Imagine. You’re surfing along all nice and happy and all of a sudden you see a photo that looks really, really familiar. You click on it and think, “Huh! I took a picture just like that!”. Then you look a little closer and you realize “Holy *insert your favourite expletive here*, that IS my picture!”.
You feel ripped off, angry, and maybe even a little vengeful.
And, just like that, you kick yourself hard for not using a watermark. You do put one on every photo that you post after that though. A great big watermark. Right over the entire image. So big and bold and crazy that no one will ever be able to steal one of your photos again. Take THAT!
Except now the beauty of your photo, all the work and care you put into taking it and post processing it, all of that, it’s all gone because of a great big ugly watermark.
What’s the answer?
Well, in my opinion, watermarks don’t stop photo theft. They can be cropped out or photoshopped out. If someone wants your work badly enough, they’re going to take it. (NO, this is not one of my services. This is just an example to prove that it can be done quite easily. DO NOT DO THIS. Even if you can, don’t! But be aware that there are people who can and will).
If you really would feel better putting your mark on your photo though, do it discretely, in a place where it can be seen, but doesn’t outshine the photo itself.
A relatively recent trend is for photographers to create a kind of “signature” logo that they use on digital posts in the same way a painter signs their artwork. In this case, the watermark is not for image protection, it’s for image identification. People will know who produced the photo and be able to search you up from your company name.
If you do find that someone has used your photo without permission, there is a wicked good, recently updated article here that shows you all the possible avenues and options you have and even explains why you, as the photographer, have copyright of that photo, and always will.
If you decide that you would like to watermark your work and you’d like to learn to do it efficiently and effectively, we teach you how in our Adobe Lightroom Basics class (along with a ton of other really cool stuff you can do to your photos!).
Don’t be discouraged if you missed out on this month’s class…we deliver the Lightroom Basics class every other month. Check it out!
Watermarked image was randomly chosen from a google search on “watermarked images” and came from here
“Stella” was used with permission from the photographer, Katie Guitard, of @foto.twentyfive