Jan 022016
Lightroom-copyright-metadata-presetI recommend adding copyright and contact information to your photos as you import them into Lightroom, so that when you share photos with the outside world, this data automatically tags along with them and people can get in touch with you if they come across your photos and want to use them. For photos already in Lightroom, it’s not too late — you can also add this information in the Library module.

In this video tutorial, I show you how to:

  • Create and update a copyright and contact information “metadata preset”
  • Apply your preset to photos as you import them
  • View copyright and contact information for your photos using the Metadata panel in the Library module
  • Apply your preset to any selected photos in the Library module.

Note that this copyright and contact information tags along with your photos in the file properties data — it is not written across your photos. To write information onto your photos themselves, use the Watermarking functionality in the Export dialog.

(For highest resolution viewing, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel (Youtube Sprocket Wheel) in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.)

For those of you who prefer written instructions rather than watching a video, here’s an article from a couple years ago explaining how to create and apply a copyright metadata preset.

Update: It still isn’t easy for all people who may come across your images to view this extensive copyright information. Anyone who has Lightroom, Bridge, or another program that can read it will be able to view it. In addition, on Mac it can be viewed in Preview (Tools>Show Inspector, “i” tab.) On Windows, in Explorer one can view the copyright field (right-click on the file and choose Properties, then the Detail tab), and one can view the Creator field by adding Creator as a column in Details view, but I haven’t found a way to view the contact information. Nevertheless, there is no cost to including it, and it does show that you made a positive effort to communicate this information. If you want to be sure that everyone will see it, then you should watermark your photos.

Note that at least in the U.S., to have a claim of copyright infringement that will hold up in court, you need to have registered your images with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Related Post: Video Tutorial on Watermarking Photos


  22 Responses to “Now’s The Time to Create Your 2016 Copyright Preset”

  1. Thanks for posting this. We all need reminders.

  2. Happy new year, Laura! As always, you’re amazing. I was just sitting down to do my 2016 copyright preset (I had set myself a calendar reminder to pop up on the 1st of each year) – but I was having trouble remembering how to do it. I was about to start a web search, when I saw your latest email. I thought…hmm, I wonder if by any chance she’s doing this topic today? And voila – there was all the info I needed. Thank you!

  3. Once again, a most informative and well-done job Ms. Laura! Thanks so much for all you do here that helps me become a better Lightroom user! Wishing you and yours a HAPPY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!

  4. Appreciate your calm and thorough teaching…and the reminder, Laura!

  5. As usual, Laura, a very helpful article. Thank you so much and have a great 2016!

  6. As usual, Laura, a very helpful article. Thank you so much and have a great 2016!

  7. As usual, Laura, a very helpful article. Thank you so much and have a great 2016!

  8. Thanks Laura. You always provide information at the best time and in a clear, easy to understand manner.

  9. I managed to get the info on to my photos but when I went to check to see if the info was embedded after exporting, I did not see the contact info. On my PC it only shows the copyright but no contact and on my Mac, no info whatsoever. I am using Lightroom 6 on my Mac which is running Yosemite and running Windows 10 on my PC .

    • I’m sorry I overlooked your comment, Glen. You’re right – it isn’t as easy to see as I thought. On Mac, you can see it in Preview: Tools>Show Inspector, then click on the “i”. I don’t see a way to view it in Windows Explorer. This to me isn’t an argument against including it though – it is still evidence that you took positive steps to inform people of the images’ copyright, and people that want to use it can view it in Adobe Bridge, Lightroom, Preview, and other programs that can read and display metadata.

  10. Hi Laura. Thanks for the update on copyright. To test that the copyright was embedded I exported an image to the desktop, ensuring that copyright data was included in the export. When I “get info” in finder I cannot see any copyright data? Any hints on what I am doing wrong? Regards Jim.

    • I’m sorry I overlooked your question, Jim. You’re right, it can’t be seen in Finder (that I can find). You can view it in Preview: Tools>Show Inspector, then click on the “i” symbol.

  11. Hi Laura
    Yes this is a great reminder. I am photographer for real estate here in Australia and the two major website which the agents use strip out the copyright information within the metadata as the photos are load. So it makes it very difficult to trace photos which are copied without permission or payment.

  12. Happy New Year, Laura! As always, thank you so much for the reminder. Now here’s my question:
    I use “egschiller” for all my photos. But when I fill out the metadata form, I put “Emily Schiller” after the copyright symbol. Should I use egschiller instead?



  13. good info updated my camera metadata and also in Light room. Very good info..
    thank you

  14. Happy New Year Laura. Wishing you great health, happiness and prosperity for 2016.

    Thank you also for the heads up on this. Much appreciated.

    Warm regards


  15. Laura,

    Happy New Year!

    P C

 Leave a Reply


(required, but will not be displayed)

Sign Up Today!
  • FREE Limited Time Only: Learn How to Clean Up Your Lightroom Mess in my 80 minute video!
  • Receive my Lightroom newsletter with news and tutorials
  • Receive PDFs of my favorite Lightroom shortcuts

Your trusted source for all things Lightroom!
I will not share your email. Unsubscribe anytime.