If you’ve been in photography for a long time, you may have already considered using a watermark. It’s easy for photos to be stolen these days, and if you hold your work in high regard, you might fear that someone will profit from it.
Fortunately, today there are many ways to watermark photos and plenty of watermark templates to choose from if you don’t want to create a watermark from scratch.
In this article, we’ll cover many helpful topics, such as:
- How to add a watermark
- What is a watermark template
- What is the best free watermark app
- Is it necessary to watermark photos
- How to make a nice custom watermark
But first things first, let’s talk about the pros and cons of watermarking, as it’s a very important factor to consider before we dive into watermark templates and apps you might find useful.
Advantages of Watermarking
It’s About Brand Recognition
You can see the watermark is closely related to the logo. Your watermark can be your logo, and it is totally up to your preference. If you create a watermark that is simple but easy to remember, people will remember it and associate your work with it, which will lead to long-term success as they can easily remember your work. You might think branding doesn’t matter as long as your work is great, but that’s not exactly the case. People need to remember your work, and a smart watermark can help them do that.
Watermarking a Photo Protects It
Of course, we’re not talking about 100% protection here as watermarks can be removed manually in Photoshop or with special software geared towards it. But not everyone has the skills and time to do that, and watermarks make it harder for your work to be stolen or republished.
Add Watermark To Increase The Value Of Your Photos
In a way, a watermark is like a signature, and artwork signed by an artist has more value and credibility. While this is more obvious when it comes to drawings and paintings, photography can be treated in a similar way. Also, if you use your signature as a watermark, it makes more sense.
Now, what are the potential reasons for not tagging a photo?
Cons of Watermarking
Watermarks Can Look Bad
Sometimes a watermark can ruin a photo if it’s not smooth enough. This is especially true for watermarks with 100% opacity which are also a bit too big. You can easily avoid this problem by spending some time designing your watermark. Don’t treat it as something you have to get rid of quickly and think about it. Your watermark should not interfere with your photos.
You Can’t Completely Protect Images With Watermarking
You may decide to skip the watermark on your photos because you know that it does not guarantee full protection. While this is true, and adding a watermark to your photos guarantees nothing, it is at least a useful strategy you can employ to protect your work. Of course, that’s completely up to you.
Now, having considered these factors, let’s move on to the actual watermarking technique.
So how can you watermark your photos elegantly? These are some solutions for good looking watermarked images.
Elegant Signature Watermark
This is my favorite because the signature can look rather subtle and artistic.
You need to make a digital replica of your signature and place it at the bottom of your image.
So how do you watermark photos with your signature?
The best way is to make your signature with a drawing tablet, import it into Photoshop, and adjust the opacity. You can also use a specific font that mimics handwriting, but I think it’s much prettier to use your actual signature because it’s unique.
Using Your Logo As A Watermark
Watermarking photos with logos is commonplace, and if you already have a photography business, this might be the ideal solution.
Even if you don’t have a logo, you can design one or hire a designer.
Your logo should be simple and elegant and it shouldn’t overpower your photo.
Also, make sure your logo watermark opacity is not set to 100% as it will stand out too much this way.
It’s worth looking online for inspiration and seeing how successful photographers are using logos as their watermarks. The position of the watermark, in this case, should be similar to that of a signature – preferably at the bottom of your photo.
Create a Custom Border Watermark
This is a non-standard way of watermarking an image, but it may be something you enjoy. After all, there are no fixed rules; You can make your watermark as unique as you want.
The idea behind the border watermark is to create a simple white border with your name on it. This border acts like a frame with a certain aesthetic value.
You can easily create this border in Photoshop and use it for all your photos.
This type of watermarking is great because it offers protection without compromising the content of your photo. I find this approach a bit too old-fashioned and complicated as I don’t want to save all my photos with a frame around them but for each one of them.
Using Apps To Watermark Photos
Apps are a great way to watermark photos if you don’t want to spend too much time working in Photoshop and creating your watermark.
We will cover some of the popular apps here; some are free, while others have premium features.
Watermark X is one of the most popular and user-friendly apps for watermarking images. It’s free for a limited time; after that, you have to buy a subscription.
There are the most important features of this application:
- You can choose among many watermark templates, from simple to very complex. You will find something to suit your photography style and business!
- You can customize your watermark and make it unique with good design skills.
- You can easily choose the desired color, transparent background, or make the watermark semi-transparent. You can also change the position of the watermark.
- The app is updated frequently, and you can always find some new templates. This means you can easily fix any watermarked images with new features.
This is another great app for anyone who isn’t interested in creating watermarks manually.
This app is similar to Watermark X, but there is one additional feature – it allows you to scan your signature so you can use it to create personalized watermarks.
You can also design a logo with this app and use it as your watermark.
PhotoMarks is a premium application that you will enjoy if you need more advanced editing tools.
These are some of the options you should add with a custom watermark:
- Logo overlay
- Combine colors
- Shadow effect
- Text creation
The price tag is only $5, which makes the app quite affordable.
This app allows you to easily apply your logo, watermark or text to your photos and videos.
You can also export the watermarks you create in this app and use them elsewhere, which is great.
The editing options are pretty standard – color and opacity controls, resizing, cropping, manual watermark positioning, etc.
If you want to have lots of choices, look no further!
This app has over 300 different options to choose from, which will satisfy even the pickiest customer. The customization options are endless here too! This app is ideal for anyone who wants to create a unique brand and share it on social media and elsewhere.
Best of all, this is a free watermark app, but offers in-app purchases.
Create a Copyright Watermark In Lightroom
You can also easily watermark your photos in Lightroom. This is a great solution for you if you are a professional photographer who works in Lightroom every day!
- Go to Edit > Edit Watermark (Windows) or Lightroom Classic > Edit Watermark (macOS).
- In the Watermark Editor dialog box, choose your watermark style – it can be text or graphic.
- Choose a Watermark Effect if you want it
- Click Save
That’s pretty much about it; it’s easy to watermark an image in Lightroom.
You can watch this video for step-by-step instructions if you need them, but adding a watermark in Lightroom is pretty easy.
Conclusion: Add a Watermark If You Care About Protection
To watermark or not to watermark?
While we don’t want to tell you what to do, it’s worth weighing the pros and cons of watermarking images and seeing what would be best for you and your photography business if you have one.
The most important thing is that if you decide to use a watermark, you have to make sure it is subtle and elegant and doesn’t spoil your work.