Metadata is the information about the file and is just as important in archiving and picture sales as the file itself. Without good metadata the file may not be found or identified as being relevant whenever it might be needed. To ensure this information is not separated from the image it is embedded in the image file itself using a system developed by the International Press and Telecommunications Council (IPTC). You can input metadata into an image file or a group of image files using programmes such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Bridge, Microsoft Expression Media, PhotoMechanic and others. These are the fields that Africa Media Online requires that you fill out:
Caption: In three sentences answer the questions about the subject matter of the image (or document): Who? What? When? Where? Why? Make sure that spelling and grammar is correct because picture buyers will judge you on the quality of your captions as much as by the quality of your pictures. If you are sloppy, they will avoid your pictures.
Date Created: If your images are taken on a digital camera this information will be automatically captured from the EXIF metadata generated by the camera. If you are submitting scanned images then you need to ensure this field is filled in.
Location: This is the specific location of the content of your picture, e.g. a street name / a stadium name / a neighbourhood.
City: This is the name of the town or city or rural region. Each word must start with a capital letter and the spelling must be correct.
Province: This is the name of the province or state. Each word must start with a capital letter and the spelling must be correct.
Country: This is the name of the country. Each word must start with a capital letter and the spelling must be correct.
Keywords: Of vital importance, keywords help users find your picture or document. The key here is not to include irrelevant or only marginally relevant keywords in the keyword field. The user must be delighted that your image was returned after typing in a search term, not irritated!