Quick Tip: Add copyright info to your photos EXIF

A very quick tip for any newer photographers out there (I assume many seasoned photographers will know this already), depending on the model of your camera, as well as adding camera/lens settings in the EXIF data, you can also set your copyright info as well – so that every photo you take comes straight out the camera with a clear indication of who took the shot. The great thing about it is, even thought doing a save for web in Photoshop strips the EXIF info, it still retains the Copyright fields.

How to set it…

The method for adding it varies, if you shoot with any of the more recent Nikon DSLRs you can see how below. Canon it’s slightly different but still easy enough and this link will explain it all:
Adding copyright to Canon DSLRs.

With Nikon though, you can find the setting in the Setup Menu under Copyright Information.

Copyright settings found in Setup Menu on Nikon DSLR

Copyright settings found in Setup Menu

In here you can set both the Artist and the Copyright, just make sure you remember to click the attach copyright button, and also turn the setting on in the Setup Menu, as per the image above.

Set Artist and Copyright in Copyright menu

Set Artist and Copyright in Copyright menu

The nice thing about it is, you don’t have to just add your name. You can put anything you want from your website address to your contact info, email etc, and this will show up in your favourite editing software:

Copyright info shown in Nikon View NX2

Copyright info shown in Nikon View NX2

Why add it? Three reasons:

It speeds up your work-flow. The way I see it, the less time you have to spend sorting and editing images the better. If you send images to a photo library, key wording can be a pain, so having one less thing to add to your images will speed up, and therefore reduce, your work-flow time. Even if you don’t send images to a photo library yet, you might do one day. And it’s much better to have thousands of images already copyrighted sitting in your collection now than having to add it to all of them later.

It adds an element of security. In this digital age it’s very easy to share your images online. But, the downside is it’s also easy for someone to take your images and use them for their own gain in some way on another website or even entering them in to competitions pretending they own the image. That might seem extreme, but it does happen.

Make it easier for potential buyers to find you. It might be small, but there is always a chance that one day someone will stumble on one of your images on a website somewhere, and want to contact the photographer who took it. Well, having your info embedded in the image increases the chances of them tracking you down. Hey it might be a long shot, but if over the years you end up with thousands of images floating around online, doesn’t it make sense to do everything you can to make it easier for the original owner (yes, YOU) to be found!

Copyright info shown in Photoshop

Copyright info shown in Photoshop

Should I really bother?

Of course as with anything in the digital world, nothing is full proof and there are ways of removing this info from an online jpeg if someone really wants to. But I absolutely recommend setting this up in your camera. Apart from the security side of having your copyright on the image, this tip, as explained above, is just as much about speeding up your work flow and doing everything you can to make it easier for others to find you.

So, if your camera offers the ability, fill out the copyright info so that every shot from now on comes straight out the camera with your name on it. After all, it doesn’t hurt or cost anything and you certainly won’t be losing out by doing it, but you absolutely might gain from it at some point in the future!

Comments

  1. Nick Lewis says:

    Great tip Richard. I always have done it via Lightroom or Photoshop…. but this is even better as it does it at source!

  2. Gestion de crise says:

    Thanks for sharing. Very usefull information

  3. Sherlock Holmes says:

    Hi Richard
    I sometimes put my initials hidden in the picture in a certain area. that way, I just look for my initials.

  4. Thanks for the great tip, will be doing this from now on

  5. Gavin says:

    Thanks for this. Did not even know I could do this!

  6. [...] Canon DSLR's since that will explain easier than I can. I'm sure other types can do it as well. Quick Tip: Add copyright info to your images (EXIF) | Richard Peters Photography blog You can also add it in Photoshop in the 'Bridge' part under 'Metadata" In the 'IPTC Core' [...]

  7. [...] in every image file generated. Canon users can set the owner name with EOS Utility. Nikon users can enter the Copyright Name through the camera’s settings [...]

  8. Viveca Koh says:

    Very useful info Richard, thanks for this. I’m all for any tips to speed up workflow!

  9. jignesh says:

    Hey this is going to save so much time for me now i just spent ages putting this in over 300 images :(

  10. alan says:

    nice article
    keep it up

  11. [...] that is recorded in each photo. How it’s done varies by camera – some Nikons have the ability to enter the info through the camera. Canon tends to require that you connect to your computer and use their software. Adding this [...]

  12. V.N.Karthik says:

    I m usin Nikon 3100d SLR.there is no copyright option in my cam…plz giv any suggestion

    1. Sorry for the delayed reply. I have not used the D3100 but if it does not support that option you will have to add copyright information via software instead. Photoshop can do it and potentially View and Capture NX as well, although I’ve yet to investigate this as I have it set in camera.

  13. Robert Pugh says:

    if we add the copy right in to the photos and then sell the photos on to our customer (say a wedding couple) can they still get the photos printed at a high street shop on there own ? i had one couple ask me for a letter so they could get them printed

    1. Many printers may require a letter to prove the couple have reproduction rights. Adding a watermark on to the image will make that even more likely.