Creating Metadata Presets in Lightroom

©2010 Natalie Fobes

Last week I referred to using the depth of field preview to see what your background is doing. This button is located on the left side of Canon cameras. It is an invaluable tool. Say you want to have the eyes, nose and mouth in focus on your subject. You’d like to have the ears out of focus. You can use this button to determine the aperture that will achieve that goal. After previewing you may decide to use a longer focal length on your lens, a telephoto lens or move closer to the minimum focusing distance.

Last week someone mentioned that they didn’t want to do the portrait in studio thing and did that play a role in this class. Absolutely! Portraiture is all about creating a photo that shows your subject’s personality in an artistic way. The problem with too many portrait photographers is that by the time they are done with the photo you can’t see the person. But at the same time remember this is not about being artistic for art’s sake. You are working with a client who wants to see themselves in a flattering light.

Every image you take should have your copyright and name associated with it. You should add this while it is in the camera. I went over this in a previous post and in class.

Even thought you have your information in the camera you will still want to add to it in Lightroom. An easy way to do this is to set up Presets you can apply while importing into Lightroom.

Import Presets in Lightroom

File Naming: I use a reverse date, subject or job description and a sequence number. I create a template for each year. Here’s how to do it.

Under File Naming click on the template and go to edit. The Filename Template Editor opens. Clear everything that is in that example box. Then go down to Additional. For date, choose YYYYMMDD. Type in an underscore. Go to Custom, insert custom text. Type in underscore. Go to Numbering. Insert Sequence # 3 places. Go back up to the Preset bubble and select Save Current Settings as New Preset. Name it. 2010_custom_sequence. Click Done.

Adding Metadata to your images with Lightroom

You can add metadata information to your files either upon import or after import by selecting and adding. Using Presets is an easy way to get the basic information attached to your photos. I create basic templates and save them as presets.

To create a copyright preset while importing images.
When you first import images into Lightroom a window titled “Import Photos” opens. Toward the bottom you will see “Information to Apply.” The second option is Metadata. That drop down menu allows you to select from your presets, edit your presets or to create a new one. Click on New and the New Metadata Preset window opens.

My main preset includes my copyright, name and date, the usage terms (No usage of any kind allowed without express written permission from Natalie Fobes), telephone number, email and my website. Note that what you fill in the website will actually link to your website so you may want to have a copy of the licensing agreement there. (

Then go to the top of the window where it says Preset and click Save Current Settings as New Preset. Name the preset. My general one is called “Copyright 2010 Natalie Fobes, All Rights Reserved.”

I suggest you each create a general Preset with your name, contact info, copyright, and the “no usage rights” terms for every image you import into Lightroom. You can always revise or add to the information later in LR. You will want to add a caption and usage terms if or when the image is licensed.

Creating Presets while in Library

While in the Library module open Metadata (on the right side). Right under the headline is the word “Preset.” Click to the right of it and go down to Edit Preset. When the new window comes up fill in the information you want to add to the file. I always check for my copyright, the usage terms, my website, telephone number, email. Then go to the top of the window where it says Preset and on that pull down menu select “Save current settings as new preset.” Name it.

Then you can select images and add the preset metadata to those images by clicking on sync metadata.

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