Why You Might Need to Change Your Watermark Style

Hello. It’s Amy. And I’m here to talk to you about watermarking photos. Before anyone gets defensive, you should know that I totally get it. You want to protect your pictures on the internet. You worked hard, you sacrificed family time, and you had 3 craftfails before you came up with the PERFECT project – and then you took a great shot of it! You do not want anyone to use your photo and pass it or your project off as their own. Not only that, but you want a great graphic for Pinterest that explains the project AND helps people in case it gets wrongfully pinned. I am a blogger too, so I am right there with you. We want credit for what we do, which makes sense.

I’m going to have to say though, I’m seeing far too many photos on craft blogs like the one above. They are littered with titles, text and blog names. It makes me sad, and here’s why:

I can’t see the project. First and foremost, I just don’t know where to look. But you also might be covering important details that I need to see. You already made the glitter paper flower centerpiece, but I want to make it too (I’m assuming that’s why you gave me a tutorial?). I understand that you wrote instructions, but I’m a visual person. Please let me see your amazing creation.
I don’t want to feature it. And I’m not the only one. Many big bloggers and feature sites don’t consider photos that are littered with text. And it’s not just bloggers. Companies, magazine editors, reporters and even TV shows look at our blogs too. Even if you are willing to give them a clean copy of your photo, do you really want to risk turning them off first with a visual circus?
It’s overkill. I’m positive that you don’t need so much to claim a photo as your own. So let’s move on to:

I’m not telling you to get rid of watermarks. I don’t personally use them, but I have no problem with them. And actually, they can be helpful when the original source is hard to find. There ARE ways to watermark your photos, still get pinned and not drive everyone away. So how?

Photo by Courtney O'Dell

Well, I’d like to show you with a photo – courtesy of Courtney at Sweet C’s Designs. Here’s what I think makes it successful.

  • The project gets center stage and is not impeded by graphics.
  • The blog name (watermark) is small and up in the right corner. I can read it, but it’s not huge and obtrusive.
  • The title of the project is down in the left corner, again with unobtrusive text. It’s also in a box that isn’t a bright or loud color.
  • There aren’t too many words – the photo does the talking.
So, those are my two cents. I’ve heard a lot of people suggest two additional tips, which I think are good:
1) Always have an optional photo in the post without the title of the project, for features. You can use a photo like Courtney’s for the top of the post, then at the end, just have one with your watermark.
2) Keep a clean copy of the photo with nothing on it in case you get contacted for a feature.

And finally, the last thing to keep in mind: YOU ARE ON THE INTERNET. Put a photo on your blog and you risk it getting stolen. ¬†While you can watermark the heck out of a photo, if someone really wants it, they will have it. I know some Photoshop experts who can have a watermark over the top of a project gone in minutes. If it’s that crucial of an idea and that important that it doesn’t get borrowed, you should probably reconsider having the photo (and project!) on your blog.

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