IPFS stands for “interplanetary file system” (don’t blame Nfty Pete, he didn’t come up with the acronym). In short, IPFS is like cloud storage (think Google Drive or DropBox), but your item lives on a distributed network of web3 servers around the world, so you are not dependent on any one server or company to safeguard the data. Anything stored on IPFS is permanent (meaning it cannot be deleted), and the link to that item will never change.
The images associated with NFTs (as opposed to attributes like the NFT’s title and description) are written to IPFS in a process called “minting”.
You can learn more about IPFS here.