Why I Don’t Watermark My Photos

July 30, 2018
for photographers

Don't Watermark My Photos

The For Photographer’s Series:

Part 1: Top 5 FREE Instagram Tools

Part 2: How to Balance “All the Things”

Part 3: Busy is Not a Badge of Honor

Part 4: 3 Steps to a Better Mindset

Part 4: Why I Don’t Watermark My Photos

 

While building my business, I would see photographers all over social media, sharing photos with either a huge opaque watermark over their image, or it being a distraction in the corner/middle of a photo. After doing research on whether I should or should not watermark my photos, I believe that to give the most beneficial client experience, I should not watermark my photos.  **DISCLAIMER** This is not to say that people that do watermark their photos give a bad client experience, not at all!! For my brand, my ideals, and preferences, watermarking takes away from what really matters within the image. Here are my top 3 reasons why I don’t watermark my photos (not even in a client’s online proofing gallery).

1. I want to give my customers a personal experience they feel they can share anywhere.

I can remember when my friends got their senior portraits done in high school. They’d show me their online proofs during our free period and we would “oooh” and “aaah” over the ones we liked and loved. However, I also specifically remember that the photographer watermarked their logo over every image, so when she wanted to share one of her favorites on social media, it was obstructed by this giant imprint of the photographer’s logo. Trust me, I get why they did that. It adds credibility and gives the photographer photo-cred without someone having to say “pc?: @andreacablephotography”. However, it also prevents those clients from sharing their photos — something you DON’T WANT at all. The amazing thing about this technological age is that you can share anything, anytime. Essentially, I think about what I would want if I were in the client’s shoes, and a huge watermark over my photos isn’t it.

2. It encourages word of mouth referrals

If people really want to know who took their Facebook friend’s photos, they will ask them. I’ve gotten more referrals from word-of-mouth and friends asking friends rather than someone seeing my logo plastered on the background of a photo. It is literally statistically proven that word-of-mouth referrals are the #1 source of receiving business for photographers. Yes, watermarks “help” your photos from not getting stolen on the internet, but this day and age you can reverse image search, embed metadata into the photo, and find/stop copyright issues almost immediately.

3. It looks more professional

Trust me, when I first started I watermarked EVERYTHING. Even my phone camera photos…(*face palm*). I thought to myself, “If I put a professional logo on everything, people will look at my work as more professional”. However, when looking at photographer’s I really admired and sites I wanted to get published on, I noticed there wasn’t a watermark in any of their photos. So what was I missing? When wanting to get published, having watermarks across your photos decreases your chances of having your photos seen by thousands of people. Why? Because watermarks create a distraction and remove the actual emotion and feeling out of the photo. In fact, most publication sites don’t even let you submit your work if there are watermarks on them.

 

** BONUS ** Receiving Photo Credit

In the case where my client posts a photo and doesn’t give me photo credit or tags me in the caption, I always comment on the photo with something like, “Such a great one! Definitely one of my favorites from your engagement session. Can’t wait to photograph you and _______’s wedding in July!”. This gives everyone reading the comments knowledge that I took the photos, encourages them to check out my page, and lets the client know that yes, I really do follow along and love seeing photos they post of our time spent together – because I genuinely do!! Following past clients of mine is awesome, because we get to keep in touch even if it’s just through simple Instagram comments. A simple comment or “LIKE” can go a long way.

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WE ARE SOULMATES

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. 

SARA & ANDREW

"Andrea is a joy to be around and creates a natural, relaxed atmosphere.

Andrea is a joy to be around and creates a natural, relaxed atmosphere. Andrea captures each moment so beautifully. She was always on top of communication, and I always felt like she cared about what we wanted. The quality of pictures is amazing and I am so glad we chose Andrea as our wedding photographer! You should definitely hire her now for your photography needs!"

TAYLLOR AND CODY

"Andrea brings out the natural beauty in whatever she photographs.

Andrea went above and beyond to accommodate us for a last minute change of plans due to COVID-19. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the pictures and how they turned out. We absolutely love them all. Andrea brings out the natural beauty in whatever she photographs. Thanks to Andrea we will be able to relive our wedding day over and over."

SARA AND JOHN

"Andrea is so professional and detail-oriented, while still being fun, friendly, and loving.

Andrea is so professional and detail-oriented, while still being fun, friendly, and loving. She feels like she is your best friend as soon as you meet her! Throughout our wedding planning process, she sent a sweet little surprise gift box, a helpful photography planning guide, and she even made us a personalized ornament for our first Christmas! She goes above and beyond in everything she does.

LIZ & ZACK

"Her excitement about being our photographer was contagious."

From the first meeting, we knew Andrea was an experienced photographer who was also warm and bubbly, which is the perfect type of person to have around you on your wedding day. She was extremely helpful with answering any questions we had, and was very responsive. Andrea is incredibly organized and efficient. She captured the best moments and got all the shots we wanted without making it feel like the photography was taking over the day. Working with her was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend her!