If you are a photographer, artist or simply are posting original images online you might be considering the pros and cons of watermarking. In certain cases watermarking can be a useful way to put your name or logo on all of your images so that you will be credited anytime someone shares or reposts your photo. In theory it is also a method to help prevent people from taking your images and passing them off as their own online.
Watermarking can benefit photographers in some ways because it acts as a way to “sign” their art so that people see their name or logo and can begin to identify them more easily if the images circulate online. If someone wants to find your work, watermarking will make it much easier for them to know who you are.
One of the downsides to watermarking is that it does not always keep people from taking images and reposting them as their own. People can often find ways to photoshop out a watermark or simply crop it out if they don’t care about being respectful of the artist. This is an unfortunate reality and can make watermarks irrelevant if the goal is to prevent image theft.
Another thing to consider is that often the appeal of an image can be diminished by the use of a watermark. It can interrupt the artistry of the photo and distract the viewer, making the image less beautiful or interesting. There is also the possibility that viewers online will be less likely to share the image if it is watermarked because of the decrease in the image’s appeal.
Deciding whether to watermark your image can depend on your own personal preferences on how you want your images to look and what your goals are for using them. Weigh the pros and cons before watermarking to determine if it is right for your work.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.