Watermarked Images: How to Do It Right

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The digital age is so fast-paced, having your work used without any authorization can easily go unnoticed. It’s becoming increasingly easy to find and utilize pictures without buying the rights or even giving credit to the photographers. The best technique to prevent people from claiming your work as their own is to watermark them before external parties access them. 

How does copyright law protect photographers? 

In essence, copyright is the legal right of the intellectual property owner. It provides them the exclusive right to copy, distribute, recreate, and showcase creative work in a stipulated amount of time.

Because photographs are artistic works, it’s important to understand the legal protection that is provided to you through copyright law. 

In 1988, an amendment was added to tackle visual works like photography: 

Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works “include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans. Such works shall include works of artistic craftsmanship insofar as their form but not their mechanical or utilitarian aspects are concerned; the design of a useful article, as defined in this section, shall be considered a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

Nowadays, most businesses utilize photographs for marketing purposes and it’s become increasingly easy for them to access images on the internet. Copyright law protects photographers from being exploited. 

The best part is that it’s automatic. Photographers don’t have to take steps to obtain the copyright of their works. They should, however, take the necessary steps to ensure that their copyright is protected. 

Why Should You Watermark Your Images 

Let’s go back to where it all started. A watermark is a logo or text that’s stamped onto an image to identify ownership. Italian papermakers at Fabriano invented the watermark in the 1280s. Most manufacturers started employing watermarks to guarantee quality and authenticity by the 15th century. 

Unlike the 1280s, it’s extremely easy to have your work stolen in this era. Watermarking your images provides identification and makes it hard for external parties to claim your work as theirs. This technique also functions as a marketing tool, helping interested parties recognize not only the piece of art, but the creative brand behind its creation as well. 

You never know how wide and far your work might spread. Unlawful use of copyrighted images by third parties results in increased traffic to their platforms without any compensation offered to the photographer. And while photography is a vital part of almost every form of marketing, making a living from photography is not as easy as it seems.

The U.S 2019 labor statistics revealed that male and female photographers received annual earnings of $47 875 and $44 733 respectively, which is less than the average annual earnings. As such, leveraging copyright laws will give photographers a chance at earning a decent income. 

How to Watermark Your Images

Adding a watermark is an easy way of branding your work. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started. 

  • Step 1: Select images to be utilized

Drag and drop images in the editing application of your choice. 

  • Step 2: Make copies 

You want to retain your images in their original form. Create copies that you’ll place a watermark on. 

  • Step 3: Create a watermark

Whether it’s a logo or a text is entirely up to you. Create a watermark using an app of your choice.

  • Step 4: Position your watermark

Watermark placements can be a tricky process. You don’t want to take attention away from your image while also ensuring that no one crops it out. Nevertheless, the most common position popular among photographers is in the bottom right corner. 

  • Step 5: Apply the watermark

Now that you’ve completed the previous steps, apply the watermark. The application of the watermark will make it visible on the copies you’ve created. 

  • Step 6: Share your images

Send your watermarked images to their intended destination. 

You can skip a couple of these steps by using  globaledit’s photo management software, which allows you to automate watermarking when sharing images. 

What Are the Drawbacks of Watermarking Images

Negatively affects image quality

Being a photographer means you’ve undoubtedly invested in equipment and software. Watermarking your images will ruin the high quality you’ve worked so hard to attain. But with globaledit’s versioning capabilities, you’re assured to retain a safe iteration of your images at all times safely within your DAM library. 

People won’t be inclined to use your images 

Watermarks will surely create exposure but at what cost? They’re distracting and make images look undesirable before the licensed version is purchased. There are people who will be discouraged from using your images if the sample or branded image tampers with the aesthetic they had in mind. 

It doesn’t ensure protection from copyright infringement 

Depending on where it’s positioned, digital tools make it easy to crop out your watermark. And with images being easily accessible, it’s possible for anyone to access and use them. 

Why globaledit is the perfect watermarking tool

Watermarking has been around for centuries as a deterrent to the theft of visual works. globaledit is the solution to simplifying your image watermarking without affecting your workflow. Our easy-to-use photo management software and automated watermarking capabilities make it simple to add a watermark to all of your images, protecting them from unauthorized use.