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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!

Nick Lewis

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

Gestion de crise

Thanks for sharing. Very usefull information

Sherlock Holmes

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

Aberdeen Photographers

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


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

Photo Theft by usaorchids - Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web !

[...] 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' [...]

Recover Your Gear with Stolen Camera Finder

[...] 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 [...]

Viveca Koh

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


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


nice article
keep it up

Edit Your EXIF | 31 Days of Photo Tips

[...] 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 [...]


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

Richard Peters

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.

Robert Pugh

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

Richard Peters

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.

John Park

what would be the best information i could use for proof of my copyright photos?

Robert Schoneman

Unfortunately, my Nikon D5000 lacks this feature (too old a model, I guess?).

Jonathon Murphy

do any othe camera’s have this copyright ?

Sven Schumacher

As just tested, simple “save as” in irfanview removes all camera-info, even the copyright… so don’t rely on it.

John Leiby Jr.

question.. i put my info in, the only thing I’m uncertain about is, does the info show on the photo? I can’t find the info on the photos when i transfer them over to my computer. Is it supposed to be seen or is there a setting somewhere?

Nick Logan

How do I do this on a D 3200? I can’t seem to find copyright information in the set up menu.

Hans Goepel

Thank you

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nice saw before

Prakash Chandra

usefull information

Matthew Webb

iv got a nikon D3300 and it wasnt on the setup menu, do this camera even have it or its there another place?