I 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.
The U.S. Copyright Office states that your copyright should take the form of “© YYYY Your Name” (e.g. © 2017 Laura Shoe), so you should create a copyright preset or update your existing one at the beginning of each year.
In the video tutorial below 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.
This video tutorial was created back in 2014 with Lightroom 5, but it’s applicable to newer (and older) versions of Lightroom as well.
For those of you who prefer written instructions rather than watching a video, here’s an article from a few years ago explaining how to create and apply a copyright metadata preset.
Exporting Copyright and Contact Information: If you want your copyright and contact information to tag along with your photos when you export copies, then in the Metadata section of the Export dialog towards the bottom be sure to choose Copyright and Contact Info (or All Metadata). This information will then tag along with your photos in the file properties data — it will not be written across your photos. To write information onto your photos themselves, use the Watermarking functionality in the Export dialog.
U.S. photographers: note that you won’t have an enforceable claim against someone who steals a photo of yours unless you register your copyright with (i.e. submit your photos to) the U.S. Copyright Office.
Viewing the Information: In the video I show you how to view the information you have added using the Metadata panel in Lightroom. People can also view this information using Adobe Bridge. Outside of these programs the copyright information can be easily viewed, but not the contact information. To view the copyright in Windows Explorer, right-click on your file, choose Properties and go to the Details tab. On Mac, open the photo in Preview, go to Tools>Show Inspector, click on the information tab (i), and then the IPTC tab.
Related Post: Video Tutorial on Watermarking Photos