata is; it's the label on the back of the picture. At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, it's the only way to get pictures seen.

If you use photo-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Irfanview, you can input captions and keywords which will automatically be uploaded to fotolibra with your images. Use the XMP panels under File> File Info.
Use the Description panel, and ensure you fill in the Description: field and the Keywords: field. This is all you really must do. This is the absolute minimum requirement, as the fields below the line — Copyright Status, Copyright Notice and Copyright Info URL — will automatically be filled in for you by fotolibra as 'Copyrighted','©Your Name / fotolibra, All Rights Reserved', and ''.

The former field of Title or Document Title is now used by the fotolibra image reference ID number.

The Description field is what used to be called the Caption. Because some people confused Caption with a joke competition, the field name was changed to Description. This must describe the content of the image, so a photograph of a sneering camel must be described as "Sneering Camel" rather than "You lookin' at me?"

The Keywords should amplify the Description, giving details of place, time, color, mood, emotion, names, etcetera. These should be single keywords rather than a narrative. Jokes, puns and witticisms may be placed in the Keywords field if absolutely necessary. These may not translate appropriately into other languages.

Before your pictures can be sold the TypoChecker will automatically run on the Description and Keywords. The picture will be rejected if there are fewer than four keywords.

EXIF data recorded by a digital camera is retained with the image and can be viewed with Preview images.

BAPLA / Pic4Press have authorized an XMP panel containing the data that picture purchasers need to use. Everything that fotolibra Contributors need to input is automatically mapped across from the Description panel, except the Credit and the Date Created fields which you need to fill in yourself.

Photoshop users can download the BAPLA / Pic4Press XMP panel as a JavaScript program which automatically installs into Photoshop CS2 or later as a .txt file which you can manually place in the XMP> Custom File Info Panels folder on your computer. This will not work in Photoshop 7 or earlier.

Further details can be found in fotolibra's User Manual which is available as a PDF download.

Captions & Keywords Batch editing of Captions and Keywords