Watermarks are a hot topic lately with the explosion of Pinterest and the latest Google Image Search changes. In my opinion as a blogger and photographer, anyone putting a photo online anywhere should use a watermark. Like everything you put out into the world, your watermark represents your brand. Use it with style.
What is a watermark?
In photography, a watermark is a recognizable icon or text on a photo to identify the original owner or photographer.
Just because you have a watermark on a photo, doesn’t protect your image from someone taking it or from a client printing and framing it. But it can be a great way to let potential clients know who took the photo.
A watermark can make or break your brand.
If you have amazing photos, but a horrible watermark, all eyes will go to your ugly watermark first and your talent last.
Simple is best.
If your watermark is huge, busy and practically over someone’s face, do you really think your client will want to share that image with their friends? I have been told by several people that they would never show anyone the photos their photographer sent to them to share with friends because of the tacky watermark.
This is a great example of what a a famous photo would look like with an ugly watermark.
A watermark is not the place to promote your logo.
You are promoting your brand through your photography, not your logo. Do you really think someone hires you based on your logo? My guess is they hire you based on you and your photography talent.
This goes back to last week’s branding tips, 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Branding Your Photography Business. Does your watermark match your brand? If you missed the first part of this tutorial series, and unsure about your brand, I highly suggest you bookmark this page and start at the beginning.
Three different ways to use a watermark with style.
1. Screen an image over the photo.
If you go with this style of watermark, be sure to size it appropriately. Think of placement as well. If you are putting a large watermark over the entire image because you are worried about someone stealing your photo, then you should think about registering the copyright before ever putting it online. Unfortunately, now with social media and photo sharing, the only way to fully protect a photo is to not put it online.
2. Use text only.
Using text is my personal favorite way to use a watermark. I like to use my URL so people can find me online.
3. Add copyright information and website URL under the photo.
This is a great option for when you don’t have a good placement for a watermark or just can’t stand them in general. Sure someone can easily crop out this type of watermark, but anyone with good knowledge of Photoshop can do the same with a watermark on the photo.
How do you feel about watermarks on photos?
Amy Locurto, Co-Founder of I Heart Faces, is a graphic designer and entrepreneur. She publishes LivingLocurto.com, a lifestyle blog focused on crafts and parties along with designing party collections in her shop, Printables by Amy.
Amy recently launched a new signature product line Party with Amy Locurto. Her collections include paper products and embellishments for parties, card making, crafts and scrapbooking.
Amy collaborates with companies on creative content, working with brands as Matthew Mead Productions, Michaels Stores, FedEx Office, Reader’s Digest, Disney, Parents Magazine, The Pioneer Woman, American Crafts, Best Buy and more.