Friday, October 14, 2016

Choosing Your Watermark - Text, Logo, Or Both

Photographers are compelled to protect their photographic images from Internet thieves, but often can't decide whether to use a graphic logo design or a text for a watermark. There are certain advantages to both. The final decision is up to the individual photographer and how he or she wants their work presented to the public.

Logo Watermarks


Portrait photographers are known for using logo watermarks on their photographs for the purpose of advertising. They want their work to be known and recognized by their brand. Often the logo contains a design and text. Before digital cameras and online galleries came into vogue, portrait photographers printed "proofs" for their customers. These sample photographs had the word "proof" printed across the photo to prevent theft or misuse. The purchased photographs would have the logo of the photographer, usually in gold color, embossed in the lower corner of the photograph. Watermarking your images in a digital age is no different than the bold "proof" that used to be printed on photograph copies years ago.

Text Watermarks


Many photographers use text watermarks that contain the photographer's business and personal name. Wildlife Photography by John Doe is an example of simple text. The words can be in a row or the company name above or below the photographer's. Decorative fonts are popular with text watermarks and may include underlining or other embellishments. Color text can be used to blend in with the image, and be less conspicuous, while still displaying the photographer's watermark. Text is easy to place on any image and doesn't require as much space as a logo. There is less distraction from the content of the photograph when text is used.


Portrait and Wedding Photography


If you are posting client images for sale on a password protected website, you must be sure your watermark can not be easily removed. Some people will simply crop out a small watermark in the bottom corner of a photograph and reproduce it on their home printer, instead of purchasing professionally printed images. Use a larger watermark, logo or text, and be sure it covers a portion of the image's essential content. Your watermark is also your brand and a successful advertising tool.


Wildlife And Scenic Photography


Amateur and professional photographers want to preserve the integrity of their photographic art and avoid placing it at risk for theft. Wildlife and scenic photography are the most popular categories for people to steal online and use for financial gain. They are used to produce calendars, prints, greeting and post cards, and journal covers. It is a huge loss to the photographer trying to sell his or her work. Watermarking your images makes it difficult for the thief to use your images. Watermarks can be removed in Photoshop, but only someone with great talent can do it skillfully. Many laymen can recognize when an image has been altered in Photoshop and will hesitate to buy the product.


Watermarks Are Your Protection


While some people say watermarks are distracting, the majority of amateurs and professional photographers use them to protect their intellectual property. Make sure your watermark does not detract from your image by making it too large or using a bright color. Allow it to be visible and a bit understated. If your eye is drawn to the watermark rather than the image, it is too prominent. Placement is also important. Most photographers place their watermark in one of the lower corners of the picture for less distraction. Portrait photographers place them on the image to prevent unauthorized duplication.

Watermark your images with either a logo or text. People looking for a photographer will recognize the work of a professional or skilled amateur, because he or she has branded their images. You will be hired based on the quality of your work. People who steal from photographers are among those who complain about watermarks, and they will never pay you.