Article By Aloha Photography
There is a lot of debate and worry around at the moment regarding images being “taken” from facebook pages of items that have been created and then used on someone else’s facebook page as being passed off as their work. Quite rightly this has caused upset amongst fellow facebookers and well quite frankly it isn’t very nice.
Firstly I always start with why I am watermarking my images. This might seem an obvious one but hear me out on this! I am in the photography business, as crude as it is my images make me money, each image is worth money to me but I do still ask myself if I am going to watermark it and how.
Now the reason I do this is…. I want people to use my images to some degree but I also want them to know that they are my images. For example, for a portrait sitting or a wedding, I upload the image to facebook and I want my clients to tag themselves in the image and even use it as their facebook profile picture. Why would I want them to use that image you may ask? Well it is quite simple, my logo and name is on that image and I want all their friends to see it and want to book me too. It is a great little way of marketing yourself.
Now, where you watermark and how is different. For example if my client has already purchased the image then I will usually just put a signature on the bottom or somewhere appropriate on the image just so that I can upload it and people know who took it that it is mine. Granted this does not stop someone taking the image and cropping out the logo and passing it off as their own work. However if the client has not paid then I will heavily watermark the image so that it becomes difficult to remove.
I know there is a lot of talk on facebook that watermarking is easy to remove. Well it is if you know what you’re doing and the watermark is not applied in the best way, but you have to be really determined to do it and it does take some skill and time to do. However skilled you are at doing it, when you look at the image you can tell, it just doesn’t look right! Unfortunately it does happen and it happens a lot. Whilst it is not right and it is upsetting we do have to acknowledge that it does happen and it always will; it is unfortunately the downside with everything being so readily available digitally.
If a client has not paid for the image, I want them to be able to see the image clearly so that they can make their mind up as to whether to buy it or not but equally I don’t want them to be able to take it and use it to get prints themselves.
I have used some examples here so you can see for yourselves what works and in what ways. I have used a beautiful cupcake from the lovely Ali of Ali-licious cakes and bakes purely because I photographed this cake myself and I designed her logo.
A lower opacity works better as with a bold logo in one solid colour it is easier to pick the colour and remove, it is harder when you can see the image beneath.
There is a lot of worry that watermarking is pointless as it is easy to remove. I wouldn’t worry too much it’s really not that easy. Yes they can be removed but not easily.
What I would also say is whatever it is you make or create you have your own style and your own slant. I know it is not much to those who have had their images used but you can start to tell. For example if there is a gallery of images taken from different peoples’ photos you can tell that they are all slightly different.
Create a known look and start to develop your branding – your own unique slant! If you make cakes, why not photograph them on the same background all the time. Build a unique look one that people can easily identify with you over time.
I have to say I did start to write a tutorial on how to watermark using different software and then I thought surely there is a quicker and easier way. The good news is there is and there are websites online now dedicated to watermarking images. A really quick an easy one to use is: http://www.watermark.ws/ have a go! I literally Googled and came across it whilst writing this article, so there you go. A pretty nifty tool! If you do have paint pro or photoshop this website might help as there are links to tutorials on there.
I hope that has given you some food for thought.
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