to watermark or not to watermark?

© 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.


  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


  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. 🙂


  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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