Adding Metadata to Your Images

Image files contain not only the image information but also data that describes the image. This descriptive information is called metadata. It provides information about how the image was captured, such as exposure information, but may also contain descriptive information such as a title, caption, photographers name and legal notices such as copyright ownership.

It’s important that whenever you share your images, you should ensure that the metadata information included in the file is up to date. Below is a brief guide describing how to manage image metadata in different software programs.

Notes About Adding Metadata

There are a lot of applications that allow you to add or edit metadata in an image file. But, it's important to understand that many of these tools provide you with a very limited view of the files metadata. 

Even a robust application like Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop do not show you all the metadata in a file. For example, my Canon 5D Mark IV writes a great deal more metadata into each image file than what can be viewed in any Adobe product. 

Just about every camera manufacturer provides a software solution for managing files created with their camera. For Canon, it's called Digital Photo Professional. For Nikon it's called Nikon Capture. Don't forget to look at these solutions for editing and managing your files. 

Adding Metadata in Lightroom


In the Lightroom Library module, you'll see a tab on the right that's labeled Metadata. Open this tab and set the view to 'Default'. The Default view hides a lot of the unnecessary metadata fields and shows you both the Title and Caption. Fill in an appropriate Title and Caption for your image.


Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to display the copyright information that's in the image metadata on the website. For this reason, we suggest that the Copyright information also be included in the Caption. That doesn't mean copyright information should not be included. On the contrary, it should be included in the metadata.

For example your description may be something like: "©2016 Rob Hull - Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National park tumbles almost 1,000 feet into the valley below." 

To add the copyright symbol use the appropriate shortcut:

  1. On a PC, the © symbol is created by holding the ALT key and press 0169 on the number pad. (This does not work on the number along the top of the keyboard.)

  2. On a Mac, simply press Option G

Your entry should look something like ©2017 Rob Hull. 

Lightroom Metadata.png

Note: This only adds the metadata to the Lightroom catalog. To use it in any other application, you must save the metadata to the original file.


In the Library module, be sure the image file you are working with is selected. Then go to the Lightroom menu and select Metadata > Save Metadata to File. This synchronizes the metadata in the original file with that in the Lightroom Catalog. 

You can do this for any file type but if you're going to use the image on social media or on a website, you'll want to be sure it's in a compatible format like .JPG.


If you've added the metadata to a RAW file, you'll need to export it as a JPG first.  

Adding Metadata in Adobe Bridge

If you don't use Adobe Lightroom, you can also add metadata to your image file from Adobe Bridge. In the Bridge be aware that the field name where the Caption is stored is called "Description". 

Open Bridge and select the image to which you want to add metadata. In the right hand column look for the tab IPTC Core. Enter a Description for the image. 

Because our website development software doesn't read the Copyright field, it's suggested that you begin the description with your Copyright notice. Something like "©Rob Hull - This is a boat tied to a dock."

Also enter an Image Title and your Copyright information. 

Bridge Metadata.png

Adding Metadata in Adobe Photoshop

In Photoshop, you can update metadata for any open image. Go to File > File Info. Update the Document Title, Description and Copyright Notice on the Description tab. Save the image.

Adding Metadata in Windows OS

You can also add metadata to your images directly from Windows. 

In File Explorer, right click the file and go to the properties.

Metadata Windows 1.jpg

Click on the Details tab and add your Metadata. 

Metadata Windows 2.jpg

Add Metadata on Mac OS

On an Apple Mac system, you edit an image's metadata using the Photos app. This app is a part of the operating system. The down-side is that you must import your images into Photos before you can edit them. 

  • In the Photos app, double click on the image.

  • Click on the (I) Information icon on the top tool bar.

  • In the Info panel, you can add your Title, Description, Keywords and other information.

Metadata Update MacOS.png

Note that the ability to add/edit metadata in the Photos app is somewhat limited. It's recommended that you use a more robust program like Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.