Making a template in Lightroom for your copyright notice is actually easier than you might think. For those who come to our workshops, please set yours up before you arrive, and I will double check it to make sure you haven't missed anything. For those who use Photoshop, we'll show you how to make one there, too. For other imaging programs, look up templates or presets, and use this as your guide.
These directions are for the latest version of Lightroom. If you have an earlier version, the principles are the same, although the path may be slightly different. Macs use slightly different terms than PCs, but again, the principles are the same.
If you do not have any images "in" Lightroom, "import" just one from this year. I use quotes, as your photographs are not actually imported into Lightroom or any other imaging program, only thumbnails for the images and the ability to work on the photographs. Your photographs are exactly where you put them, onto either your computer or your external hard drive. For those to whom this sounds like some obscure language, there are some great tutorials on different functions and aspects of Lightroom by Adobe developer and guru Julieanne Kost listed on our Resources page.
Now that you have at least one image from the current year visible in Lightroom, make sure you are in Library module, grid view (multiple images showing in main box), and click on the image to select it. If you have a folder with more than one image, click on the first image in the folder. (Figure 1)
In the right panel (check out some Lightroom basics on our blog if the panel doesn't show), scroll down to the Metadata section and make sure it is open (click the triangle to the right of "Metadata" if it is closed). (Figure 2)
Click on the up-down arrows to the right of the field on the left and select EXIF and IPTC. Now click on the up-down arrows to the right of the field labeled Preset and select Edit Presets ... at the bottom. (Figure 2)
The fields are already filled in below (Figure 3), because none of our images is without a copyright notice. Arnie, of course, has his own version of this.
Hopefully, you will follow this same example. Be sure to click on the Check None button at the bottom left before you start filling out fields. The critical sections are the ones highlighted in yellow. The other sections and fields are a matter of personal preferences.
Make sure that only the fields you fill out are checked on the right.
If you lease usage to your images, we highly recommend that you fill out ALL the fields noted below as I have done.
For those who have already made a copyright preset, click the down arrow to the right of the Preset field, and select your saved preset, then mimic, where appropriate, the example below.
Unless you sell rights to your images, you may want to alter the Rights Usage Terms to read: No rights granted without prior written permission. You will also see how I have modified my e-Mail addresses to help foil web robots that harvest e-mails for Spamming. Any real person with a real brain can figure out what your e-mail is, and if they can't, you don't want to be dealing with them anyway!
Generally, I do not recommend putting in your cell phone. The idea of Spammers eating up my minutes is not appealing! However, if you share your images in any way electronically, you need to put some form of contact information, and the e-mail address form above is a good way to do this. (Figure 3)
When you are finished, click on the Done button at the lower right. Macs have a slightly different way of doing this, and you Mac owners will know what it is.
Whether you are starting from scratch or editing an existing template, you will need to click on the drop-down arrow at the top next to Preset: and select one of the following:
Save Current Settings as New Preset... in which case a window will pop up and you will type in something simple such as 2014 Copyright and click on Create or the Mac procedure for doing so. (Figure 4)
Update Preset "[Name of your preset]" in which case, you will see (edited) after your preset name. Click on the drop-down arrow and select Update Preset "[your preset name]". (Figure 5).
Up to now, you have only created or modified your copyright preset. It's time to apply the preset to all your images in that folder. In Library module, grid view, select All your images (CTRL-A for PC and CMD-A for Mac), and in the right panel, just under the Metadata heading, click the up-down arrow beside Preset (Figure 2) and select your own copyright preset.
Ta-daaa! After a moment, you will see your copyright information appear in the appropriate fields under the Metadata bar in the right panel. Be sure to both Save (CMD-S or CTRL-S) all the images, then Deselect (CTRL-D or CMD-D) all of them, lest you mistakenly apply your next rating to all your images instead of just one! Caution!
Now, every time you import your images through Lightroom, you may apply your copyright as part of the import process in the Apply During Import section in the right panel of the Import window.Do not use that Deselect shortcut for any program except Lightroom, else you will delete everything!
Don't forget that before January 1 of each year, you should return and edit your preset so that it shows the new year in all the appropriate fields, then save it as a new template, per the instructions above.
Congratulations! You have taken an important step in protecting your images from would-be thieves.