It’s almost New Years. Now is the perfect time to create a preset that will add your 2018 Copyright information to your photos’ metadata. You can set this up so it will automatically attach to your images when you import them using Lightroom. It’s a good idea to add personal details to your images so anyone viewing that photo on the web or preparing the file for print at a printing lab can determine who owns Copyright of the image and what they can do with it. If the image is marked Copyrighted, the metadata can show this and give information on how to contact you if they need permission to use your photo.

Where to add the information

Open the Import dialog by clicking File, then select Import Photos and Video. The import dialog box appears. On the right side is the Apply During Import panel. Click on the drop-down next to Metadata, and choose New—or Edit, if you have an existing preset.

Type a name for the preset at the top, scroll down to the IPTC Copyright section and fill it out. To create the symbol on a Mac press Option-G. On a PC, use the numeric keypad. Press and hold the Alt key, then type 0169. You can always just copy and paste the symbol [ © ]. The Copyright Info URL field is used to provide a link to somewhere on your website where you have posted specific rights and usage terms for your photos. In the IPTC Creator section, add your name to the Creator field, and add as much contact information as you wish. Make sure that it is sufficient that someone can successfully contact you if they come across your photo.

When you are done, click Create. This preset will now show in the Apply During Import dialog as the default, and this information will be applied automatically as you import new photos. Click Cancel to exit out of the Import dialog. The next time you open the Import Dialog box, ensure your new copyright preset is selected. After you apply it for the first time, it is saved as your default.

Finding where the information is stored

The Copyright information will not show up in your photos—it will tag along with your photos as data known as metadata. To see this data, in the Library module, select one photo and in the Metadata panel on the right, change the view to IPTC. Creator information will show toward the top, and Copyright information towards the bottom.

Are my images now Copyrighted?

The moment you clicked the shutter, your images were Copyrighted. We just added information making it easier for people to contact you. This doesn’t mean your images are protected. In order to protect your images, you need to register them with the Library of Congress. Here’s how to make this next step painless.