to watermark or not to watermark?

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© is the copyright symbol in a copyright notice

Image via Wikipedia

Photographers, what do you do? do you watermark all of your photos published on the internet? Every few months I read something like this and get a bit freaked out about people stealing my work for profit. And that doesn’t just include photography. It also includes writing. I would love to post fiction and poetry on this blog but am reluctant because of digital thievery (that’s a whole other can of worms, though).

So I come around to this question of whether I should watermark my images. On the one hand I dislike the way watermarks look. On the other hand, it might prevent others from using my stuff. Or will it?  Can people get around a watermark?

What do you think?

5 thoughts on “to watermark or not to watermark?

  1. For me it comes down to the choice of do I share and not care that folks steal my stuff, do I not share and live in a small box and never let the world see what I do or do I seek a middle ground, in which people see what I do with a stamp on it to indicate my ownership of that?

    I chose the middle way of watermarking, after much angst. It seemed to me to be the lesser of evils. I can still provide unmarked images to those who need them for approved purposes.

    To me it was a question of self-respect as well. It’s my work and, as an artist, I sign it.

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  2. I watermark every image I post that is connected with my business. I tried to create a watermark that wasn’t over the top, and place it somewhere that it doesn’t take much away from the image but would be fairly hard to crop out or edit out

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  3. At one time, I did use watermarks. Since then, I don’t use them anymore. Maybe, if I saw a lot of people using my photos without giving me credit, I would be tempted to, but with so many photos out there, I don’t think people need mine. 🙂

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  4. Thank you all for your feedback! Matt, I kind of feel this same way as you. I’ve never seen anyone use any of my stuff without credit so I tend not to worry about it. But I do also like the idea of watermarking as a way to sign your work.

    This is really helpful! thank you!

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