By @TheMarkDalton.

Lets cut straight to the chase, watermarks suck shit. The debate goes on and on regarding whether you should watermark your photos or not. I have actually had people reach out to me in the past genuinely concerned someone could steal my work because I uploaded a photo without a watermark.

For the most part I am against using them completely. There is one place where I do use a watermark and that is for the images in a portfolio on this website. There is a signature watermark in the bottom corner of the photos because here is really the one place where you can find the full blown image in all its glory.

Simple on social media

I don’t use watermarks on social media because I don’t want my images to be cluttered. I want them to look good, I want the work to speak for itself. As well as that, the social media site is not sharing the true scale of the original image, if you share a photo on Instagram the platform shrinks down the size and the image is uploaded in a compressed format, not at the true scale. So anyone who attempts to steal it will be stealing a lower quality and smaller size than the original, so why would I bother to watermark it?

Putting watermarks on photos before sharing to social media is tedious, I just want to upload, share it, see people enjoy it and then move on.

Theft is hard to prevent regardless

Nobody is out there to steal all your photos, lets get that straight. You are not some guru whizz with that camera making magic with every single shot. Photos get stolen online, it may or it may not happen to you. They are stolen by businesses, people, impersonators, people steal work that gets shared online because they are shitty people.

The only way to make sure none of your photos ever get stolen is to never share any of them online. The watermark can be photoshopped off, disabling right clicks on your site can be worked around using screen grabbing tools. Basically if someone really wants to steal it then there is little you can do about it. You can jump through hoops filing take down requests and sending emails if you see it happen to you, but really…whats the point?

Face it, your photo “might” get stolen someday if you share it online, the chance is small but unavoidable. Don’t stress about it, just enjoy your photography and let your work speak for itself.

But people can make monies off my photo!

All the internet monies!! Trust me, if your photo was that good you would be rolling in cash before anyone had the chance to steal it. Maybe I’m wrong but I truly don’t believe for one second that people are going to be rolling in millions off the back of stolen photos on the internet.

I’m not depending on making money off internet shots, I share shots online to get people interested and then maybe they will want to hire me to do a shoot for them. That is why I love using Pexels to upload samples of my work for free that others can download and use for commercial of personal reasons. It builds my brand, it helps me grow that photography brand and get people interested. My work speaks for itself and if all goes well someone will say “hey I saw a really good photographer on Instagram for you…” and that could be me they talk about.

Some may say I am leaving lots of money on the table, but I truly don’t believe that to be the case.

If you are going to watermark at least put a bit of effort into it

Still want to use watermarks? Thats okay, like I said previously, I use watermarks for the images on this website. It is the only place I use a watermark and if you want to use them then here are my top tips.

  1. Make it sexy. Put some effort into it, don’t make it boring text. There a lots of tutorials online about how to make signature watermarks and they are all straight forward to do.
  2. Stop using them on social media photos. Seriously. Just stop.
  3. Stop worrying about people stealing your photos.
  4. Let your work speak for itself, don’t obsess about theft and don’t obsess about watermarks.

 

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