How many Photographers Watermark their Images? [POLL RESULTS] - Digital Photography School

How many Photographers Watermark their Images? [POLL RESULTS]

Last month in our poll we asked our community about whether they watermark their images when sharing them online. The results were fairly split.

Screen shot 2010-08-31 at 4.48.46 PM.png

So it seems that half of our readers watermark their images – at least some times – but quite a few never do.

Note: if we take out the 7% who don’t share images online we are left with 46% who never watermark their images and 54% who do – at least part of the time.

Interested to hear some discussion in comments below on ‘why’ you do (or don’t) and ‘how’ you do it (if you do).?

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • janine

    I never thought pirating images was a concern for me – until I noticed a photo of mine uploaded to a friend’s FB. Unfortunately people don’t always ask. Makes me wonder how many images are spirited away to appear somewhere else for whatever purpose.

    My images are rarely ‘snappy’ shots. I feel that watermarking at least acknowledges the creativity and creator of photographs. It doesn’t stop piracy, but should someone copy my work, my watermarked images can be traced back to me!

  • Mike Jackson

    maybe it would be good for DPS to publish an article of why would anyone watermark their photos and what is the best method for doing that.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarra_lee/ Tea

    I always use watermark.
    I agree that sometimes, it can become a sore to the image’s entire look and it is why you need to work with it to make your water mark one with the shot in a way that people see it’s there but NEVER to overpower the composition instead. I do change colors and tones of my watermark to work with the colors and tones of the shot. plus….there is always a perfect spot & font size for it, and to me…it is never the same spot & font size all the time. Again, it has to work with the whole image…sometimes, to compliment the image itself and never to steal the scene. Truth is…I have received a couple favorable comments regarding on how I work with my watermark =)…so i guess, it’s good ;-)

  • Egon Jensen, Denmark

    If you really want your name attacked to the picture without destroying the motif, then don’t do it on the picture, but in the Exif data.
    On my Nikon D700 you can add your name in the camera setup menu and you can do it in many Canon cameras as well.
    Just try if it’s possible in your camera.

  • Egon Jensen, Denmark

    If you really want your name attacked to the picture without destroying the motif, then don’t do it on the picture, but in the Exif data.
    On my Nikon D700 I can add my name in the camera setup menu and you can do it in many Canon cameras as well.
    Just try if it’s possible in your camera.

  • http://captincroc.tk Andy

    @egon jensen: Great idea, I shall see if I can.

  • http://www.patrickbowman.com/ Los Angeles Photographer Patrick Bowman

    Exif data is even less meaningful than watermarking. It is MUCH easier to strip the meta data than it is to remove the watermark. There is no way to protect your photographs from being stolen aside from not sharing them on the internet. All you can do is retain the original raw file to prove it is yours.

  • PD

    I don’t watermark for one simple reason… don’t know how!!!
    Sad I know, but I don’t even have the time to sit down and figure it out… anyone care to share their expertise??? :)

  • http://www.traveltipsbyingrid.com Ingrid

    Currently the photos I have on my site are not watermarked – they are nothing special- but I am going to add a photo album as people are asking to take copies of my current photos – to my amazement.
    I know how to watermark but what programme is best to use to remove watermarks when people have brought them. I intent to use ‘add to cart’ and connect it to Paypal.
    Any tips, advise will be so much appreciated.
    Thanks
    If you visit my website you will get a better idea what I,m getting at.
    http://www.traveltipsbyingrid.com or email inbakcol@gmail.com

  • CG Snipe

    I only share my photos on Facebook, so I don’t watermark. FB strips everything down to such a low resolution, that if people want to try and steal it, they’re welcome to it. I never post high-res images online, so I don’t feel the need to watermark.

  • Francisco B. Maciel

    Against all odds, Patrick Bowman says the essential terms nowadays: “retain the original raw file to prove it is yours”.

  • http://bettesphotography.weebly.com Bette Newman

    I am working on my website and not familiar with watermarks. I do want all my photos to have a watermark after reading some of the comments I know for sure I want to.
    No being computer wizard I am not sure how to go about getting a watermark on my prints. In my instruction book for Adobe Photoshop CS3 they indicate to go to a website Digimark.com. to get the watermark and registor.
    I thought it would be alot easier to do , any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you
    Bette

  • Ruth Lyons

    After reading all the comments, I think Mike Jackson’s is pertinent. He said, “Maybe it would be good for DPS to publish an article of why would anyone watermark their photos and what is the best method for doing that.”

  • http://tschantz.myexpose.com/ Sue

    Sometimes I do, but I only post small files, too small to be of use to others. When I put something on my blog, that I will watermark if I am going to upload a larger file

  • http://teejavus.daportfolio.com teejavus

    well i ain’t a professional, but one day i would like to venture out into the field… after some of my work (mainly potraits) got used by others and not credited for, i decided to put a big watermark in the center at 4-5% visibility, which i started hating in few days,

    now i just add my name and the year at right bottom corner, though if i am giving them as prints, or gifting them, i am likely to put up a border and add the signature there…

  • seymor

    how does one make water mark?

  • http://need-a-photo.webs.com/ Rebecca Anne Grant

    To me, the bottom line is… if you consider yourself a professional or a professional want-to-be, and you think your images have a real chance at making any money at all, but you can’t afford to prosecute, then watermark your images if you’re going to put them on display online. A copyright in the right bottom corner is not enough anymore. It can be removed. Just think for a minute. What if someone stole your image and placed it in a contest somewhere as their own, and this person won say $1,000. for that photo and received credit in a big magizine or even on TV? What would you think about it then? It’s your image, but you didn’t protect it and you still can’t afford to prosecute. You would be very sorry. I can see why some do not register for a legal copyright liceanse. It gets very expensive if you do that for all your wonderful images. But, I can’t see why someone would not want to take the time to protect what is rightfully theirs. It does not in any way take away from the beauty of an image. It just tells the viewer, “Hey, I know my work is professional enough that you would be willing to pay for it!” And, it also tells those trying to steal your work, “Hey, I’m not your average amateur photographer!” Is that such a bad thing to say about yourself or your work? I think not! For those who do not know how to watermark your images… it is done with software like Photoshop, PhotoStudio and other photo altering softwares. Most do cost, but Google does have a free version called, “Picasa” for windows XP, Vista, and 7. You can download it for free here: http://picasa.google.com/#utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-google&utm_medium=ha&utm_term=free%20photo%20software

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=467607&l=0bbd70ea33&id=100000481664538

  • FCANONIAN

    I believe those who did not get robbed, never felt the anger of seeing a picture of yours used somewhere without your authorization or consent.
    I watermark my pictures on the image and in the Exif too.

  • sherwin

    i will in case i have super nice pics. for not so good, i won’t put watermarks.. that would just embarrass me.

  • Joe

    HI!, before my interest on photography I don´t even know what watermark was, but know when can say I know a litlle bit more and study people opinions about my photos, I started to do it… But I’m looking for a software to do it better, can you recommend one?

  • http://photos.tnani.com aziz

    As I said earlier, I use MuchoThumbs for watermarking and a lot of other things like resizing, thumbnailing, … but it works only on Macs, check it out at http://muchosoft.com

  • shariq

    how do you water mark the photos

  • Amy

    I often watermark my photos, just want to let people know the original author of them. It is a good and efficient way to brand my pictures with a handy watermark tool. http://www.watermark-software.com/batch-watermark.html

  • NYCshutter

    If your market is the tasteless and it’s therefore important for you to advertise your lack of taste, you MUST watermark your images, preferably in a script font or comic sans. Otherwise people might mistake you for a professional.

Some older comments

  • Amy

    August 23, 2013 04:43 pm

    I often watermark my photos, just want to let people know the original author of them. It is a good and efficient way to brand my pictures with a handy watermark tool. http://www.watermark-software.com/batch-watermark.html

  • shariq

    October 19, 2010 09:33 pm

    how do you water mark the photos

  • aziz

    September 27, 2010 06:42 pm

    As I said earlier, I use MuchoThumbs for watermarking and a lot of other things like resizing, thumbnailing, ... but it works only on Macs, check it out at http://muchosoft.com

  • Joe

    September 27, 2010 09:23 am

    HI!, before my interest on photography I don´t even know what watermark was, but know when can say I know a litlle bit more and study people opinions about my photos, I started to do it... But I'm looking for a software to do it better, can you recommend one?

  • sherwin

    September 25, 2010 11:04 am

    i will in case i have super nice pics. for not so good, i won't put watermarks.. that would just embarrass me.

  • FCANONIAN

    September 23, 2010 10:25 am

    I believe those who did not get robbed, never felt the anger of seeing a picture of yours used somewhere without your authorization or consent.
    I watermark my pictures on the image and in the Exif too.

  • Rebecca Anne Grant

    September 22, 2010 04:18 pm

    To me, the bottom line is... if you consider yourself a professional or a professional want-to-be, and you think your images have a real chance at making any money at all, but you can't afford to prosecute, then watermark your images if you're going to put them on display online. A copyright in the right bottom corner is not enough anymore. It can be removed. Just think for a minute. What if someone stole your image and placed it in a contest somewhere as their own, and this person won say $1,000. for that photo and received credit in a big magizine or even on TV? What would you think about it then? It's your image, but you didn't protect it and you still can't afford to prosecute. You would be very sorry. I can see why some do not register for a legal copyright liceanse. It gets very expensive if you do that for all your wonderful images. But, I can't see why someone would not want to take the time to protect what is rightfully theirs. It does not in any way take away from the beauty of an image. It just tells the viewer, "Hey, I know my work is professional enough that you would be willing to pay for it!" And, it also tells those trying to steal your work, "Hey, I'm not your average amateur photographer!" Is that such a bad thing to say about yourself or your work? I think not! For those who do not know how to watermark your images... it is done with software like Photoshop, PhotoStudio and other photo altering softwares. Most do cost, but Google does have a free version called, "Picasa" for windows XP, Vista, and 7. You can download it for free here: http://picasa.google.com/#utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-google&utm_medium=ha&utm_term=free%20photo%20software

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=467607&l=0bbd70ea33&id=100000481664538

  • seymor

    September 20, 2010 11:16 pm

    how does one make water mark?

  • teejavus

    September 20, 2010 02:57 pm

    well i ain't a professional, but one day i would like to venture out into the field... after some of my work (mainly potraits) got used by others and not credited for, i decided to put a big watermark in the center at 4-5% visibility, which i started hating in few days,

    now i just add my name and the year at right bottom corner, though if i am giving them as prints, or gifting them, i am likely to put up a border and add the signature there...

  • Sue

    September 20, 2010 12:08 pm

    Sometimes I do, but I only post small files, too small to be of use to others. When I put something on my blog, that I will watermark if I am going to upload a larger file

  • Ruth Lyons

    September 20, 2010 05:54 am

    After reading all the comments, I think Mike Jackson's is pertinent. He said, "Maybe it would be good for DPS to publish an article of why would anyone watermark their photos and what is the best method for doing that."

  • Bette Newman

    September 19, 2010 11:59 pm

    I am working on my website and not familiar with watermarks. I do want all my photos to have a watermark after reading some of the comments I know for sure I want to.
    No being computer wizard I am not sure how to go about getting a watermark on my prints. In my instruction book for Adobe Photoshop CS3 they indicate to go to a website Digimark.com. to get the watermark and registor.
    I thought it would be alot easier to do , any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you
    Bette

  • Francisco B. Maciel

    September 19, 2010 11:57 pm

    Against all odds, Patrick Bowman says the essential terms nowadays: "retain the original raw file to prove it is yours".

  • CG Snipe

    September 19, 2010 12:10 pm

    I only share my photos on Facebook, so I don't watermark. FB strips everything down to such a low resolution, that if people want to try and steal it, they're welcome to it. I never post high-res images online, so I don't feel the need to watermark.

  • Ingrid

    September 19, 2010 11:43 am

    Currently the photos I have on my site are not watermarked - they are nothing special- but I am going to add a photo album as people are asking to take copies of my current photos - to my amazement.
    I know how to watermark but what programme is best to use to remove watermarks when people have brought them. I intent to use 'add to cart' and connect it to Paypal.
    Any tips, advise will be so much appreciated.
    Thanks
    If you visit my website you will get a better idea what I,m getting at.
    www.traveltipsbyingrid.com or email inbakcol@gmail.com

  • PD

    September 19, 2010 10:44 am

    I don't watermark for one simple reason... don't know how!!!
    Sad I know, but I don't even have the time to sit down and figure it out... anyone care to share their expertise??? :)

  • Los Angeles Photographer Patrick Bowman

    September 19, 2010 04:40 am

    Exif data is even less meaningful than watermarking. It is MUCH easier to strip the meta data than it is to remove the watermark. There is no way to protect your photographs from being stolen aside from not sharing them on the internet. All you can do is retain the original raw file to prove it is yours.

  • Andy

    September 19, 2010 04:03 am

    @egon jensen: Great idea, I shall see if I can.

  • Egon Jensen, Denmark

    September 19, 2010 04:00 am

    If you really want your name attacked to the picture without destroying the motif, then don't do it on the picture, but in the Exif data.
    On my Nikon D700 I can add my name in the camera setup menu and you can do it in many Canon cameras as well.
    Just try if it's possible in your camera.

  • Egon Jensen, Denmark

    September 19, 2010 03:59 am

    If you really want your name attacked to the picture without destroying the motif, then don't do it on the picture, but in the Exif data.
    On my Nikon D700 you can add your name in the camera setup menu and you can do it in many Canon cameras as well.
    Just try if it's possible in your camera.

  • Tea

    September 19, 2010 01:34 am

    I always use watermark.
    I agree that sometimes, it can become a sore to the image's entire look and it is why you need to work with it to make your water mark one with the shot in a way that people see it's there but NEVER to overpower the composition instead. I do change colors and tones of my watermark to work with the colors and tones of the shot. plus....there is always a perfect spot & font size for it, and to me...it is never the same spot & font size all the time. Again, it has to work with the whole image...sometimes, to compliment the image itself and never to steal the scene. Truth is...I have received a couple favorable comments regarding on how I work with my watermark =)...so i guess, it's good ;-)

  • Mike Jackson

    September 18, 2010 11:21 pm

    maybe it would be good for DPS to publish an article of why would anyone watermark their photos and what is the best method for doing that.

  • janine

    September 18, 2010 08:29 pm

    I never thought pirating images was a concern for me - until I noticed a photo of mine uploaded to a friend's FB. Unfortunately people don't always ask. Makes me wonder how many images are spirited away to appear somewhere else for whatever purpose.

    My images are rarely 'snappy' shots. I feel that watermarking at least acknowledges the creativity and creator of photographs. It doesn't stop piracy, but should someone copy my work, my watermarked images can be traced back to me!

  • michael

    September 18, 2010 02:51 pm

    Interesting discussion... The Geneva convention protects us legally, but pursuing violators could easily become a full-time - and unproductive - job. The best solution seems to be publishing small versions of your pictures with your tag (signature) in the lower right corner so people know who to contact for the hi-res version. It seems like a standard part of the workflow to complete the EXIF metadata for every image you shoot.

  • Photomom

    September 18, 2010 08:09 am

    I started watermarking my photos after they were published, in print and online, and someone else was given the photo credit.

  • TheresaZ

    September 18, 2010 07:48 am

    Nicely Put -

    Will McA Says:
    September 12th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I think the problem is, or at least the problem I have on flickr with comments people make about my watermark is: people assume that just because you watermark your images you must be both paranoid and also have a high opinion of yourself because you are assuming everyone wants your photos.

    I think of it in the same way as locking the door to my house when I go out. I’m not paranoid but I don’t want to refuse to take the most basic of precautions. I don’t lose sleep over thinking people are trying to steal my photos, but at the same time if there is a basic way of protecting against casual theft and also helping to get my name out there I will do it.

    Also it’s nice to have your own name on your work, aesthetically pleasing even because you know people won’t read the text accompanying it saying who I am and where you can see more of my work, but if it’s on the image they will see it.

    It’s the same as artists signing their paintings, it’s something painters have always done and the signature is even seen as a object of value in itself. I think one day we will look upon watermarks in the same way.

  • Todd Beltz

    September 18, 2010 03:42 am

    What's the point in watermarking your image? If someone wants to steal your image, they will do so regardless if you have a watermark or not. In my experience some ad agencies find it unprofessional if you watermark your images and I also feel having a watermark is distracting and takes away from the image. If you are scared of your image being stolen then it shouldn't be displayed online. I find that putting up an image of less than 200kb will usually not result in theft as it's to small to do anything with.

  • Amy Barker

    September 18, 2010 03:28 am

    If I post them on my blog or facebook I watermark them (and I use Paint Shop Pro) but if they go on my business website then I don't. I use SmugMug and with the right clicking disabled I don't need to watermark, however, with SmugMug you can watermark using their website if you're a pro customer. They also give you the option to put a small watermark on your prints when they are ordered, which I plan on doing, I just haven't set it up yet.

  • Amy Barker

    September 18, 2010 03:27 am

    If I post them on my blog or facebook I watermark them (and I use Paint Shop Pro) but if they go on my business website then I don't. I use SmugMug and with the right clicking disabled I don't need to watermark, however, with SmugMug you can watermark using their website if you're a pro customer. They also give you the option to put a small watermark on your prints when they are ordered, which I plan on doing, I just haven't set it up yet.

  • steve shannon

    September 18, 2010 02:59 am

    Watermarks will always have their pros & cons. THE PHOTOGRAPHER (and MODEL) DESERVES A BETTER WAY to protect the product of their work. IT'S TIME FOR THE CAMERA & EDITING S/W GEEKS to come up with
    a way to protect our images. My camera, printer, scanner and computer all have a unique code embedded in their program. I have to enter a "password" to open my computer, as well as some of the programs on it. Many web sites also require one.

    We have codes for everything from soup to nuts and the kitchen sink. Bar Codes identify everything. My point being, HOW HARD COULD IT BE for the industry big boys to come up with a way to embed a code in our images?

    Example: I should be able to enter a "password" into my editing program to open it. That "code" is then embedded
    in the edited images and I "sign" the images in an unobstructive way. Now anyone can view the images
    BUT CAN NOT OPEN THE IMAGES FOR EDITING.

    Lets say my e-mail address is the an embedded "CODE" and when ever someone opens the images their e-mail opens with the image attached. They can then choose to ask permission or not to use the image. I get an e-mail identifying them. If I decide to let them use the image I enter my "CODE" which allows them to copy but not edit it.

    This would not "stop" the problem but would make it much more difficult. The BIG QUESTION is: How do we the
    end users of their products get them motivated to do it?

  • Ginger Johnson

    September 18, 2010 02:56 am

    Interesting take on things. I am one that always puts my name in a corner in script, so that people know I took it. As for those that say, pros don't do it... not true at least in some venues. Johnny Johnston is a very famous Arabian horse photographer, who charges thousands for a session -- if you can get on this schedule) and every single picture carries his name. Along with Scott Trees, Rob Hess and Stuart Vesty, or at least they use. Their names were also on the copies that were provided to the client.... it was a badge of honor to have a photograph of your horse taken by one of the greats.

    Interestingly enough, I noticed that some famous pictures featured in Johnston's book have had his name removed.

  • Egon Jensen, Denmark

    September 18, 2010 01:50 am

    Why watermark your photo.
    First of all, you are allready protected by copyrights.
    So it is in Denmark and isn't it so abroad?

    Next does it not make your picture better, and in most cases you can show your name beside, if that is the problem
    Egon

  • Ajgau1

    September 18, 2010 01:44 am

    I do it 'cause I want the viewers to know that it was me who took the picture...
    but I always place the watermark on the bottom right so it can be easily cropped, since I'm an amateur I'm hoping no one will steal it...

    I use adobe photoshopCS5 for watermarking by the way, I use the recoded actions so by just pressing 3 buttons my picture's will be re-sized, watermarked and saved...

  • Ruth Lyons

    September 18, 2010 01:44 am

    For me, photography is my art, one of several arts I create in, and as I would with anything I write, or music I compose, I sign my name on my photos. I add my name, date and copyright symbol discretely, in the bottom right hand corner; this is the same thing that artists have been doing for centuries.

    And yes, if someone really wants to steal it, they can and will. It sucks, but welcome to the digital world of the 21st C. Meanwhile, all of you, my fellow artists, inspire me to keep taking photos.

  • Ruth Lyons

    September 18, 2010 01:41 am

    For me, photography is my art, one of several arts I create in, and as I would with anything I write, or music I compose, I sign my name on my photos. I add my name, date and copyright symbol discretely, in the bottom right hand corner; this is the same thing that artists have been doing for centuries.

    And yes, if someone really wants to steal it, they can and will. It sucks, but welcome to the digital world of the 21st C. Meanwhile, all of you, my fellow artists, inspire me to keep taking photos.

  • Heather

    September 18, 2010 01:28 am

    Most of the comments I saw have to do with protecting the "creative" content of one's photographs. There are other valid reasons for watermarking, however. I know of a blogger who writes mostly about family life etc. and would often post pictures of his kids. One of the pictures he posted was picked up by a mainstream parenting magazine and used without his permission. I see watermarking as an effort to protect the content whether personal or professional.

  • Richard

    September 18, 2010 01:01 am

    I don't watermark my images but then again, like many others here, I do not make my living from my photography. I do know that my photographs are frequently found towards the top in a lot of search engine results for a wide variety of different things. This drives a lot of traffic to my blog and that's really what I want. I get pleasure out of simply being seen and read.

  • Nikki

    September 18, 2010 12:21 am

    I watermark to protect my photos. But I've heard this doesn't really help protect them after all. ?? I still do it just in case. I am currently using Picasa, but have used Picture Shark in the past. I'm interested in hearing some discussion on this topic.

  • digirebel

    September 18, 2010 12:15 am

    I am not a pro, though I do sell a few images here & there and have had my stuff used without permission and certainly not credited..And I am sorry but the whole if its online its fair game is bull..Its only fair game to those who seek something for nothing..and don't care about right & wrong..That being said, yes I do watermark my images if I post them up using a transparent mark so its not destroying the image viewing value but it reminds (the law abiding) that I own it, and if they want to use it they must ask me...Tis funny that of the ones I have caught, using my images without permission as soon as i give then the option of paying for continued usage or removing the image, how fast the image always (and I MEAN ALWAYS) comes down..apparently its good enough to steal but not good enough to pay for...not sure how I should fell about that...lol
    Ones of the ways I find out is to check my flickr stats and click on the images that people searched for and see what comes up in the search results...

  • Ceci

    September 17, 2010 11:55 pm

    I'm one of that 23% that always watermark my images - and it is a big honkin' watermark right in the middle. Why? If you think your images won't be stolen - whether you are a hobbyist or a professional - you are too naive for words.

    Just this week a supposed photographer from Atlanta, GA in the USA was caught posting photos taken by a photographer from Halifax, NS in Canada, replacing the watermark with her own and using the Cdn. photographer's work to solicit business for herself and claiming it as her own. Yes, Virginia - there's also a devil.

  • John

    September 17, 2010 11:50 pm

    I use Lightroom 3 and recently started using its watermark tool. It is just: John Mills | Photography small and fairly unobtrusive in the lower left corner. Photography is still a hobby for the most part although I have sold a few shots. So I use it watermarking more for free advertising than anything else. If I saw one of my shots on the cover of Time or something yeah I'd raise hell about it. But casual use online? I'd more consider it a compliment as long as I was given credit.

  • paolo

    September 17, 2010 10:32 pm

    just some advice (might have been stated earlier):

    1) do not upload high resolution copies of your pictures. I upload 480 x 320 (max would be 600 x 400). I realized that this size is just right for viewing flickr or facebook pics on the computer monitor. It's just annoying if you can't view the image all at once and have to scroll just to see the rest. If your image is too sharp, reduce the image quality a bit. On smaller sized images, reducing the quality by 10% is negligible. Thieves are usually after selling pictures. Nobody buys low resolution ones.

    2) As stated above, place a small text of your name, email address or flickr URL somewhere on the edges of the image. Apply some opacity on the text to make it less distracting.

  • Mei Teng

    September 15, 2010 08:50 pm

    I dislike watermarks right in the middle of images.

  • Mark Waters

    September 14, 2010 04:05 am

    The photographers who are not good enough to need watermarks always watermark their photographs, while those who are good enough to need watermarks never need to watermark their photographs.

  • Marc Kievits

    September 13, 2010 11:34 pm

    Put your name inside the pictures
    Always make sure that your EXIF information is filled with your name as Photographer. If you use a program to resize your pictures for web check the EXIF info if it’s part of the smaller picture.

    Two kinds of customers
    Found out that there are 2 kinds of people wanting pictures:
    -The ones that don't wanna pay, they settle with smaller watermarked pictures to share on social websites (like facebook and hyves)
    - The others that want a printed copy of the picture, they pay for it depending on the cost.

    Free advertisement!
    It actually rather fun to see pictures you made spread on the hyves and facebook profile pictures of your customers. Based on the watermark placement you can find your work rather quick. You make use of them as free advertisement !!!

    Placement of your logo
    One advice from me: If you are going to watermark your pictures create a small type of logo placed at a quarter inch (or .5 or 1 cm) from the bottom and center. So the essence from the picture is kept. If you make it too large or across the middle people walk away from your site (they do not buy)

    Myth Buster!
    And to blow a great myth away: You can protect your pictures from being copied.
    Answer: No, you can’t. All pictures (what is viewed) on your site can be copied.
    So don’t spend money on protecting them.

    Blocking the right mouse button (context menu) is simple, but remember that any browser first downloads all files from your webpage including the pictures you want to protect before they are being viewed locally.

    Even made in flash pictures can be copied using the “Prt scr”key and any image program to paste the result with watermark or without.

    You can’t stop them from trying to get your pictures, so let them have the smaller pictures with your logo or watermark in it. This is what I found out in the past.

  • Katia

    September 13, 2010 04:05 pm

    i would love to always watermark my images, but unfortunately it's just another extra step between uploading to the computer, and uploading to whatever site you're sharing them on.

    the reason i feel watermarks are important is because one day, to my surprise, i walked into somebody whom i knews house, and saw MANY of MY images hanging in a collage on their wall! needless to say, i was pretty pissed that they would "steal" my work without my permission at all. i guess they downloaded them from my blog, and had them printed at walmart. NOT COOL!

  • Will McA

    September 12, 2010 11:06 pm

    I think the problem is, or at least the problem I have on flickr with comments people make about my watermark is: people assume that just because you watermark your images you must be both paranoid and also have a high opinion of yourself because you are assuming everyone wants your photos.

    I think of it in the same way as locking the door to my house when I go out. I'm not paranoid but I don't want to refuse to take the most basic of precautions. I don't lose sleep over thinking people are trying to steal my photos, but at the same time if there is a basic way of protecting against casual theft and also helping to get my name out there I will do it.

    Also it's nice to have your own name on your work, aesthetically pleasing even because you know people won't read the text accompanying it saying who I am and where you can see more of my work, but if it's on the image they will see it.

    It's the same as artists signing their paintings, it's something painters have always done and the signature is even seen as a object of value in itself. I think one day we will look upon watermarks in the same way.

  • Will McA

    September 12, 2010 11:05 pm

    I think the problem is, or at least the problem I have on flickr with comments people make about my watermark is: people assume that just because you watermark your images you must be both paranoid and also have a high opinion of yourself because you are assuming everyone wants your photos.

    I think of it in the same way as locking the door to my house when I go out. I'm not paranoid but I don't want to refuse to take the most basic of precautions. I don't lose sleep over thinking people are trying to steal my photos, but at the same time if there is a basic way of protecting against casual theft and also helping to get my name out there I will do it.

    Also it's nice to have your own name on your work, aesthetically pleasing even because you know people won't read the text accompanying it saying who I am and where you can see more of my work, but if it's on the image they will see it.

    It's the same as artists signing their paintings, it's something painters have always done and the signature is even seen as a object of value in itself. I think one day we will look upon watermarks in the same way.

  • Chris

    September 12, 2010 11:29 am

    A wise man once said to me: "Locks are for honest thieves"

    I think a wise man told him that and he was passing it down to me.

    Moral of the story is that if you will lose sleep worrying about your work being stolen then don't share it. I sleep at night and share my work.

    The joy of sharing far outweighs my fear of my work being used elsewhere.

  • cam

    September 12, 2010 09:41 am

    watermarking is tacky. especially when you're an amateur and your photos aren't that great. when i see a generic photo that is seen in millions of places, i think, wow, good thing you watermarked that one!

  • Ron

    September 12, 2010 08:20 am

    I don't post anything on line that I don't want taken. No matter what technical means you use to protect your photographs, if they are on the web they can be taken and put to what ever use the thief chooses. Water marks can be removed or cropped out. Currently there are none of my photographs on line. Some of them I place a high value on and as a result will never be posted to the web. If I ever decide to post any of my work on the web, I think photo registration isa better tool in the long run. If I do ever post any of my work on the web, how I choose what to post will be dictated by the assumption that it will get taken with out my permission.

  • Mark A. Chartrand

    September 12, 2010 05:56 am

    If it is not part of the photograph, it doesn't belong on the photograph. Your name could be properly placed on a mat surrounding the photograph. Any advertising (studio name, web address, logo, etc.) would be better placed on the back of the photograph.

  • Syn

    September 12, 2010 02:50 am

    I never watermark; I thought about it for awhile, but it really detracts from the photo. If you're really concerned about being able to prove it's your photo, you can always embed your information in the photo; you having the original photo alone is all you'd need to prove it's yours.

    I'm not overly concerned with my photo "showing up on a bus in new york".

    I do sell photo's and it just doesn't bug me.

  • Nathan Nkhoma

    September 12, 2010 01:43 am

    I don't usually watermark my images because i feel that i am taking away from my works originality if i deface it with a watermark. what i do is tag my photo DATA that i get from my canon DSLR with my name. so all my work has my name embedded in the Image's Digital DATA. we live in a digital world its about time with take advantage of the perks.

  • fromBrandon

    September 12, 2010 01:21 am

    I watermark mine simply so people will be able to trace the photos back to me. I gave up caring about copyright issues, but I personally get frustrated when I see a beautiful picture I like and can't find out who the photographer was. So, I try to put a little watermark in the corner of most (not all) of my images so that people will be able to trace it back to me if they like.

  • Amber

    September 11, 2010 11:25 pm

    I haven't watermarked any of my images because honestly, I'm not sure how to do it, I just started using lightroom and if anyone has any tips on how to use it for a watermark I would really appreciate it !!

  • Harsh Singh

    September 11, 2010 09:05 am

    I photograph models, so when I put their pics up I always drop the resolution, add text to the pic and watermark and set the meta data when sharing the pics online. I give the models non watermarked low res pics so they can use them in their portfolio.

    If you have a wonderful shot then I recommend you watermark it. Watermarking is up to you, if you just want to share then by all means, but if you are in the business then do watermark them; ALWAYS. =)

  • ElDavid

    September 11, 2010 03:38 am

    I use the Faststone Photo Resizer. Love it.

  • Jordan GIllespie

    September 11, 2010 01:12 am

    Personally I don't usually post my photos on the web for mass consumption, they are there for the enjoyment of my family and friends. I don't see any need to watermark for just family and friends. If others want to use my images that I've posted to share with others, they are welcome to do so. I find watermarks to be distracting and distasteful. The largest I ever post a photo anyways is 800x600 and if someone intends to use my image for any purpose other than enjoying it, they will be hard pressed to do so at 800x600. Watermarks are not really needed.

  • Jordan GIllespie

    September 10, 2010 03:07 pm

    Personally I don't usually post my photos on the web for mass consumption, they are there for the enjoyment of my family and friends. I don't see any need to watermark for just family and friends. If others want to use my images that I've posted to share with others, they are welcome to do so. I find watermarks to be distracting and distasteful. The largest I ever post a photo anyways is 800x600 and if someone intends to use my image for any purpose other than enjoying it, they will be hard pressed to do so at 800x600. Watermarks are not really needed.

  • chris

    September 10, 2010 07:13 pm

    I answered "yes" but I use Digital watermarking (Digimarc) rather than a tag that anyone can remove, anyway. I do it out of curiosity as to who thinks my images are worth nicking/borrowing/re-purposing(Or whatever phrase you would like to use for stealing)
    Not many people do. Maybe my shots just aren't worth stealing! Maybe that's the lesson!

  • chris

    September 10, 2010 07:12 pm

    I answered "yes" but I use Digital watermarking (Digimarc) rather than a tag that anyone can remove, anyway. I do it out of curiosity as to who thinks my images are worth nicking/borrowing/re-purposing(Or whatever phrase you would like to use for stealing)
    Not many people do. Maybe my shots just aren't worth stealing! Maybe that's the lesson!

  • Marti Mefford

    September 10, 2010 07:03 pm

    These comments have been so helpful. I'm an amateur, working hard on moving to the next level. I value everyone's perspective and I'm in the process of developing a watermark.

  • victor luis

    September 10, 2010 02:03 pm

    I personally watermark all my photos no matter what.

  • George L Smyth

    September 10, 2010 12:52 pm

    Watermarks destroy the image. They are distracting and not part of what I am trying to do.

    I like to make believe that my images are so valuable that someone will steal them and make a lot of money. In my dreams this happens and I find out, allowing me to figure out how to actually make money from my photography. In real life, if someone actually can make money from my photography, then instead of stealing it they can work with me and really cash in.

  • Los Angeles Photographer Patrick Bowman

    September 10, 2010 09:27 am

    "to add insult to injury these were not just pro shots he had taken they were images of his children! I guess that gives a very good reason to watermark?"

    lol those photos are already watermarked with his children. Regardless, like I said earlier, if he has the raw file that is proof enough. I hope he sues this chain and wins an epic amount of money. I would be furious in his position.

  • Landon McAllister

    September 10, 2010 07:11 am

    Unobtrusively marking images in corner makes sense, but the over-the-top marks covering the center destroy the imagery and do little more than display paranoia. Can you imagine a "watermark" plastered across the middle of the Mona Lisa or a piece of statuary. We are artists. Act like it!

  • David

    September 10, 2010 06:28 am

    Erm yeah!
    most of my most valuable images don't find their way 'on line' as they are specific 'commissions' and they obviously don't get watermarked at all.
    When was the last time you saw a car advert on a billboard with the photographers name on it? Never!

    I am never that bothered about people 'stealing' my photos partly because the images I upload are such low res that they would never be of use in the off line world an after all there are so many images out there that people can use for free, I sometimes use free images produced by others in my blog articles but will ALWAYS make sure that I have permission & where possible I link the image back to the original source.

    I do think that registering images, where you have ones that you seriously are concerned about, is a better way forward, I have set an account up with https://www.imagerights.com/ Image Rights, they offer a free account option, they will track down your images if they are displayed elsewhere on the web leaving you to choose your course of action.

    It is a great service, and it works, coz I have tested it ;) cant say how because thats top secret!

    Personally I feel that a discreet watermark, web address being more important than name, does no harm to most picture so am not adverse to it more from the point of view of driving traffic back to my own website than for security of images.

    I do know a photographer who had some of his images stolen and used. without his permission, as canvas prints which were stocked in a large multi national chain, to add insult to injury these were not just pro shots he had taken they were images of his children! I guess that gives a very good reason to watermark? Generally I dont display photos of my kids anywhere other than Facebook & only my friends can see them so not an issue to me.

  • simon bunting

    September 10, 2010 05:32 am

    Wow that's interesting I thought a lot more people would watermark their photographs!

  • Will McA

    September 10, 2010 03:57 am

    I watermark all my photos online, nothing obtrusive, just my name and web address in the bottom left corner.

    I do get some stick from photographers who make comments like the one above mine, or on my flickr claiming that I must have a high opinion of myself to think people will steal my photos or that watermarking is against the spirit of the internet/photography as a whole.

    My response is simple, if you are so rolling in cash that it's no skin off your nose should someone steal your photos then that's fine, just don't project your lifestyle choices onto me.

    I don't go over the top and put a massive watermark right across the middle and no, I don't assume everyone is stealing my photos, but the point is, if someone does see a photo of mine and decide to use it without contacting me to check it's OK, at least I get free advertising from them.

    A lot of those who are 'stealing' photos from flickr are bloggers, and many of them think nothing of right clicking on 'blog this'. But as amateurish as their attitude may be, many of them are also earning a little money from their blog through advertising, and it would irritate me somewhat if someone was able to earn more money through using my photo than I was.

  • Los Angeles Photographer Patrick Bowman

    September 10, 2010 03:28 am

    I really don't see too much point in adding a watermark to my online images. I can remove the watermark of nearly any image I see on the web and so can anyone willing to steal your photographs. For those who can't; what are they really using it for? Desktop wallpaper? I would hardly call that a theft but a compliment to your work that you will never receive.

    I think a better solution is to lower the size of your photographs but I am still experimenting with this :)

    The bottom line is regardless of what you do if someone wants to steal your photograph they will. You ought to be archiving your RAW/PSD/Tiff files anyways so you will always have proof of origination.

  • Everett K Tipton

    September 10, 2010 03:27 am

    I have a question those of you that have found your pictures being used without your permission, where have you found your pictures websites or publications?

  • Ashley

    September 10, 2010 03:12 am

    I predominantly use deviantArt, so I have a few options when I submit a photo. I watermark images that I'm selling, but for my purely art photos I just disable the ability for people to download them.

  • B

    September 10, 2010 02:24 am

    Of all of the really top-notch, impressive, influential, iconic photos I've seen online, exactly 0% of them have been watermarked.

    If those photographers, don't have an issue, why in world would I?

    Plus, it seems a bit haughty and presumptuous. Not only does it detract (usually strongly) from the image, but it says "My photos are so good I know you want to steal them."

    If you really want to protect your images, register them, register them, register them.

  • Cornell

    September 10, 2010 02:16 am

    I have not watermarked marked my photos. I have only uploaded downsized images at a photography Yahoo! Group to which I belong.

    It is comprised of photographers who belong to a local computer club. You have to be a member of the computer club to be eligible; then, you ask to be included in the group. After becoming a member, newbies are encouraged to introduce themselves. One person who did not introduces himself/herself was removed from group not long after being allowed into the group.

  • Nipuna

    September 10, 2010 01:26 am

    I do it all the time, i put in my name and email in a consistent way that actually serves to make the photo nicer

  • Evelyn in Oregon

    September 10, 2010 12:56 am

    On rare occasions, I think I might have an image that someone else would want. That's when I watermark. For me, it's easy to do it with Picasa.

  • Andrew

    September 10, 2010 12:38 am

    For the watermarking poll to be really valid, you need to also have asked if people how they consider their work. You may have a great many that are posting to family on facebook and that is their full extent, whereas others are sharing on their own web sites for business purposes.

  • Sadonna

    September 10, 2010 12:16 am

    I watermark every single picture that I post. Doesn't matter if it is of my kids its watermarked. People think that you have to have some fancy logo or some really cool symbole for a watermark. All you have to do is use the font tool in photoshop or whatever edit program you use and type your name. I always put ©do not copy do not print in the middle of the image. Some times I lower the opacity so that its not so out there but still visible. Then some where on the image my name with the watermark symbol next to it.

    You don't know how many or who is viewing your images. Specially if you post on sites like Flicker. Facebook you control who see's it but doesn't mean that they can steel it. I have had several people actually take my photo off my facebook page (before closing off my page to people not on my friends list). They thought the photo was pretty and used it as a default image. But never asked one time permission to even take it in the first place.

    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS watermark your photos. Companies scan the internet to look for images for advertisement purposes. The photo you took in say Oklahoma could be on the side of a bus in New York and you would never know it. That company is making millions off that photo and what did you get nothing. If your name is on the image and make sure you put it in places they can not clone out. Make it hard for them. Then they can not take the image. NOR can anybody print it because labs have a copy right rule and they can not print any image with out the sole permission of the person that has their name on it that is not the client.

  • Ruy

    September 10, 2010 12:15 am

    Yes, I always watermarked my images.

    Ruy.

  • Dave

    September 9, 2010 10:58 pm

    I too began to watermark after posting on flickr and then seeing a couple photos show up elsewhere. I love to shoot, I never ask for money, I just don't want to be ripped off. As for the pro who thinks he's the only one that has anything to lose: it's more than about money, it's integrity, professionalism and honor, pro's are not the only ones that have these qualities. In fact, many times, they're the ones missing them.

  • Beckywithasmile

    September 9, 2010 10:34 pm

    I haven't watermarked my photos. I would like to, but as of yet I haven't figured out how to do it nicely. I have a friend who does it, and when people use his photos, it pops up in the corner giving him credit. I don't think it looks bad, and the photos would still be easy to steal, but I like the idea of people knowing who took the photos.

  • And

    September 9, 2010 10:16 pm

    I do watermark my photos. I use Lightroom. I think it's important to watermark your photos because it's a sign that you took the photo. People then know who you are.

  • Deb

    September 9, 2010 10:15 pm

    I never had before, and recently saw a photo of mine in a local newspaper. So from now on, yes I will!!!!

  • Brenda

    September 9, 2010 09:53 pm

    I'm not a professional photographer. In fact I'm pretty new to photography and am just learning. My photos aren't anywhere near as good as the ones I've seen here. I know my photos aren't steal worthy, but I still watermark all the photos I put up on my personal blog or anywhere else online. Especially ones of my kids. I feel that I'm not protecting my work as much as I'm trying to protect my kids. I've heard so many stories of photos of kids ending up on sites that make me shudder. Someone may very well be able to clone out my watermark, but I put it there as a deterrent. To me, my kids safety is more important to me than if one of my photos gets "ruined" by a watermark.

  • brian h

    September 9, 2010 07:45 pm

    i'd be interested to see the data briken out by "serious" phtography versus snaps,

  • dana

    September 9, 2010 07:11 pm

    yes I watermark every single online published image.
    A small clean line with my name and the blog´s name and the year.
    I already got images stolen - uncredited and i think it´s the least thing to remind this people that this picture is my work and I should get credited, when they´re cutting my name out or editing it.
    I also think that by leaving my name on it (every painter does a signature so why I shouldn´t), it is easier for to find the creator and ask for permission to use, which I will surely grant ;)

  • Stan

    September 9, 2010 06:57 pm

    I watermark most of my images for advertisement. The excuse is for credit, but in reality if someone takes an image of mine and shares it (or uses it elsewhere), there's a good possibility that I would receive some traffic.

  • Lorenzo Reffo

    September 9, 2010 06:49 pm

    Actually I don't, but I think it would be a good thing to do at least to let people know who take the photo and, why not, to promote my work

  • aziz

    September 9, 2010 06:14 pm

    I usually don't watermark my images and I started doing it recently.
    I think it is good to do it just to be sure people that copy my images can't hide it is from me :)
    I use MuchoThumbs http://muchosoft.com to watermark my images, very fast and convenient to do it for a big number of images!

  • Jaina

    September 9, 2010 05:23 pm

    I used to watermark my images in a little place in the corner, but it's so easy to crop. Placing a watermark across the whole image kinda ruins it. If someone really wants to steal your photo, they'll do it. The nature of the internet is sharing - so i share my un-watermarked photos on flickr. However the other nature is theft, i've had plenty of things stolen of mine from the internet, sadly, i've just got used to it.

  • Iain

    September 9, 2010 05:05 pm

    Just wanted to point out that the pie graph numbers are different from the ones mentioned in the actual post... I'm assuming the ones in the post are the correct ones?

  • Prime

    September 9, 2010 04:54 pm

    I post the photos in my blog and Flickr under Creative Commons (by-nc-sa) License. The images are watermarked using a custom Gimp script I wrote (http://primej.blogspot.com/2010/07/watermarking-photos-using-gimp-now-much.html). I don't have problem in people using my images, but I would like to get due credit (or brick bats) for my images.

  • Fritters

    September 9, 2010 04:51 pm

    I'm guessing it's the more professional photographers who watermark and copyright and it's us n00bs who've never had a photo stolen that are not watermarking...

  • Mridula

    September 9, 2010 03:55 pm

    Started watermarking after I found a picture of mine in a in flight magazine while I somewhere above the clouds. Started with small stuff in the corner till I found it to be cropped and a picture appearing in a leading Indian daily! I am amateur but I still do not like my stuff stolen particularly by big Indian newspapers, as if they would by mistake carry an advertisement that the client didn't pay for!

  • Adam

    September 9, 2010 01:36 pm

    "Do you watermark your images before sharing them online?"

    ( :

  • Guess the Lighting

    September 9, 2010 12:52 pm

    Nope, never liked watermarks. I just make sure I copyright all my images a few times a year.

    Cheers,
    GuessTheLighting.com

  • Robert

    September 9, 2010 12:11 pm

    There is no point really. I don't put my studio work up online, only good snaps.

  • Ruby

    September 9, 2010 12:04 pm

    I watermark all the photos I use on my recipe blog. Not because I think my photos are going to get stolen (because frankly, my food photos are not great at all) but because I like the free publicity when someone links to the image. :D

  • Photo Genius

    September 9, 2010 11:56 am

    I am not a Professional Photographer, but I do take pictures of interesting and unique events and things such as vintage cars, boats, ships, fairs, etc. Just taking pictures of landscape, famous places and events is not such a big deal as millions of people click the same photos and it is difficult to show anything unique in these shot.
    But as I have this treasure trove of unique photos, people usually like to steal/borrow my pictures time and again. As there are no set laws which govern such misdemeanor, I am left with watermarking and sharing a low resolution picture. While the raw and original images are kept under lock and key on my hard drive and a back up drive!
    For people who are too lazy to watermark, there are so many easy ways to watermark and now Adobe Lightroom 3 ships with in-built watermarking tool, which is the easiest even for newbie's!
    As for the other half who think it distracts attention from the real picture, just have to learn not to watermark their original picture but rather a copy. That way they can share their pictures with everyone and even if stolen would help publicize their work and more people can return to see the original which you can share with prospective clients which would be the pristine copy of your image.

  • Jim

    September 9, 2010 11:47 am

    I do only when I am resizing (picasa) for downloading to a wbsite or to send e-mails.

  • mrsportsshooter

    September 9, 2010 10:53 am

    I watermark all of my images.

  • David Utt

    September 9, 2010 09:52 am

    I used to not to do it, but after reading about what happened to that son having pictures of him around the world without them knowing or without their permission I now watermark all my photos in at least hoping to make them think twice about doing that to me and my pictures

  • Judy Lange

    September 9, 2010 09:21 am

    I'm going to make some assumptions....since this site is "Digital Photography School" I'm going to assume most visitors are amateurs/hobbyists. Being amateur/hobbyists, I'm going to assume making money from their photography isn't a necessity, but a bonus. And, I'm also going to assume if their photography is grabbed they are flattered that someone else like it! So....watermarking images isn't important.

    As a professional photographer, photo theft is detrimental to my business. Everything gets watermarked unless you pay for it.

  • Amy Willey

    September 9, 2010 09:04 am

    I am in the process of trying to start a business and build a clientele, so, for now, I am watermarking all my professional pics that I put online, for safe-keeping as well as marketing reasons. My portfolio prints will not have a watermark, nor will my clients' paid-for-pics. But for me - I really need to get my name out there, so I am placing my watermark in a very visible spot on each picture - not across the subject, but where it can't be missed or cropped out.

  • Mark

    September 9, 2010 08:32 am

    @ion

    You really paid her??? Now if she told you there was a sitting fee and that prints would be extra, then she should watermark the proofs that are unpaid for. If that is the case, buy some prints from her!!!! If she did not tell you this or have a contract, then insist on her providing un-watermarked prints.

  • Lon

    September 9, 2010 08:14 am

    This is a little beyond the scope of this subject, but we recently hired a friend of my wife and a fellow photog to do a family photoshoot... beautiful photos but she unfortunately insists on watermarking ALL her images with her large and bold sig/initials. And not even inconspicuously in the corner, right over top of her subjects - it bothers me so much I don't even show them. I can understand leaving them on her gallery and portfolio, but atleast take it off for paying clients!

  • Shelly

    September 9, 2010 08:10 am

    I figure if I post my photos online, they're fair game. For my flickr pics, I have a CC license on my public pics that allow all non-commercial use and requires credit to me, but I don't bother making sure anyone does that. If I put a tiny watermark on, it would be so small that even I wouldn't be able to read it, so what's the point. I find watermarks in general detract from the photo. Even when small, they add a visual to the photo that isn't part of the photo, changing the composition in some way. And I don't care enough to bother.

    Should I ever decide to sell my photos, I won't be posting them publicly.

  • piks

    September 9, 2010 08:03 am

    I use Lightroom during export and it's fairly easy and quick. I've found that my site's traffic has increased a lot since I started watermarking so they must be being stolen and used somewhere.

  • Freddy Brim

    September 9, 2010 07:43 am

    I watermark for two reasons: name recognition, and to keep my images from further saturating a market with entirely too many struggling photographers actually trying to make a living at the trade.

    The way I see it, why pay for a photograph when you can spend 30 seconds searching online to find a comparable image from some overly-enthusiastic and excessively-naive amateur photographer? There are millions of them, and many are quite good! Thankfully, they don't watermark or otherwise protect their images so... fair game!

    I'd rather not be fair game, nor by my intellectual "generosity" dillute a market away from those who would like someone to buy their work.

    Aloha,
    The Dolphin's Grin

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolphinsgrin/4955387614/' title='IMG_0931.jpg' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/4955387614_81b3c4bce2.jpg']

  • Freddy Brim

    September 9, 2010 07:37 am

    I watermark my images for two reasons: to get "my name" out there, and to keep my images from contributing to the saturation of free, high-quality amateur photographs available.

    The way I see it, not watermarking our pictures hurts professional photographers. The better our work then the more our free images compete with those trying to earn a living at the trade. Even if we're not interested in selling our photos or maintaining any kind of intellectual property claim over our work or hobby, I think it's still responsible to think of those who do.

    Aloha,
    The Dolphin's Grin

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolphinsgrin/4955387614/' title='IMG_0931.jpg' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/4955387614_81b3c4bce2.jpg']

  • Danferno

    September 9, 2010 07:22 am

    I put my name in unobtrusive spot, usually right bottom corner. Don't care too much about it and occasionally I leave it out alltogether, if it ruines the shot.

  • Matt Mathai

    September 9, 2010 07:11 am

    I only started watermarking my stuff after discovering my images starting to appear on other web sites uncredited. In one case, the person told me that he had taken the shot. (He didn't say anything when I asked how it was that I had the raw image and he had a 600-pixel-wide 72ppi version.)

    I don't use an obtrusive watermark, but it's there and cant be cloned away. Lightroom is great for this.

    Now I only watermark stuff I shoot while credentialed. If someone wants my personal photos they're welcome to them.

  • Marco Correa

    September 9, 2010 07:02 am

    Exactly the same as Andy. And I don't like all those watermarks in the middle of the photo.

  • minta

    September 9, 2010 07:01 am

    i have had a few fotos stolen from my flickr acct .....so i just got in the habit of watermarking everything there....on my site? in the client protected galleries i do not......but in the public ones? i do .....it is a shame foto's are not respected by some .....& they feel the need to steal.......usually if someone asks? i am more than happy to email a copy for their use (blogging....news article etc) ....but if they wish to use for display? i ask that they pay me for a printable version.

  • Karl

    September 9, 2010 07:00 am

    I never watermark - when I upload photos, it's because I want people to enjoy them - intentionally destroying something you want others to enjoy just seems stupid.

  • Wayfaring Wanderer

    September 9, 2010 06:52 am

    This has weighed heavily on my mind. I'm guilty of not watermarking my photos. I often wonder how many times it'll take for me to learn my lesson before I actually start doing so.

    I've found my images being used dozens of times (imagine how many I don't actually find) and said upon every single discovery that I would once and for all DO IT. But, here I am, still no watermark. I have, however, after my latest finding, decided that the time is now!! Seriously.

    I HAVE FINALLY REACHED MY BREAKING POINT!!

  • Scott Collingwood

    September 9, 2010 06:44 am

    It does seem a bit 'wankey' to add a watermark to my uploaded pics when i'm not a pro by any means - I figure if one of my photos gets stolen or whatever then at least that's a kind of endorsement and encouragement for me to go on trying to take decent photos... Once I start actually selling them then my attitude may change, but for now, no watermark.

  • David

    September 9, 2010 06:41 am

    The folks over at Photoshelter also delved into this topic this week with a focus on the business implications. Makes for an interesting read:
    http://blog.photoshelter.com/2010/09/watermarks-protecting-your-images-or-damaging-your.html

  • Andy

    September 9, 2010 06:40 am

    I just started doing it recently. It's just my name and the URL for my website in the bottom corner. Nice and small. I don't really think anyone's going to "steal" my photos, but if people were to use them or post them somewhere or link to just the photo itself, I'd like for others to see where it came from so they can check out the rest of my site. It's mostly self-promotion and not protection of my work.

  • medmuf

    September 9, 2010 06:39 am

    Watermark breaks the image. Even it denotes your copyright.

  • Tony Juays

    September 9, 2010 06:36 am

    Would be interesting to know of the 43% "No, Never" how many were professional photographers who make a living from their photography.

  • Andy

    September 9, 2010 06:35 am

    I considered it for a while but in the end, I hated it.

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