To watermark, or not to watermark? That is the question.
For those of you who don’t know, a watermark is any kind of personalised “mark” or “stamp” that you put on your photographs to let people know that that photo is yours.
Watermarking among the photo community can often times be a dirty word. Assumptions are made about a watermarked photo and, subsequently, the photographer behind said photo.
On top of that, sites and other bloggers might also be reluctant to feature or include photos that have been watermarked- overkill. These are the reasons why:
• The actual project/subject can’t be seen: First and foremost, people just don’t know where to look because of the improper ways the photo has been watermarked. The watermark itself might be covering important details of the actual photo. Don’t let your watermark detract from your item. If potential buyer cannot clearly see your item, they are likely to pass it up.
• Turned off by the visual circus: Companies, magazine editors, even TV shows look at blogs too. Even if you are willing to give them a clean copy of your photo, do you really want to risk turning them off first with a visual circus?
I want to shine a different light on watermarks, and explain why they’re necessarily evils in certain situations. That being said, there’s no reason why your watermark should get in the way of people appreciating the actual photo, so let’s explore ways to do that!
ADDITIONAL READING: How To Make An Inexpensive Lightbox
1. DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF
Using the full name of the photographer is the most common form of watermarking. But think for a moment, does it really have to end there? There are other, subtle forms that can be used to mark your photographs.
2. MARK FOR THE OCCASION
Most photographers should use watermarks on a site to site basis, for artistic credits and ownership, but choose how you watermark your photographs accordingly, or specifically, according to which social media your post it on . For example:
– On photo sharing sites, use a small watermark that says your name, blog, or your business name .
– On the larger social networking sites like Facebook and Google+, add a second, more obtrusive mark near the centre.
– On your personal website, you really don’t need to watermark.
3. BE SUBTLE, YET SIGNIFICANT
Do make your watermark overlap a small portion of your item. It is easy to crop out a watermark that is in the “background” of your photo. To prevent people from doing it, simply overlap your watermark onto the edge of your item. Or, put your watermark in a centre location that’s difficult to crop or edit out.
All in all, whether or not you choose to watermark your photographs is completely up to you, so whichever direction you decide on, I have two final parting tips:
1. Always have an optional photo in the post without the title of the project, for features. Then at the end, just have one with your watermark.
2. Always keep a clean, unedited, original size copy of the photo just in case you get contacted for a feature.
And lastly, keep in mind that YOU ARE ON THE INTERNET. When you post something on the big big web of the internet, you risk it getting stolen. While you can watermark the heck out of a photo and have the best intentions, if someone really want it – they will have it. If it’s that crucial of an idea and that important to you that it doesn’t get “borrowed”, then, unfortunately, you should probably reconsider having the photo and the project up on the internet at all.
Aaaand that’s the end of my two cents. I hope you guys find this useful.