You work hard on processing your images and often watermarks are not allowed on the face of the image, so having metadata becomes even more important. You can add copyright and your contact information in Lightroom as you import them into Lightroom, which will stay with the file forever, and you will be able to export the images with that data.
When you export a file, this data is embedded inside the image automatically. Others can contact you if they come across your images and want to use them. However, if someone wants to use your images, you cannot stop them from stealing your images. More importantly, that data can save you time when uploading images to sites or when they are used in publications, like the LPA’s newsletter, The Desert Exposure. The metadata is referenced in the caption without the editor having to look up the creator and date the image was created
The Copyright Office states you should make the copyright mark as “© <year> Your Name” (e.g., © 2017 Douglas Paul Wade). You can create a copyright preset or update one an existing one.
How to Create a Copyright/Contact Preset
From the Import Panel, select New…
Type a Preset Name for the preset at the top, scroll down to the IPTC Copyright section and fill it out all that apply. For me, I add everything except Creator Job Title. To create the copyright “©” symbol, use Option-G (Mac) or Alt-0-1-6-9 (PC). (If not, copy and paste the symbol from there.) The Copyright Info URL field I use is from creative common, located at https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/. After picking the copyright information, you will get a URL to paste into your Copyright info URL field. It can be used to provide a link to your image rights listed on your website.
Next, in the IPTC Creator section, add your name in the Creator field, then add as much contact information as you wish. Keep in mind; this information can be seen by the public, so you may not want your phone number or address listed. Email may be enough information. For me, I do not mind having it all listed.
When you are done, click Create. This new preset is displayed in the Apply During Import dialog as the default, and this metadata will be applied automatically as you import new photos.
Metadata is not seen on the image (that is a watermark) but can be seen from the Library Module. Select a newly imported photo and in the Metadata panel on the right at the bottom, change the view to IPTC. You will see all the information you inputted in the preset. At this point, you have imported images into Lightroom and confirmed that data is present in the Library module, Metadata panel.
Next is to export an image, with your copyright and contact information. In the Metadata section of Lightroom’s Export dialog near the bottom, choose All Metadata or Copyright and Contact Info Only. All this information will be added to your photos in the file properties.
Here is what the information looks like seeing it written in the image. I am looking at an older file using Adobe Bridge.
Adding metadata is a solid way to embed the maker’s information in images. You will be surprised how your images will be tossed around, and metadata gives you some chance that others will see it as your work. Also, it helps editors and other content makers to give you proper credit when published.