Discussion: Watermarking Photos

Monday, September 14, 2009

We still have one more introduction to be made, but in the mean time I thought I'd post our first discussion question. Anyone, contributor or not, who has thoughts or opinions to share can go ahead and do so in the comments section.

So this week's discussion question... how do you feel about watermarking photos? I subscribe to Digital Photography School's blog and a recent post discussed an article written by Wired Magazine listing 10 photography pet peeves.

One of the pet peeves listed was watermarking photos. Basically the writer(s) say that watermarking photos drives them nuts. A quote from the article... "The watermark is either the sign of a newbie who doesn’t know any better or insecure photographers who simultaneously thinks their photos are better than they are and that everyone is out to steal them."

How do you feel about this statement? Do you watermark your photos? Does it bother you when other photographers do? Ready... discuss!


Claire said...

I do watermark my photos... not necessarily because I think someone will steal them and MOST CERTAINLY not because I think my work is better than others. I watermark my photos as my way of digitally signing them. In fact, recently I've been toying with the idea of straying from the actual watermark look and going with a straight black or white mark. My watermark brush is my actual signature, so to me it is just signing a piece of art that I've put a lot of time and effort into.

I don't think its wrong of photographers to do so. Whether its to sign their work or deter people from stealing photos doesn't matter. The internet is a shady place and photos are stolen all the time- so if that's what drives people to watermark, so be it.

Courtney B said...

I personally don't do the water mark on the web(although I did in the beginning). It only bothers me on photos at times because I feel like it can distract from the photo. What I do like, is how some photographers put something under each photo, like this:


Zack Arias brought up a really good point with one of his critiques and said something like, if someone wants to steal your image, they will steal it... a watermark isn't going to prevent that. (photoshop can take anything out).

I do offer low res file CDs with my water mark on them, only so the clients don't want to print them and they either have to buy prints through me or purchase a high res CD for more.

Amanda J said...

If you're honestly worried about someone stealing your photos, set up your website with a place like smugmug.com. When you use their pro version you can prevent someone from saving your picture. They even have slide shows that are protected as well so you can add them to your blog worry free.

If you check out that website, they have a slide show at the top and if you look very closely at the bottom right of the photos, there is a small watermark crediting who took the photo. That kind of watermark I'm okay with.

I can understand using a watermark on proofs, but I agree with Courtney that it's better to put your company's name on the frame not the photo (unless it's small and almost unnoticeable). It's the huge, elaborate ones that seem unnecessary.

maureen said...

I certainly wouldn't appreciate anyone "stealing" my photos from my blog, but I highly doubt that would happen. I "watermark" as a signature, similar to what Claire said. I like how my photos look with my signature (which is really the only reason I do it) which I do in just black. I never did a watermark-style signature only because I didn't like the way they looked. It's really as simple as that. I also used to put borders around my photos on my blog/portfolio site, but I decided it was extraneous after awhile (and a lot of work).


Jamie L said...

I've played around with it, but I've decided not to. I do use Adobe Bridge to add my (and the clients) information to the metadata of the actual files. Only takes a few seconds- worth it in my opinion.

Thanks for the suggestion of smugmug- I'll keep that in mind for the future:)

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