I have been uploading photos to the internet for while. On April 3, 2005 I uploaded my first image to Flickr. But only since July 2009 did I start including a watermark on my images. I felt that because I was starting to shoot more popular events such as the Paskapoo Downhill Rodeo and Alberta Fashion Week, that I wanted people to be able to see who took the photo when and wherever they saw them. And, I obviously wanted a way to somewhat protect my images. After AFW last year, my photos have been popping up all over model sites such as Model Mayhem and Model Republic, so I am glad I put my name on those images.
However, I still find the application of a watermark to be a challenge, as it needs to serve a purpose without distracting from the content of the image itself. Some people just include their name faded back and either centered or in one of the corners, while others put a whole bunch of information that I find can really distract from the image.
I feel that the challenge of designing a watermark is that I need to figure out how to inform the viewer of who took the image, while not distracting from the image itself.
Some questions I’ve been asking myself are:
1) What is the purpose of my watermark?
2) What information do I want to display?
3) Do I keep the watermark statically positioned in a corner or centered?
4) Do I move the watermark around depending on the image content?
5) Do I keep the watermark one standard colour or change it to match each image?
I also realize that one of the roles of a watermark is to simply be a deterrent against people wanting to steal imagery. Like many others, I have had various situations where I have found my imagery with the watermark half-assedly removed, so I fully understand that a watermark is not a fool proof way to protect my work.
I have played around with various options and am still not 100% satisfied with my results. I like one of my first versions (seen on my AFW images), but now I have an awesome new brand that I want to start spreading the word about, so that version no longer serves the purpose I want. I think my new goal for watermarking my imagery is to drive people here, to my website, while creating brand awareness with my new logo.
Anyways, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic of image watermarks. Do you use them? Do you not? If you do use them, what purpose(s) do you apply them for?
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