To Watermark, or Not to Watermark?

I am really proud of a picture I took the other day, and by evening, my face hurt from grinning about it so much. But my joy was quickly stomped down by the realization that my hard work was extremely easy to steal.

I don’t usually post my best pictures on here, and I definitely don’t put my very best on social media most of the time because I’m worried about someone stealing it. I hate the way watermarking makes my pictures look, but it’s better than having them stolen.

I worked my but off to afford my camera, I spend every minute I can spare learning new techniques, and its taken hundreds of hours of trial and error to learn what works and what doesn’t and how changing one setting on my camera affects everything else. I have had to learn everything by myself and it has been a painstaking, slow process. I’m often up until long after midnight on my computer editing and learning how to edit on a computer not meant for graphics that loves to freeze up in the middle of saving an hour’s worth of squinting at a too- bright screen making tiny adjustments at a time to light, shadow, and color. After all of that hard work, frustration, triumphs, and utter failures, I’m not willing to risk someone else taking a screenshot or saving a picture of mine and reposting it as their own.

All that to say that from now on, at least the pictures that I’m going to be offering as for sale soon will be watermarked. If that makes my blog’s pictures too annoying for you to look at, go read someone else’s blog.

My watermark will change and get smaller and less obtrusive eventually, but for now it’s big and ugly.

I know its not as crystal clear and sharp as what professions can do, but considering that I’ve only been using this camera a couple months and it’s a cheap kit lense, I think it’s pretty good.

3 thoughts on “To Watermark, or Not to Watermark?

  1. i have been posting my photos on my blog sites for many years without a water mark and i really have no idea if anyone has “stolen” any of my work. i have had several ask for a copy and i have gladly emailed one to them. i have even been paid. lol
    it is not always about the camera as much as it is about the person using the camera and how to make a photograph. i have taken photos with a Kodak Instamatic (an old point and shoot film camera that all you could do is aim and click) and won awards. if you have “the eye” the camera and editing are your tools. i dont have or use a fancy edit program. i just crop, adjust for brightness and contrast and hopefully i can “develop” what i “saw” using the adjustments of the camera and the light. it is all about the light.
    awesome photo. keep at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A few things I have learned:

    Watermarks need to be bold not hidden or close to the edges where the can be cropped. Yes they take away from the picture but it is a trade off. Single colors marks are easier to remove., especially if the marks are on a solid color background.

    In stead of one big mark try using a tiled watermark. It is a lot harder to clear it off. And can look cleaner and be smaller so it tricks the eye into overlooking it vs a huge stamp across the front.

    Another idea is to add a 3D shape layer like the copyright symbol either under or over the picture. By distorting the picture it makes it appear harder to remove.

    Lastly I talked to another artist several month ago who hates watermarks with a passion. She did digital art, coloring books, and paintings. One of her tips was to add a hidden layer though photoshop so if a person tried to print one of her designs straight off her site it would print a muddy mess. She sold digital copies and downloadable content , sounded like people tried to steal her work often. I remember her saying a guy threatened to sue her because her art would not pint all pretty and was totally jacked up when he tried to steal it off her site. Instead of just making a purchase. Lol.

    If it’s a framed photo then tack a picture of it at an angle, never straight on. To show it without watermarks if asked. Also place items at the side, anything to make it harder to steal.

    Have a blessed day 🦄

    Liked by 2 people

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