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How best to copyright?

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Hello All


As well as submitting to Alamy I am about to start sending some images to try and get them published elsewhere. 


What advice does anyone have in terms of how best to protect my copyright?


I was about to use PS to add copyright information into the metadata of each file. Is that enough?

Since I know with Lightroom I can also add a watermark. But is watermarking necessary if adding metadata information? Is it overkill? Does it somehow make your images less likely to be noticed or looked at? Or should I consider watermarking as part of protecting my images?


Many thanks as always.



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Copyright in your work is automatic. The only way it is different is that if you have produced the images for someone else.


It is highly recommended to register your work at the US Copyright Office. Average wait time to receive the documentation is 9 months but lately things have been done in 3 weeks.


Always very useful to add metadata behind the scenes.


Watermark: honestly, you can add it but if someone is going to steal your work they will either crop it off; clone it or just keep it in there believing that it gives them the right to use the image.

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Putting a copyright notice in your metadata is not the same as registering your images with the US copyright office. I forget the details but copyright infringement of registered images offers the photographer higher compensation for the infringement. You can duckduckgo the details...


I'm a BIG advocate for putting as much metadata onto your RAW files as practical. Besides the Alamy required fields of Description and Keywords/Tags each of your RAW images should also have your contact info and copyright notice.


Unfortunately US copyright office has made registering images more tedious and costly. You can only register 750 images at a time for a cost of $55.00. You also need to make an Excel spreadsheet with the names of the images... I'm sure there are online resources for a step by step walk through of the process. Even with all the hassle and cost I always register my images.


Hope this helps,



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