Wednesday, September 29, 2021

How to Choose a Font for Your Watermark



      As a photographer, you know how important it is to watermark your photos. Watermarks can ensure that your creativity and business are protected, and they can help build your brand recognition. However, when it comes to choosing a font for your watermark, the decision can be overwhelming. Some estimate that there are approximately 300,000 fonts in the world, representing 60,000 font families.
That’s a lot of options. Here are three steps for filtering through these options to find the font that is right for your watermark.

Choose a Font for Your Watermark


1. Choose a Style


Most of the fonts in the world can be broken into five main categories, each with their own feel, character and look. You can narrow down your options by first choosing a style.

  • Serif: These fonts can be identified by the “feet” or small brushstrokes at the top and bottom of the letters. They have a classic feel and have been around since the 15th century and are the default for many publications. These fonts are considered to be conservative and generally pleasing to eyes. Examples: Georgia, Palatino, Times New Roman, Cambria.


  • Slab Serif: These fonts also have feet at the top and bottom of the letters, but they tend to have solid rectangular “shoes” at the end of the “feet”.  They are bold and contradictory. Depending on the context, they can evoke vintage or modern, urban or rural, bully or nerd feelings. Examples: Clarendon, Rockwell, Courier, Lubalin Graph, Archer.


  • Sans Serif: If you’re catching on to how font categories are named, then you’ve probably guessed that Sans Serif means the letters don’t have feet or shoes. They appeared in the mid-19th century but still convey a modern feel. They are efficient and clean and are increasingly used in websites and other publications. Examples: Arial, Impact, Lucinda Grande, Tahoma, Verdana, Helvetica, Franklin Gothic, Montserrat, Corbel.


  • Script/Handwriting: As the name suggests, these fonts look similar to handwriting or cursive script. These fancy scripts should be used minimally unless you’re going for a homespun, historical feel. Examples: Yellowtail, Edwardian Script, Lavanderia, Learning Curve Pro.


  • Decorative/Display: These fonts are designed to stand out and grab your attention. They work best for posters, homepages, logos – anything that needs to be bold. At times they can be difficult to read, especially the wilder they get and should be used sparingly. Examples: New Rocker, Pinewood, Bebas Neue, Curlz, Betty Noir.


2. Stay on Brand


Of course, once you choose a style there are still more decisions to make. The font you choose should closely resemble your logo. This makes it easier for customers to associate the photos with your business. If your logo does not include text, then select a font that is similar to your website brand or other branded content.
If you haven’t given much thought to branding, then consider the type of image you want to project. For example, if you take kids photos, you should go with a more casual font type. Or, if you take professional photos, then you should go with a more formal font.

3. Ensure it’s Visible


Once you have a handful of fonts that are appealing to you, test each one on a photo to see how well it appears. Visibility will depend on many factors such as the thickness of the letters, opacity, size and location.

 While you can adjust some of these features – for example, with many watermarking tools it’s easy to increase the opacity – some fonts may be too intricate or delicate for watermarks.
 Whatever selection you make, you want to make sure it’s visible enough, so you get the credit you deserve, and others know that the photo is yours.


Monday, September 27, 2021

Choosing the Right Font for Your Watermark 


When creating a visible watermark, the font selection has a significant impact on both the watermark and any photos you overlay with it. Unless you're schooled in the art of typography, finding the perfect font can be a long trial-and-error process. Here are some tips to help you find the right font for your watermark--a font that will add to your watermark, brand and photos.

Choosing the Right Font for Your Watermark

Look for  Fonts That Show Up on Photographs


First and foremost, the font you choose should show up well on photographs. A visible watermark, after all, is intended to be seen. If your font's letters aren't readily visible, the effectiveness of the watermark will be reduced.

Many fonts show up well, but a few that have abnormally skinny letters don't. If you're planning on making the size of your watermark font 36-points or larger, you can probably use any but the skinniest of fonts. If you want to keep your font size smaller so that it doesn't cover the entire picture, a bold font that has thicker letters may work well.

Limit Your Choices to Fonts That Are Consistent with Your Branding


Second, a good font will be consistent with your current branding. Your watermark may be the first branding that prospective clients are exposed to, so it's important that your watermark conveys the same message as the rest of your marketing and branding efforts.

To find a font that is consistent with your branding message, first look at the fonts on your website, business card and letterhead. If one of these works well as a watermark font, your choice could be easy. If none of the fonts you're currently using work well as a watermark, you might want to change the fonts of your website, business card and letterhead to match the font that you choose for your watermark. Using the same font across all of these areas will ensure you have a consistent brand message, at least as far as your font selection goes.


Select a Font That Enhances Your Photos


Third, the ideal font will enhance your photos. It won't overpower your photos and detract from them. Conversely, it will add to them by reinforcing the feeling that your images evoke.

Exactly what font complements your photos will depend on what type of photography you specialize in. For instance, if you take landscape shots of rural barns, you'll want a different font than someone who specializes in grunge portraits of inner-city youth. A flowing font that resembles handwritten cursive may reinforce the old-fashioned, relaxed feelings that barns in the country bring to mind, while a font with block lettering might better suggest the graffiti that's found in many inner-city neighbourhoods.

If you don't specialize in one type of photography, pick a generic, clean font that can be used with most photos. If you're a general photographer, it makes sense to have a generic, professional watermark.

Consider Multiple Fonts for a Multi-Faceted Watermark


Ultimately, you don't have to limit yourself to just one font. Using multiple fonts can help you distinguish collections or styles from one another, while creating consistency within each collection and using fonts that enhance each collections' photos. Using several fonts within a single watermark can even be helpful, as it makes distinguishing the different components of your watermark easier and lets you combine styles into a single watermark.

If you're looking for the ideal font for your watermark, check out the selection on Water Marquee. The platform not only gives photographers a large number of fonts to choose from, but lets photographers use as many fonts as they would like.


Sunday, September 26, 2021

How to Shoot A Golden Photo: Mathematics in Photography




How to Shoot A Golden Photo: Math in Photography
There will be a quiz later.

Remember when you were back in school and your teacher would start rambling on about some topic that you couldn't imagine you'd ever need to know again? I know I do.  But it's funny sometimes how those topics will show up again later, even if it's in a form you don't recognize.  

While photography is a visual art form, you'll find math in photography wherever you look.  There are some basic, timeless rules of composition for photography that you need to know about.  And if you want to forget that they come from math, well, that's fine by me.

The Rule of Thirds


This is probably one of the first rules that photographers are taught, but that doesn't mean it's just for beginners.  Some of the strongest photos ever taken follow this photography rule, and experienced photographers take the rule of thirds into account without even thinking - it just comes naturally.

The idea is to divide your photograph into 9 equal squares, with the dividing lines about 1/3rd and 2/3rds of the way across and down the image.  You then place points of interest in your photograph along those lines and at the intersection of those lines.

Because this results in the subject of the photograph being off-centre, you end up with a picture that's more interesting.  Even what would otherwise be a boring picture can be improved by using this guideline to crop the image.



The Golden Ratio and the Golden Number


You can think of the Golden Ratio as an advanced version of the Rule of Thirds because the Rule of Thirds is an easy way to almost achieve the Golden Ratio.   The two aren't exactly the same.

The Golden Ratio is the number you get when you divide a line into two parts, such that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part.  That's a bit much to swallow, I know, but maybe this will help you visualize it.


The ratio of "a" to "b" is an irrational number, approximately 1.6.18 (this is called the Golden Number). If you make a rectangle that has a width of "a" and a height of "b", you get what's called a Golden Rectangle.  Interestingly, modern camera viewfinders and LCD displays are usually proportional to the Golden Rectangle, so when you take a picture, you're automatically using it for framing.



A mathematician named Euclid first described the Golden Ratio, way back in 300 B.C.,  as what he called the "extreme and mean ratio" after noticing the number coming up repeatedly in geometry.

Much, much later, in 1202 A.D., another mathematician, Fibonacci, introduced what we now know as the "Fibonacci Sequence" to the Western world.  The Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers you get when you start with 0 and 1, and then each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two numbers. 

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, aka Fibonacci
Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, aka Fibonacci


Fibonacci, being a very bright guy, noted that the ratio of sequential elements in the series approaches the Golden Ratio asymptotically (which means it never quite get there, but keeps getting closer and closer). 

By the time the Renaissance came around a couple of hundred years later, artists, architects, musicians, and many others started to clue into the Golden Ratio and the Golden Rectangle and began to incorporate it into their work, because they believed the Golden Number was appealing to God.  They thought this way because they noticed how it kept showing up in nature.  You can find it in Nautilus Shells, in the family tree of honeybees, and in the spirals of flower.

The Golden Spiral as Photo Composition Guideline


The Golden Spiral, which can be used in photo composition, is generated by created circular arcs that connect the opposite corners of a square (which itself achieves the Golden Ratio along with its height and width) in Fibonacci tiling.   Fibonacci tiling is where you keep creating smaller Golden Rectangles inside of each other - the ratio of one rectangle to the next follows the Fibonacci Sequence.  Here's an example of both Fibonacci tiling and the Golden Spiral in photo composition:


The Golden Triangle in Photography


And to take it up a notch, there's another photographic composition rule to be aware of: the Golden Triangle.  A Golden Triangle is a triangle where two of the sides are of an equal length (called an isosceles triangle), and the third side (the smaller side) is in a Golden Ratio with it's adjacent sides.  Like pieces of a puzzle, the Golden Triangle, Golden Spiral, and Golden Rectangle all fit together rather nicely.



Which Photograph Rule to use?


The Golden Triangle is most useful if you need to take a picture that has a lot of diagonal lines in it.  And, as you can see, photos composed using the Golden Spiral are similar to those composed using the Rule of Thirds.  Each will lead you to push the subject of your image off-centre, however, the lines drawn by a Golden Spiral are a bit closer to the centre of a photo.  If you're wondering which to use, it's usually a matter of timing. If you have plenty of time to frame up your shot perfectly, use the Golden Spiral.  If you need to take the picture quick, you can still get a great shot using the Rule of Thirds.

Friday, September 24, 2021

All Rights Reserved: Copyright for Photographers






The advent of the internet has ushered in an open season on copyright infringement with regards to photographs. Website owners find it all too easy to take photos online and place them on their websites. Therefore, professional photographers need to understand the legal ramifications of copyright law for photographers.

Copyright Law for Photographers


Prior to April 1989, any original work created privately was not copyrighted unless it clearly had a copyright notice such as the © symbol, digital watermark, or any other sort of notice identifying the work as copyrighted material. 

This changed on April 1, 1989 after the enactment of the Berne copyright law. Since then, original work, including photographs, is automatically protected from copyright violation, and use of such work is prohibited unless permission is granted by its creator.  This made copyright for photographers much, much simpler.

While it is not necessary for photographers to file any paperwork for their work to be copyrighted, it may not be a bad idea to do so.  Having your work copyrighted can get you compensatory and punitive damages in the event of infringement.


How to Copyright Photographs


In the Unites States, photography copyrights can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Forms can be found at their website, which explains in greater detail how to copyright photographs. The registration will depend upon whether or not your photos have been published; unpublished work is granted the strongest protection and can easily be filed, published work, on the other hand, requires somewhat of a longer process and will depend on the date of publication.

Filing paperwork for published work falls into 4 categories; photographs that have been published within the last 90 days, work published after 1989, work published prior to 1989 but after 1978, and lastly, work that was published before 1978. The laws governing photography copyright filing will depend on the category that your published work falls into.

A Simpler Approach? Watermark Your Photos


Since copyright law for photographers may seem daunting, and copyright notices are not necessary for your photos to be copyrighted, it is a good idea to place some sort of notice on your pictures in order to, at least, deter theft. Watermarking your photos, for instance, is important in that it lets people know that the photographs are not to be used unless permission or license is granted by you personally. 

Unlike professional publishers who know not to use another photographer's work and are happy to pay for it, a lot of times, people simply are not aware that they are infringing on copyright and end up plastering your work on their websites. A watermarked photo will not only let potential unauthorized users know that it's prohibited, but in the event they do, their readers will know who the rightful owner of the photographs is.

Part of being a professional photographer is running a business. Many photographers admit that the photography part of the business only accounts for a percentage of all that's involved, a lot of the time is spent on other facets of the business such the administrative, sales, and management aspects. Part of that time should be spent on finding out and understanding how to protect your work.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

10 Easy Ways to Monetize Your Photos Today

10 Easy Ways to Monetize Your Photos Today

Stuck trying to figure out what you can do with your photos to generate a little bit of income? Don’t worry, I understand your frustration, and I can tell you that you aren’t alone; many people have all kinds of really great photos that they know could be worth some money, they just don’t know what to do with them. In this article, I will go over 10 easy ways that you can monetize your photos.

1. Create A Mousepad With Your Image To Sell Online
All of those great pictures that you have can actually be turned into a mousepad. You would not believe how big the market still is for mousepads.

2. Create A Specialized Photo Book
Do you have a bunch of pictures from a school soccer team (or any sport for that matter)? You could take those photos and make nice photo books to sell to the parents. Parents love memories of their kid's successes and will absolutely pay for a photo book.

3. Use Your Photos To Create iPhone Covers
Similar to making mousepads, you can use your photos to create Ipad, iPhone, and other smartphone covers, which is a heavy market right.


4. Build and Sell A Calendar
It’s very simple to make a photography calendar; we see them in just about every store that we walk into. They are tough to sell in stores, so make an online store yourself and market the store online to generate sales for your calendar with your photographs. 

5. Sell it as a Poster
A custom poster is not only a great product to sell, but it's also a great way to distribute your work and get attention.  Anyone who purchases the poster and displays is now also a marketer for you! 

Tip: You can do all of 1-5 at Zazzle.com. It's so easy to get set up and start selling that it's a no-brainer.

5. Place Your Photos Inside Cafes
A great and somewhat original way to make money with your photos would be to take your photos down to local cafes and ask the café manage to place your photos on the walls. It works out for both parties, as the café gets nice pictures to place on their walls, and you can show your pictures off with a price tag.

6. Create CD & DVD Covers
CD & DVD covers are a simple and effective way to monetize your photos, as many people are always looking for artwork to put on burned CDs.  Software is easy to come by, and most of it is free.

8. Create Desktop Wallpaper
A desktop wallpaper is still a booming business, and many online companies would love to buy any desktop wallpaper that you have created with your photos.  For an example of an artist already doing this, check out Vlad Studios.  You can get started quickly with a nice, premium WordPress theme and a PayPal account.

9. Create An Online Portfolio
This is not a way to make money directly, but you can create an online portfolio that highlights all of your work and points the visitor to various sites that have stuff you have created with your photos for sale.  If nothing else, host your work on Flickr (after you watermark it, of course).

10. Sell Your Photos Online
Finally, with all of these great ideas to monetizing your photos, why not put all of it together and create an online store? You can use the portfolio you have made to direct people to your online store.  Zenfolio and PhotoShelter can help you get this done.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Where You Put Your Watermark Matters


Nearly 80% of people who use Water Marquee use the default "Top Left" position when positioning their watermarks.  While you can drag your watermark to a different location manually, it makes me wonder if many users are missing out on the need to find the perfect location for their watermark on their photos.

Why are you Watermarking Your Photos?


The location of your watermark should be driven by your rationale for using a watermark in the first place.  Generally, people put watermarks on photos to either protect the photos from being copied without attribution or to prevent potential customers from downloading the image without paying.

If your intent is to make sure you get proper attribution, you'll want to minimize the impact of the watermark while not making it too easy to remove (see our Guide on Watermark Removal Software to see how that works).


Where You Put Your Watermark Matters



In the above photo, the watermark sits on the bottom left, away from the focus of the image.  However, because the background of the watermark is completely black, it would be easy to remove.  This type of placement is good only if you're only partially concerned with receiving attribution for an image, and is not appropriate if you're actually trying to protect the image.


Where You place Your Watermark Matters


In this image, a "tiled" watermark has been applied (available in Water Marquee Pro).  Because the watermark text is partially transparent, it is still possible to get a sense of the overall image.  However, it's very unlikely that anyone would steal this photo since the watermark is still so noticeable.  This type of watermark is best when you're a pro photographer, such as a wedding photographer, who needs to be able to let customers see photos but needs to make sure you'll get paid for your work.

Monday, August 10, 2020

5 Steps to Get Your Photography Noticed

When you're just starting out, getting anyone to notice your photography can seem like an impossible challenge.  It's unfair, but taking beautiful photos isn't enough.  Here are 5 steps you can take to get your photography noticed online.


1) Have a Website


5 Steps to Get Your Photography Noticed
Photo by JayJay Creative

Yes, you really do need one - your Flickr photo set just isn't going to cut it.  Before anyone can take you seriously, they need to see that you've put in the effort to establish a home for yourself online.  If you haven't taken this step yet, now's the time.  


Spend some time looking around a photography website hosting company that meets your needs.  Make sure your part of the packing includes a blog - it's pretty much required these days.

2) Get into Social Media


Get Your Photography Noticed
Photo by rishibando
Facebook Fan pages and Twitter accounts will help you connect with people who are interested in your work.  You'll need to make time to keep them both up to date and do networking through them, but engagement with your audience is the best possible way to drum up interest in your work.

For Twitter, I recommend you check out Twello.com.  After you register, you can search for fellow photographers, globally and in your local area.  When you find some whose work you like, go ahead and follow them.  More often than not, they'll follow you right back.  

Make sure that there is a link to follow your Twitter account on your website, and a Facebook button that lets users like your photographs.  If you need help figuring out how to add these buttons to your page, I'd be glad to help - @watermarquee on Twitter, or on Facebook on the Water Marquee fan page, or just shoot me an email - john@watermarquee.com.


3) Enter Contests


Steps to Get Your Photography Noticed
Photo by Mike Baird
There are always several photography contests going on online, and winning one of them is a great way to get your photography noticed.  

It can be a bit intimidating to enter into a competition and be judged by complete strangers but remember - the people running these contests are always supportive of the photographers who enter.  They need your photos for their contest to be a success.

To start, here are a few sites with lists of contests:

Fan Art Review
Photo Compete
The Photo Contest

Once you've entered, be sure to promote your entry on your website and via Social Media.  Many contests rely on online votes to determine the winner, and even if you don't win, your entry is something your fans will be interested in learning about.



4) Give Your Work Away


Photography Noticed
Photo by libraryman
I know you didn't start a photography business to give your hard work away for free.  But when you're getting started, you have to get noticed before you can get famous.  

If you have your own site (and you do, don't you?), make sure each of your photos is somehow marked as being Creative Commons.  You can "give" your work away on Flickr by selecting the Creative Commons Attribution license.  Many bloggers search for photos to use in their posts on Flickr that are Creative Commons licensed - it's the way I got the photos for this post!

This lets people use your work, but requires them to provide you with attribution.  It's probably the easiest way to get your photography noticed - let other people do it for you!


5) Keep Trying


Keep Trying
Photo by liber
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts.  You have to keep posting great photos, building up your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, and writing in your Blog.  You have to work hard in the beginning, but eventually, you'll reach a tipping point where more people are talking about your work than you could ever have publicized to before.  

Until that day, just keep your goal in site, keep working hard, and keep taking great photos!





One More Thing6) One More Thing

I know the list said 5 steps to get your photography noticed, but here's a bonus step.  

If you watermark your images with Water Marquee, I'd love to post it to our Facebook Fan page and show it off to our fans.  You can send it to me at support@watermarquee.com, or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.