The IPTC took part in a panel on Diversity and Inclusion at the CEPIC Congress 2022, the picture industry’s annual get-together, held this year in Mallorca Spain.
Google’s Anna Dickson hosted the panel, which also included Debbie Grossman of Adobe Stock, Christina Vaughan of ImageSource and Cultura, and photographer Ayo Banton.
Unfortunately Abhi Chaudhuri of Google couldn’t attend due to Covid, but Anna presented his material on Google’s new work surfacing skin tone in Google image search results.
Brendan Quinn, IPTC Managing Director participated on behalf of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, who put together the Photo Metadata Standard including the new properties covering accessibility for visually impaired people: Alt Text (Accessibility) and Extended Description (Accessibility).
Brendan also discussed IPTC’s other Photo Metadata properties concerning diversity, including the Additional Model Information which can include material on “ethnicity and other facets of the model(s) in a model-released image”, and the characteristics sub-property of the Person Shown in the Image with Details property which can be used to enter “a property or trait of the person by selecting a term from a Controlled Vocabulary.”
Some interesting conversations ensued around the difficulty of keeping diversity information up to date in an ever-changing world of diversity language, the pros and cons of using controlled vocabularies (pre-selected word lists) to cover diversity information, and the differences in covering identity and diversity information on a self-reported basis versus reporting by the photographer, photo agency or customer.
It’s a fascinating area and we hope to be able to support the photographic industry’s push forward with concrete work that can be implemented at all types of photographic organisations to make the benefits of photography accessible for as many people as possible, regardless of their cultural, racial, sexual or disability identity.