My Metadata Fail, or: Why You Should Always Check the Copyright Info on Loaner Gear


The life of a freelancer can be very unpredictable. I find it to be epitome of “feast or famine.” It’s good to have some down time on equipment every now and again to get things serviced, and I took this latest opportunity to get my D700 serviced by Nikon.

One of the perks of a NPS (Nikon Professional Services) membership is loaner equipment. My Nikon D700 went in, and they sent me a D750 on consignment. No sooner did that D750 arrive than I had a barrage of phone calls for assignments. I barely had time to get acquainted with the new body before we were off to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to photograph Coach Bret Bielema of the Arkansas Razorback for the Wall Street Journal.

The assignment went great and the camera performed smashingly! I’m pretty sure I’m sold on the D750 as my next body. But alas, there was one little problem…

Upon inspecting the images, I noticed there was some copyright information that wasn’t mine. In my haste, I forgot to scrub the last user’s info from the loaner D750 and replace it with my own. Well, no big deal — I caught it before I transmitted, so I deleted the info in Lightroom and replaced it with my own… or so I thought.

A link was soon sent to me and there, for all the world to see, are my images with the byline that credits them to: “Strawberry Blonde Photos.” S**T!


I went back and checked the file in Lightroom, and the “Creator” field is blank (I left it that way intentionally). But if I view the image in Bridge, the “Creator” field is in fact NOT blank, it reads — you guessed it — “Strawberry Blonde Photos.”



I’ve already emailed my contact at the Wall Street Journal and I’m sure it will be corrected. But I thought that this was a good cautionary tale to share. In the future I will be doing a factory restore to the camera the moment it comes out of the box.

Thanks for reading,

Strawberry Blonde Photo

Kenneth M. Ruggiano

About the author: Kenneth M. Ruggiano is a photographer, husband, and Eagle Scout based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Visit his website here. This article was also published here.