To watermark or not to watermark? With the rapidly rising popularity of photo-centric-sharing sites like Pinterest and Tumblr it’s becoming more and more common to see people posting things that don’t necessarily link back to the artist or creator of the photograph.
For example, if someone wanted to add one of my photos on Tumblr they would have to right click on the image, save it, and then upload it onto Tumblr. Whether they give me credit or not is left completely up to them, and is sadly, more often than not, totally forgotten. And so I see my photographs wondering around the world of Tumblr. Creditless.
I know this really angers countless photographers, and rightly so. It is their photographs and they are free to feel whatever they want on the matter. But whenever I see an image of mine on Tumblr followed by hundreds of notes, comments and reactions – it makes me happy.
I feel like my images take on lives of their own, fulfilling their life purpose by being shared and viewed by eyeballs all over the world. They are somehow making the world a prettier place, a happier place, a better place. So it’s hard to be anything but proud and happy. The last thing I could think of to be is mad.
But something happened this week that really got me thinking. I stumbled across a GORGEOUS image on tumblr. Oh my gosh, it was pretty much life changing. I loooooved it. I stared at it, enjoyed it, cherished it. And I had to figure out who the photographer was. Normally I click on the image in search of a photographer’s credit, but I always get led back to more curation tumblr blogs, which is of no help at all. But this time the image had a watermark. It was very small, discrete, and I didn’t see it until I looked for it. This small watermark gave me the website of the photographer. So I typed it in and was able to check out her entire portfolio and got to enjoy her creations even more.
And then I thought to myself, I may not mind if people share my images online, but it would make me very sad if someone wanted to discover more of my work and were unable to due to lack of credit.
So to make a long story short … I’ve decided to add a watermark to all of my future images. I’m still experimenting, but my intention is for it to be incredibly small and discrete, as to not get in the way of the image, but prominent enough so that if you were looking to see who took the photo, you’d quickly be able to find out :).
One last thing before I love you and leave you: To those of you out there who don’t use watermarks, or don’t want to use watermarks, but are worried about people saving your images and claiming them as their own – let me tell you a little story.
Once upon a time my photos were stolen (DUN DUN DUN!). A few people had mentioned that maybe I should hold more responsibility, as it could “easily have been avoided” had I watermarked my images. I would like to point out that my photos that were stolen WERE WATERMARKED! Watermarking your images will not protect you from image theft. It was very easy for this man to save my image, and clone out my watermark, and add his own watermark. Yes, a watermark may deter some thieves, but it won’t fully protect you from them all. Nothing will. It’s one of the cons of posting your images online, but I believe that the pros of posting your images online strongly outweigh the cons – but that’s up to each individual to decide for themselves.
I want to know – what are YOUR thoughts on watermarking? Does a small, subtle watermark really bother you? I’m interested to know what you think of it all! Do you watermark your images? LET ME KNOW, LOVELIES! <3