I was wondering what to do about watermarking my photos. I have not done it yet, but I have been thinking about it more lately. I have been finding that as more people ‘share’ my photo’s, its kind of starting to bother me a little, which seems kind of strange, because at first it didn’t bother me at all. Since I have no illusions that my photos are anything but beginner level, does it really matter? What do you all think??

24 thoughts on “Watermarking

  1. I think…it’s all up to you. 🙂 For me, it never matters at all, only because I have no plans to do anything with my photos, but that’s just me. If you plan on doing something with your photos at some point, then it might be a good idea I guess.

  2. To be honest it’s really about your belief in your own work. The ultimate decision is yours but I think you should for all sorts of reasons, this just being one of them. Ultimately, if you discover somebody has used your imagery (for whatever) and you would like some credit or payment or whatever, it would be pretty difficult for them to disprove your ownership. All digital photos are stamped with various pieces of info like date, time, f/stop, iso rating etc. As long as you keep the original file that data will always remain intact.
    So really if you have some pride in your work – and you should because I’ve seen some stunning stuff here – then by all means stamp it. Mark it as yours because I feel it says something about you. i.e. ‘this is mine’ or ‘I made this’ or ‘this is my creation’. Keep up the great work.

    • PhotoCrazy- sorry to disappoint you but metadata (the file information you speak of) is very easy to stripe from a digital image file. In fact it is easier to strip an image of the metadata than it is the clean up a watermark sometimes. It depends on the size and placement of the watermark.

      Professionally speaking, you are not required to have a watermark for your images to be copyrighted. They are your as soon as you create them. However, if you ever wanted to sue someone over misuse of your image(s), having that image watermarked with your copyright would go a long way to helping your case.

      As for preference, I think it is always a great REMINDER to the general public that just because an image is out there and available on the internet does not mean that it is theirs to take and use without permission.

      • Sorry, I suppose I should’ve been clearer. I did say ‘…As long as you keep the original file that data will always remain intact…’ and it would be very difficult for someone to access your original file so your proof of origin should be intact.
        You’re right, copyright is always vested in the originator (whatever you originate). It cannot be sold, or changed, ever. I do a great deal of image doctoring in my business and the files I create are of course my copyright. However if elements of my creation are from someone else then that element remains their copyright, I can never claim it as mine.
        I think it is therefore a matter of choice and I always watermark my images. If for no other reason than your last point (as a REMINDER) which is a very good point indee, well put.

      • Excellent comment! Coypright does exist from the moment of creation, and no watermark or copyright mark is required. Even if metadata is erased from an image of yours that someone uses, you will still have the original and be able to prove the image is yours. Unfortunately, copyright disputes can become costly, and the more effort you put into protecting yourself “up front” the less expensive (and involved) a dispute is likely to become if one ever arises. You have to decide what your creative work is worth to you, and worth is not always calculated in terms of money. At the very least, reminders about copyright are worth posting with your creative work if you are concerned about what others are doing with your work. Again, you have to decide what your creative work is worth to you, and what by terms that worth is defined. 🙂

  3. I am not a professional photographer, but someday I would maybe like to do something with some my pictures, so I do watermark them. It doesn’t always stop someone from taking your picture, since they can always crop the watermark; although, you can place the watermark directly on the picture, but that kind of defeats the purpose of displaying your picture.
    I use this free watermark website at http://picmarkr.com/ It isn’t the nicest, but it does the job & it is fairly easy to use.
    Hope this helps 🙂

  4. watermarks can be photo shopped out but I think in part it depends where they are sharing your pics on sites like pinterest it is not to bad as it leads people back here to you if they are going round fb though I would do it as two or three shares down the line no one knows who took the original pics i dont know if you follow http://tracielouisephotography.net/ she has a really elegant logo on hers. I think sharing is only a really bad thing if they are not giving you the credit for the amazing images

    • Thank youy Paula, I do follow Tracie Louise, and I have only had it happen to me twice, recently, where my pics were shared without credit. But it did bother me! I will check out her watermark, I want mine to be pretty!

  5. Hi Lyndamichele, beautiful images! I’ve just started a bird photography blog and couldn’t decide either. I decided to do it after a professional said he was sick of people stealing amateur images instead of buying from professionals. I also think it helps people find us if an image is shared and they’d like to look at more of our work.

    • Thank you! I took a look at your birds, they are beautiful, I love bird photography! I think I am going to start off with Picmrkr, until I can get a really nice one customized – also to figure out how to do it! Not my strong suit!

    • Thanks Eileen! I found a free site called picmrkr, you can download pics and mark them, its pretty easy, but its a pretty plain mark, I think you may need photo shop or another program to get a really pretty customized one, which is what I eventually want. I think I will stick to picmrkr for now, though.

      • I have photoshop and I don’t like it. it’s way too complicated. I can’t even figure out how to just load 1 picture. It loads EVERY photo I have each time I open the program… I know I’m just not using it correctly. I’m going to try picmarkr..

        Next family party, I bring the wine, you bring your camera. I’ll finally have decent pictures on my blog!
        Cheers Lynda!

  6. I stick my name on all mine. It will take somebody concious effort to remove my name and in doing so they must know they are doing something immoral as well as illegal. Sure there’s various tell tale in the digital background, but a viewer won’t see that unless they choose to look for it.

    • Thank you – I think I am going to start as well, as I have recently had a few shots ‘shared’ without credit – (not on wordpress ) and I think you’re right, it would have to be an intentional removal of the watermark.

  7. If you choose to do it, which I don’t, make it an inconspicuous as possible. Otherwise, you’re detracting from your work.

    Be sure the EXIF data contains your copyright claim and website. It can be erased, but better to have it there. Any decent photo editing package will allow you to add this.

  8. This is something that I’ve been wondering about too for a while. I don’t watermark my photos as I find it can detract from the image. Making it inconspicuous helps – but then also defeats the purpose as it can easily be removed. At the moment I rely on stating my images are copyright with every post and only upload relatively small low resolution files. It’s a tricky one!

    • It is tricky! I agree that it can detract from the image. I will try it out and see how I feel about it, I think. I had a few images ‘shared’ without credit recently on FB, it was a weird feeling!

    • thank you Rachael, I’m kind of torn about it. I did try to mark just a few to see how it went, it was a free site called picmrkr – it was kind of a pain anyway. I will take a look at you link! Thanks again 🙂

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