Forums > General Industry > The Bigger the Watermark, the Smaller the.........

Photographer

fine art nudes by paul

Posts: 3284

Berkeley, California, US

c_h_r_i_s wrote:
I recently had a national paper ask me for pic's of a model they were doing an article/interview on.

They (editor) suggested a watermark on the pic's wanting to review them thinking I'd place the Wm at the bottom on the pic's.
'I have very little trust in this np', so I slammed a massive Wm thou' the middle of the pic's and made them very low res.

They thanked me for sending them the pic's and liked them but didn't ask any more.

i interned with a commercial photographer years back and he'd send the unfinished images to whatever magazine he was working with with a huge "FOR PLACEMENT ONLY" (or something to that effect) watermark slapped dead center.  He'd also send it super low res (under 1000 pixels on either side).  Just like the watermark said, it was used for placement only during the layout phase, and was obvious enough that you'd have to be blind to not replace it with the final before sending it to print.

Mar 17 12 03:13 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15546

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

There are certain UK np's that you can't trust.

Mar 17 12 03:16 pm Link

Photographer

Sungoddess Studios

Posts: 5169

Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, US

Nikki Magnusson wrote:
whats a watermark?..lol..

Coffee Stains.

Mar 17 12 03:21 pm Link

Photographer

FEN RIR Photo

Posts: 719

Westminster, Colorado, US

But I have a really short name sad

Mar 17 12 06:34 pm Link

Photographer

GCobb Photography

Posts: 15897

Southaven, Mississippi, US

Wonderhussy wrote:
Does anyone notice a correlation between the size of a photographer's watermark and the quality of his work?

Is this akin to the "guys who drive big trucks" rule?

Discuss!

Uh, no.

Mar 17 12 06:41 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 7951

Imperial, California, US

Say it loud!! Say it proud!!:-)

Mar 17 12 06:47 pm Link

Photographer

Marcio Faustino

Posts: 2059

Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

BrandonLuong wrote:
I think who cares enough to steal your image. It sucks, if I am going to steal an image I want to steal a good one

My images are crap and there were people stealling it...

Mar 17 12 07:42 pm Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8627

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Wonderhussy wrote:
Does anyone notice a correlation between the size of a photographer's watermark and the quality of his work?

Is this akin to the "guys who drive big trucks" rule?

Discuss!

http://www.daplv.com/vcg/CopyrightLogoW.jpg

I guess this means.... nevermind...

Mar 18 12 12:00 pm Link

Photographer

Yani S

Posts: 939

Los Angeles, California, US

I'm almost good enough to enlarge my watermark! Untill then I have a small one sad
Hahaha

Mar 18 12 12:27 pm Link

Photographer

PhotoSeven

Posts: 1194

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

Wonderhussy wrote:
Does anyone notice a correlation between the size of a photographer's watermark and the quality of his work?

Is this akin to the "guys who drive big trucks" rule?

Discuss!

HA!  I was just thinking about this the other day.

Mar 18 12 12:32 pm Link

Photographer

PhotoSeven

Posts: 1194

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

R Michael Walker wrote:
Right..All the biggies like Avedon, Penn, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Albert Watson, Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino Watermark their work.  And all the best clients request watermarked images too. NOT! Some here on MM make it work for them as a graphic element. Most don't. And if someone wants to steal your work they will. Only way to avoid that is don't put it on line.

Not to get into a pissing match, but I disagree...I just went to bruceweber.com and Annie Leibovitz gallery page and didn't see any water marks...even after you click on them to enlarge them (those were the only two that I went to out of your list)

Mar 18 12 12:43 pm Link

Photographer

Philipe

Posts: 5214

Pomona, California, US

Wonderhussy wrote:
Does anyone notice a correlation between the size of a photographer's watermark and the quality of his work?

Is this akin to the "guys who drive big trucks" rule?

Discuss!

I have no problem matching my work against anyone you shot with.
I've had a few of my pictures stolen.. and most of the models I shoot, request a picture with my name on their picture.
I do give models photos with out my name as well.

Mar 18 12 08:56 pm Link

Photographer

David Hirsh

Posts: 2379

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Farenell Photography wrote:
Its the web & people steal shit (& randomly repost it elsewhere).

If people want to view the work w/o those "unsightly" watermarks, I'm sure the photographer will sell you a hard copy print for a small fee.

If you think a watermark somehow protects an image from theft, give me any photo and 10 seconds with Photoshop (maybe 2 minutes for a more intricate logo/watermark), to perhaps change your opinion.

When I use a watermark/logo, it's simply for branding and identification purposes. To believe it deters theft is simply fooling oneself. I think most people understand this.

Mar 18 12 09:09 pm Link

Photographer

Farenell Photography

Posts: 18133

Albany, New York, US

David Hirsh wrote:
If you think a watermark somehow protects an image from theft, give me any photo and 10 seconds with Photoshop (maybe 2 minutes for a more intricate logo/watermark), to perhaps change your opinion.

Never said it did completely protect it. People are lazy.

Look at it this way. If a person leave their bike outside unlocked by (I dunno) say the local library & another person locks theirs up, which do you think a thief is gonna take. The unlocked one. Why? Because its the path of least resistance.

Mar 19 12 10:05 pm Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2834

London, England, United Kingdom

Nico Simon Princely wrote:
This thread is based on ignorance of what and why pros use watermarksand it seems many of the responses are also.

A watermarking for...

1. Protecting one's work from unauthorized use.

2. Branding - if have studied any advanced marketing psychology you will understand why this isso important.

3. Publicity and marketing when your images do get stolen and they will always get stolen, saved, passed around on the web without a watermark there is no way to gt credit for the images. This is no different than if a company ran a print add without their logo. Which would be utterly stupid,make goes for not watermarking I the digital world.

4. It Helps to prevent some Asshole from trying to Pass your work off as theirs to get jobs and try to get models to TF with them.

If we were only in print then yes maybe it would not be as nessary but that's not the case and some unobtrusive watermark can be easily cropped out leaving you with no credit. Often if the client likes your work they ask for a watermarked copy be use they want people to see they shot with you'll to give you publicity.

I don't think my work sucks and from my comments and client many other people tend to agree and I have a big watermark. So do some of the best photographers on here in fact many go across the middle of the image. From what I have seen some of the best have the biggest watermarks as they actually have something to protect and they know it. Me personally I'm just a fanatic about protecting my copyrights as I have been ripped off before and had to sue and settled for $10k.

+1

Mar 21 12 01:24 am Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2834

London, England, United Kingdom

Roberta H wrote:
in a more positive light though, wouldn't it be awesome if people kept stealing your photos and advertising your work because it was so unbelievably amazing? I can understand that it would be super frustrating for someone else to take the credit but whoever does that is not really worth the time of day.

Nope, as someone who has had his work passed off as someone else, no! It can damage your own credibility if some low life starts claiming its their image.

Mar 21 12 01:29 am Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2834

London, England, United Kingdom

Garrett Sanders wrote:
I have heard that the top photographers "watermark" their images by their style.  That is, their style is so unique and distinctive that people recognize their work without need of a watermark.

People often overlook the fact that the big names have been PAID top dollar to create the picture, had it published, and no longer have anything to gain not having it naked in the wild.

"Lead not emulate!"

Mar 21 12 01:33 am Link

Photographer

devpics

Posts: 834

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I detest watermarked images but understand why some people need to have them

Mar 21 12 03:18 am Link

Photographer

Rebel Photo

Posts: 11446

Florence, South Carolina, US

Internet theft is rampant.

Tumblr......enough said!

Even selling art pieces, copies reduce the value unless we all use such low rez thumb nails... and large enough watermarks to read... then viewers can't really see the image. (Catch 22)

Google the images that have marketability for spas, gyms, night clubs (businesses that rarely last >5 years). Sure it'd be nice to file a copyright claim, but to what end? For the most part, those companies have no real assets!

Socialism is the politically correct position of the day.
I hate Socialism! Which brings me to Facebook....who continues to strip EXIF data and basically orphans images.

Mar 21 12 03:39 am Link

Photographer

See Sharp Photography

Posts: 45

Sausalito, California, US

Newton, Liebovitz, Testino, Bresson . . . I might be wrong but I never remember seeing a watermark on their work.  But then again, maybe their work isn't good enough to have to worry about theft.

I don't watermark in hopes that someone will steal my crappy work!

Too many Ego maniacs out there.

To be fair though, this is not my way of making a living. I might feel differently if it was.

Mar 27 12 08:54 am Link

Model

E_V_A

Posts: 1722

Redondo Beach, California, US

One of my most favorited shots comes with a huge watermark, lets see if you can find it tongue

Mar 27 12 10:23 am Link

Photographer

Jersey Shore

Posts: 403

Tinton Falls, New Jersey, US

Nico Simon Princely wrote:
This thread is based on ignorance of what and why pros use watermarksand it seems many of the responses are also.

A watermarking for...

1. Protecting one's work from unauthorized use.

2. Branding - if have studied any advanced marketing psychology you will understand why this isso important.

3. Publicity and marketing when your images do get stolen and they will always get stolen, saved, passed around on the web without a watermark there is no way to gt credit for the images. This is no different than if a company ran a print add without their logo. Which would be utterly stupid,make goes for not watermarking I the digital world.

4. It Helps to prevent some Asshole from trying to Pass your work off as theirs to get jobs and try to get models to TF with them.

If we were only in print then yes maybe it would not be as nessary but that's not the case and some unobtrusive watermark can be easily cropped out leaving you with no credit. Often if the client likes your work they ask for a watermarked copy be use they want people to see they shot with you'll to give you publicity.

I don't think my work sucks and from my comments and client many other people tend to agree and I have a big watermark. So do some of the best photographers on here in fact many go across the middle of the image. From what I have seen some of the best have the biggest watermarks as they actually have something to protect and they know it. Me personally I'm just a fanatic about protecting my copyrights as I have been ripped off before and had to sue and settled for $10k.

touche. very well said.

i have seen a number of graphic designers and print establishments use images they copied from the Internet on advertising flyers, club promos, etc., all over the place.
i guess it's because many people tend to think of anything on the Web as being FREE.

i do not think that one has to splash his or her copyright info across the face of a model in an effort to protect one's work... however, i can understand folks wanting to protect their work. whether or not their work is exceptional, professional or award-winning is of no consequence. after all, it belongs to them.

Mar 27 12 10:45 am Link

Photographer

Novus Photography

Posts: 586

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

I didn't read the whole thread - the first 5 or so responses was all I needed to see. But here's how I see it...

I don't put anything online that doesn't have a watermark on it. Granted, I'm a hack, and my work is shit, but it's still MINE and it's worth something to ME. It's way too easy for image thieves to just save an image, and use it as their own. I've had it happen to me, by the CBC for one.

I try to make my watermark as unobtrusive as possible, opacity at 40%, and not running through the middle of the image. But I want A: for it to be hard to remove, and B: it's advertising.

If people don't like watermarks on images, it's probably because they wanted it, and are annoyed that it was "flawed". Mission accomplished.

*EDIT*

After reading the post quoted above this one, (which I agree with 1000%!) yeah, I think I'll be making my watermark a bit more intrusive. Having it along the bottom makes it easy to snip off.

Do I think I'm so good that everyone wants to steal my images? Hell no. But it's the ONE douchebag thief that I'm protecting myself from. Nobody gets ripped off, until they get ripped off.

Mar 27 12 10:48 am Link

Retoucher

GregWatson

Posts: 560

WINSTON SALEM, North Carolina, US

I guess this is too big for web size big_smile

http://i39.tinypic.com/iq917d.png

Mar 27 12 11:55 am Link

Model

Deadlynightshade

Posts: 4774

Los Angeles, California, US

dave phoenix wrote:
lol

+1

Mar 27 12 06:28 pm Link

Photographer

DBIphotography Toronto

Posts: 3228

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

David Hirsh wrote:
When I use a watermark/logo, it's simply for branding and identification purposes. To believe it deters theft is simply fooling oneself. I think most people understand this.

But...it's mah *ahem* 'copyright notice'! Hehe! It's tiny anyways, and anyone petty enough to crop-out my mark is aiming after similar Bee Ess clients. I book on my book (pun intended!), not this low-res 8-bit horsecrap you see online. Jpeg looks like sh** compared to a 16-bit retouched image. In my not-too-humble opinion neutral

~Danny
http://www.dbiphotography.com/

Mar 27 12 09:32 pm Link

Photographer

Novus Photography

Posts: 586

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

Farenell Photography wrote:
Look at it this way. If a person leave their bike outside unlocked by (I dunno) say the local library & another person locks theirs up, which do you think a thief is gonna take. The unlocked one. Why? Because its the path of least resistance.

+1

Mar 27 12 09:48 pm Link

Model

Mischa Marie

Posts: 7892

Sacramento, California, US

Philipe wrote:
I have no problem matching my work against anyone you shot with.
I've had a few of my pictures stolen.. and most of the llamas I shoot, request a picture with my name on their picture.
I do give llamas photos with out my name as well.

Yes, but your name is something llamas desire in their port!

Mar 27 12 11:00 pm Link

Photographer

Tom Winstead

Posts: 551

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Yeah, but it's not just guys. Some of the "soccer mom" wanna-be photogs in my area have the biggest, most obnoxious watermarks imaginable.

Mar 31 12 02:38 pm Link

Photographer

Optix

Posts: 225

Boston, Massachusetts, US

A Raw Muse wrote:
I don't see this going anywhere good...

Me neither, but proved to be quite the ride.

Apr 02 12 12:32 pm Link

Photographer

EVEhome Productions

Posts: 37

Oakland, California, US

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Apr 03 12 07:41 am Link