For family photographers, watermarks present two opportunities. They, of course, deter clients from using photos without paying for them. They also can help promote a family photography business. If you're a family photographer, here's how to make the most of your images' watermarks.
Using Watermarks in Their Traditional Role
Watermarks have long been used by photographers to deter customers (and others) from using images illegally. In family photography, watermarks have prevented clients from printing their own photos. If a family would like another print without the photographer's advertisement on it, they must pay for that print.
Selling prints has been, of course, how family photographers have traditionally made money. They've offered clients packages of prints, and people who wanted additional prints paid for each extra one. Thus, watermarks have provided vital protection for family photographers' income.
Today, many family photographers still use watermarks to deter people from printing out photos without paying for them. As technology changes how people use pictures, though, this role of the watermark is slowly becoming less important. People don't often print out pictures anymore, so there's less need to prevent them from doing so without paying for an image.
Using Watermarks in a New Way
Instead of printing out pictures, people now share them online with family and friends. When they're emailing photographs or posting them on social media, people often don't mind if the images are watermarked. Thus, a watermark's ability to deter people from using pictures without paying for them is less in today's world of sharing pictures online.
Watermarks aren't obsolete, though. Since clients frequently don't remove watermarks before sharing them, family photographers can turn watermarked photos into advertisements for their business. The people clients share photos with are family and friends, some of whom may live in the area and be potential clients themselves. If they like your work, they might contact you to photograph their family--and this is where the watermark comes in. A watermark can help ensure anyone who sees your pictures knows you took them and has your contact information.
Designing a Watermark for Both Purposes
A well-designed watermark can still fulfill the watermarks traditional role, while also helping a photographer advertise when their pictures are shared. To create a watermark that does both of these things, your watermark should:
. contain your name (or your company's name)
. include your email address and website
. have a professional appearance that complements your photos
. be large enough that clients can't crop it out of a picture to make a print
. be located in a corner so it doesn't detract from the people in the picture
Additionally, you're watermark shouldn't be the focal point of your pictures. It ought to be visible enough that anyone who looks at your work sees the watermark, but viewers' eyes should first be drawn to your clients' families. Adjusting the color, font and opacity of a watermark can help you find the right balance of visibility and subtlety.
To design a new watermark that will help protect your images and advertise your business, try out Water Marquee. With Water Marquee, family photographers can quickly and easily create fully customized watermarks that work for them.