IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2024

Online – Tuesday 7 May 2024: 1500 – 1800 UTC

The 2024 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference will be held online, and is free for anyone to attend. 

Thanks for coming to the 2024 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference

It has been a big couple of years for photo metadata. Some of the topics we have been covering for years, such as accessibility, provenance and authenticity, are now making headlines. The world is waking up to the potential of image metadata to give image creators and rightsholders the ability to convey their intentions regarding how an image should be used, and the potential for cryptographically-signed metadata to protect the public from images (and metadata) that have been manipulated by bad actors.

In May 2024, the industry gets back together to discuss the latest issues in photo metadata, including adoption of accessibility, adoption of provenance frameworks and standards, identification of AI content and the ability to opt-out of having images included in training data sets for generative AI, among other issues.

We had a great event, with well over 200 people registered. Please download slides from presentations below. Videos will be published shortly.

Introduction and welcome 15.00 – 15.30 UTC

Introduction to the event and an update on what IPTC has been working on in the field of image metadata since our last Photo Metadata Conference in October 2022.

Download slides


  • Brendan Quinn, Managing Director, IPTC
  • David Riecks, co-lead, IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group
  • Michael Steidl, co-lead, IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group

Panel 1: AI and Image Authenticity: Bringing trust back to photography?15.30 – 16.30 UTC

This panel dives into the complexities of verifying image authenticity amidst the rise of misinformation. We’ll explore various methods used in image workflows and discuss limitations, including emerging technologies like visible and invisible watermarks and initiatives such as the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA). Join us to unravel the challenges and gain insights into navigating the evolving landscape of image authentication.


  • Leonard Rosenthol, Senior Principal Scientist, PDF Architect, and CAI Architect for Adobe – Lead of the C2PA Technical Working Group and lead author of the C2PA specification (download slides)
  • Dennis Walker, Camera Bits, creators of Photo Mechanic (download slides)
  • Dr. Neal Krawetz, Computer security specialist, forensic researcher, and founder of FotoForensics (download slides)
  • Bofu Chen, Founder & CTO of Numbers Protocol (download slides)

Session on Adobe’s Custom Metadata Panel 16.30 – 17.00 UTC

Custom Metadata panel is a free plugin for Adobe Bridge, Photoshop and Premiere Pro that enables users to add their own metadata schemas to the application’s user interface. In 2023 it was updated to handle structured fields which allows it to handle IPTC Photo Metadata and IPTC Video Metadata Hub standards. James Lockman, lead of the project at Adobe Digital Media Services, introduces the tool and shows us what it can do.


  • James Lockman, Group Manager, Digital Media Services at Adobe (demo, no slides available – video coming soon)

Panel 2: AI-Powered Asset Management: Where does metadata fit in? 17.00 – 18.00 UTC

Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems are rapidly evolving, incorporating advanced generative AI and machine learning capabilities to automate tasks such as generating keywords, identifying objects and text within images and even intelligently retouching images through content-aware fills.

However, with this technological advancement comes a need for clarity and guidance. How should image managers integrate AI-generated metadata with existing human-generated tags? Should these AI-generated descriptors be seamlessly integrated into metadata, or should they be kept separate within the database until approved by a human user? When AI modifies or creates images entirely, how do we ensure transparency regarding the alteration’s impact on the image’s fidelity to reality?


  • Nancy Wolff, Partner, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, LLP (download slides)
  • Serguei Fomine, Founder and CEO, IQPlug (download slides)
  • Jeff Nova, Chief Executive Officer, Colorhythm (download slides)
  • Mark Milstein, co-founder and Director of Business Development, vAIsual (no slides)

Speaker Biographies

Leonard Rosenthol

Leonard Rosenthol is a Senior Principal Scientist with Adobe Systems and serves as their PDF Architect having been involved with PDF technology for almost 30 years. In 2019, he also took on the responsibility of Chief Architect for their Content Authenticity Initiative which led to him chairing the Technical Working Group of the C2PA (Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity). Leonard has also served as Senior Standards Representative for Adobe, where he represents Adobe on various international standards bodies including the ISO, W3C, and ETSI. Prior to joining Adobe (for the first time) in 1996, Leonard was the Director of Advanced Technology for Aladdin Systems and responsible for the development of the StuffIt line of products.

Dennis Walker, Founder and President, Camera Bits

Dennis is the Founder and President of Camera Bits, makers of the industry standard photo workflow and metadata editing software Photo Mechanic since 1998. A graduate of UC San Diego with degrees in Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology, he wrote computer gaming and neural network (aka “AI”) training software before settling into a career in his lifetime passion of photography. At Camera Bits, Dennis has provided innovation in raw image processing, noise reduction, metadata and photojournalism workflow, and more recently he has delved into the murky waters of authenticity and provenance where he hopes to help forge a clear path for the photojournalism industry to achieve trust from its consumers.

Dr. Neal Krawetz, founder of Hacker Factor and FotoForensics

Dr. Neal Krawetz, founder of Hacker Factor (hackerfactor.com), specializes in the unconventional aspects of computer forensics. He is a recognized expert in computer security, networking, anti-anonymity technologies, file format forensics, and media analysis. He regularly consults with commercial, legal, technical, and news media organizations. Through his forensic work, he has gained in-depth experience into the development and usage of photo manipulation tools for fraud and propaganda. In addition to his popular blog, he operates a variety of online services, including FotoForensics (fotoforensics.com) for digital photo analysis and Hintfo (hintfo.com) for viewing metadata.

Bofu Chen | Founder & CTO of Numbers Protocol

Bofu is the founder and CTO of Numbers Protocol. Previously, he was a software engineer and architect who has 15+ years experience in data engineering, embedded systems, AI and IoT. He is an Arm innovator, the top-five open-source developer of TW 2017, and the consultant and opinion leader of blockchain and data policy in Taiwan. He is also the architect and developer of BerryNet and Mediant open-source projects. He has strong faith in FLOSS, internet freedom and is very active in the open-source community. Although he spent most of his lifetime in the software industry, his love for fried chicken is even greater than software!

Nancy Wolff, Partner, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, LLP

Nancy Wolff, a partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, LLP, specializes in intellectual property, media, and entertainment law with offices in New York, NY, and Beverly Hills, CA. As co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and Art Law Group, she offers expertise in copyright, defamation, and third-party rights. Nancy represents a diverse clientele including photographers, artists, museums, and publishers, providing counsel on transactional issues, content usage, and deal structuring. A recognized expert, she frequently speaks on copyright, media, and licensing in the US and Europe. Nancy’s contributions to copyright law include publications in Allworth Press and ABA Landslide Journal, and she has served as Past President of the Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA).

Serguei Fomine, Founder and CEO, IQPlug

Dr. Serguei Fomine is a visionary leader at the forefront of media and software development, serving as the Founder and CEO of Picvario and IQPlug. With a distinguished background as a rocket fuel engineer coupled with a profound interest in media technology, Serguei brings a unique perspective to the industry. Having previously spearheaded operations at the esteemed photo stock agency Global Look, Serguei’s expertise spans across the American (DMLA) and European (CEPIC) associations of media archives. His active involvement in the IPTC metadata standards council underscores his commitment to shaping industry practices. Currently, Serguei devotes his energies to pioneering media content development trends at Picvario while concurrently driving forward innovative initiatives in iPaaS for AI apps at IQPlug. His unwavering dedication to technological advancement and industry collaboration continues to inspire and shape the landscape of media and software development.

Jeff Nova, Chief Executive Officer, Colorhythm

Jeff Nova leads Colorhythm, a pioneering digital imaging services and software company based in San Francisco since 2000. With a rich legacy in photography inspired by his father’s work with NASA, Jeff has propelled Colorhythm into a nexus of creativity and technology, serving elite clients like RH, Williams Sonoma, Levi’s and Fitbit. An early adopter of AI in imaging, Jeff’s expertise spans computer vision, deep learning, along with the philosophy of AI and nature of consciousness. His broad range of academic pursuits in philosophy and psychology underpin his approach, focusing on the enhancement of human creativity. A recognized speaker in the imaging industry, Jeff’s insights into AI-generated metadata reflect his commitment to innovation at the intersection of art and technology.

Mark Milstein, co-founder and Director of Business Development, vAIsual

Mark Milstein, co-founder of vAIsual, leads pioneering efforts in building ethical generative AI through Datasetshop and Makery.ai. Datasetshop hosts the world’s largest licensable biometric dataset, crucial for training AI. Makery.ai allows users to create digital twins using LoRA model. Committed to ethical AI, Milstein serves as Technology Chairman of DMLA and is involved in IPTC metadata standards. A sought-after speaker, he discusses AI ethics and synthetic media at global events. Notable engagements include advising the British government on AI legislation and speaking at ConTech.Live 2022, Visual1st Conference, and DMLA Conference. Previously, Milstein founded Microstocksolutions LLC and photo agencies Northfoto and Red Dot. As a former photojournalist, he covered numerous conflicts and disasters worldwide.

James Lockman, Group Manager, Digital Media Services, Adobe

James Lockman manages Adobe’s Technical Success Services team in the Americas, helping Creative, Document and Experience Cloud customers with complex Named User Licensing and Adobe platform integrations. Prior to managing this team, he was the Creative Workflow Specialist in Americas, helping customers architect and execute asset and metadata management strategies. James is a developer on the side, creating extensions for Creative Cloud apps such as the Custom Metadata Panel and Tappecue (in-app dashboard for Tappecue BBQ thermometers). James is an Adobe Founders’ Award winner, projecting the Adobe Core Values as a Scouts BSA leader, STEM Education advocate, and volunteer Game Announcer with FIRST Robotics. In 2019, he was named FRC Volunteer of the Year at the FIRST Detroit Championship. He lives in Maine, where he makes maple syrup each spring with his family.

Previous Conferences

The IPTC Photo Metadata Conference has been held almost every year since 2007.

Watch video recordings and see presentation slides from our previous events (note that the Photo Metadata Conference was not held in 2023):