Your work is automatically "copyrighted" from the moment of creation, for the life of the artist, plus 70 years. But to have your work actually protected by copyright, you have to register it with the copyright office. At $35- a pop, it gets expensive. The other thing is, even though the work is copyrighted, the copyright office doesn't pursue legal action for you. All it does is provide proof.
I noticed searching that "legal zoom.com" seems to provide a copyright service. It might be worth checking out.
You don't NEED to register your copyright before you sell something. It is copyright when you make it, and that doesn't change when it is sold. It only changes if you sign a paper that gives them rights over it. Copyright law is almost always leaning in favor of the artist.
She needs to keep proof that the original is hers if she's worried about someone copying and publishing her work.
If she wants to register them, she can find out how here: [link]
Thanks, she didn't want to have her work made into a product, then find out, she needed a copyright, or something, to protect her. She has always loved taking photos and is absolutely amazing at it, but has only done it for her own benifit in the past.
=adamjamescooper is referring to what some call "poor man's copyright." It doesn't really work (at least not in the US) and you can find plenty of links that explain why not: [link] [link] [link]
Technically, once a work is created, the creator owns the copyright. There is no absolute need to register the copyright, but the creator can do so by contacting the US copyright office and directly applying. Again, copyright law states this is not necessary for ownership of the work. If your friend wants additional assurance, they can be sure to include a copyright symbol on the work, but this is not absolutely necessary either.