To Watermark or Not to Watermark

October 13, 2012

Should you watermark your photos?


Here's my take on watermarked photos.  I might change my mind later on about watermarking, but as of now, this is what I believe.  Some people ask me why I don't watermark my photos or that I should watermark my photos.  First off, I see all these creative watermarks slapped on to every photos.  Some are more creative the the photo itself or a simply 'Photographer's Name' Photography.  I think it takes away from the experience of viewing the actual photo.  Some watermarks are so distracting that it's hard to avoid seeing. When I capture a photo, I like the user to view what I saw or what I imaged.  Also, most of the time when I provide the model with a TFP/TFCD (time for print), the model would simply crop out the "Johnny Dao Photography" watermark right out.  I don't blame the model.  I wouldn't want a picture of myself or photo of my family with any logo on it either.


Some people say, "Aren't you afraid others might steal your photo?".   My answer, "Nope".  If someone really wants to steal my photos, they will find a way to do it.  Now and days, just about everyone owns a camera.  Be it a DSLR, point and shoot, or a camera photos from an iPhone or Galaxy.  What this leads up to is that there are so many photos online and it will continue to grow.  My photo is one of many.


"What if you find your photos on billboard or a product?".  Well, it's possible, but I have the proof that the photo is mine.  I have the RAW file, the time the photo was captured, maybe a witness or two of when I took the photo, and even tell you the story of how I came about capturing the photo.  If my photo becomes publish without my consent, the truth will eventually come out and the photography community will know who the photo belongs to.  The photography community is large and there are many who will support each other if a photographer is treated unfairly.


What does a watermark really mean?  All it means is that the photographer press the shutter button on the camera to capture the photo.  The photographer is claiming the copyright and that he/she took the shot.  Does it mean the photographer organize the shoot?  Does it mean the photographer planned the shoot?  Or did the photographer simply showed up to the scene and snapped a photo?  That's the question.