The Importance of Watermarking

OK, so how would you feel if someone took photos from your blog and posted them on their blog or website and claimed that they did the work in the photos and they took the photos? I don’t know about you, but I’d be livid. Someone else taking credit for my hard work? Not cool. Not cool at all.

Seriously, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard about people taking other people’s photos and saying that either the child in the photo was their own (uh, super creepy, no?) or the work in the photo was their own.

And with the immense growth of Pinterest, I think it’s more important than ever to watermark your photos.

Don’t know how to watermark? Don’t worry, it’s a cinch. I use Photoshop to watermark mine, but If you don’t have Photoshop you can watermark your photos in Paint. I mean, everyone has Paint on their computer. Right? Just open your photo in Paint and use the text tool to create your watermark. Paint allows you to choose the color and placement of the watermark, which is nice. There are also some websites that offer free watermarking. PicMarkr and Watermark are two of them. You can watermark in Picnik, but since that will be leaving us in April you may not want to get attached.

How do you watermark your photos?
Has anyone taken your photos and said that they were their own?
Did you grab your DIY brass knuckles and beat them up?

EDIT: You can also use Picasa to edit and watermark your photos. It’s free, and I don’t think it will be leaving the Internets in April.

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  1. Picasa also has a feature built-in – that’s what I use to edit my photos. It’s a free tool and super easy for a person like me who was new to photo editing to use.

  2. Hi Chelsea, I found your blog via Decor and the Dog. I couldn’t agree more, I watermark my photos to hopefully ward off the crazies and for the Pinterest perks. I currently do mine right now in Picnik, however, it’s closing in a few months so I really need to find a new tool.

  3. I personally don’t care if some weirdo wants to use my photos. Maybe I will care when it actually happens. I’m too lazy to take the extra time to watermark. Bad blogger.

  4. Thanks for sharing about paint. I hadn’t thought about water marking with it. But I think that I might save for Photoshop. I just glanced online and there seem to be so many options for it. Which one do you use & do you recommend it?

  5. Michelle up there is going to feel differently when I start posting pictures of Ike and saying he’s MY dog. Mwahaha!

    1. I know, I know. You all can say I told you so when I go off on a rant someday. 🙂

  6. this is one of those things i think i should do, but am usually too lazy. maybe it’ll be my february-lution! 🙂

  7. Ugh, I know I know! I’ve done it once and I thought about doing it this morning. I’m too lazy, I always remember after I’ve edited and closed the photos. I need to put it on a post-it so I’ll remember.

  8. I’ve just started watermarking my photos. I use Picasa. It’s fairly easy, since I already use it for other editing. What I like about Picasa is that it saves the original copy so I can use the same photo for something else.

  9. Iliterally just started watermarking, and of course I chose Picnik. Not sure where I’ll go from here…
    The thought that someone would steal grainy pics of my kids is super super creepy.

  10. I rarely watermark, mostly because I’m a lazy son of a gun. Also, I have issues with consistency and when I’ve tried to watermark in the past, I find it hard to make them look the same in every picture without spending a lot of time.

    So, I’m lazy.

    I have had folks take photos and not give proper credit, but never (knock on wood) have had anyone take the photos and claim them as their own. I know it happens, but I think it’s more likely that people just don’t think about crediting the source. My biggest pet peeve is when people just say “source” in tiny letters under a photo with a link to the blog. I get that maybe it looks nicer, but I personally think that’s a cop-out. I guess the watermark would help that.

    I am thinking that perhaps I’d like the idea of a watermark for Pinterest. When someone pins an image, it would be nice for that immediate recognition that it belongs to me. And I like it when others do it, too. Then, I know the person is getting credit if I post it on my blog (with credit) and someone pins it from my blog. Does that make sense?

  11. I have started getting more serious about this after hearing awful stories of people stealing! I use Picasa to add a watermark.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been wanting to do this, but wasn’t sure what the best tool to use was, and frankly didn’t have the time to do all of them. But you’re right, I’d be LIVID if I saw someone else taking credit for my photos!

  13. I’m so hit-and-miss w/ this. I know I need to, I just don’t always get around to it. Thanks for the tips on the two free sites. I’m still in grief over losing Picnik.

  14. I LOVE this post! It is super important to watermark your photos! While I’m guilty of not doing it ALL the time, I make an effort to. I’m going to tweet this post because it’s super helpful for those needing some resources!

  15. I recently started using GIMP to watermark my photos because I’ve run into people using my photos and not giving credit where I believe it’s due. Found this post through Meg O’s tweet!
    I’m now realizing more and more the importance of watermarking! ESPECIALLY (as you mentioned) now with Pinterest out there.

  16. I use photoshop. I also keep all published photos in a separate folder with details of when they were first posted so I have a personal record. My photos may not be professional, but they are mine!

  17. Great post! It’s soo important to watermark! And I’m totally bummed about Picnik. It was so easy for quick fixes.

  18. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve started posting more photos on my blog recently – and getting more creative with those photos – so I’ve also been thinking about watermarking. When I use others’ photos, I try to give them credit for it, but as you say, not everyone does that. 🙂 I’ll go check those sites you suggested; I like Picnik but as you say, it’s disappearing so I need somewhere else to play.

  19. Here’s a random question: you say “The Internets” too?? My husband and I say that to each other all the time. We thought it was a ‘Bush-ism’. Do you?

  20. I normally don’t mind if people share my photos, as long as the my give me credit for it… but recently I’ve noticed that people share the photos without giving me credit and then pretend it’s their own. I’m not a professional photographer but I don’t appreciate people takin credit for the work I did. Annoyed… I hate that I have to watermark my photos now…

  21. Watermarking personal or professional images is a tedious task. Thanks for posting this article which makes my job faster.

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