I run a popular sports photography site, and allow photographers to upload photos and then tag them to make it easier for the competitors to find their individual photos.

Some photographers find it beneficial to tag their photos before uploading them, and then have to re-tag them once uploaded.

In these instances I'd like to programmatically read the tags from the JPEG files when they're uploaded.

On one sample file I've been sent the tags are stored in iptc > APP13 > 2#025.

Is that pretty much always the case, or do different programs store them in different fields?

Many thanks!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hope you don't mind I changed the title. I saw initially and thought what is this going to be (wasn't particularly clear), but it's a genuingly fair question! (Just in case of DV based on title alone) \$\endgroup\$
    – Crazy Dino
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think there's perhaps a bit more to the question as well, related to not just keywords. For example, people might tag them with captions, titles, labels, keywords... there's a ton of possibilities and choices. These are not so much technical implementation differences as choices made by the photographer. And on top of field choice, there's format, for keywords hierarchical or not, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Linwood
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you writing a program for your site that processes the raw EXIF data from the file, or are you planning to use a third-party library like ExifTool to extract the data? \$\endgroup\$
    – WClarke
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 23:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Currently I do it with bare php myself, but I'll look into the tool to see if it helps in any way \$\endgroup\$
    – Codemonkey
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


JPEG, TIFF, PSD, and other file formats can include numerous types of standards, so as long as your software can be written to detect and parse these standards, you should be able to extract the information you need.

Some of the standards that programs use to store meta data on images include:

  • Exif
  • XMP
  • IPTC Core & Extension
  • PLUS
  • Dublin Core

There are others as well.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.