Simple Blogging Tips: Do you need to watermark your photos on your blog?

by Paris B on · 71 comments

in Discussions,Simple Blogging Tips (for beauty bloggers),Tips

Blogging is a lovely journey and one that teaches you lessons along the way. Some good, some less so. One of the lessons I’ve learnt is that of photography. I have always been interested in photography albeit in a small way. The rise in digital cameras and the dropping of the price tags made it more affordable for me to take it on as a small hobby. And taking pictures for the blog teaches me a lot about still life photography too.

watermark photos Simple Blogging Tips: Do you need to watermark your photos on your blog?

But do you have to watermark your photos that you upload on your blog? I think there are 2 schools of thought when it comes to this. You will have seen my photos, and you will realize that I watermark mine. The method of watermarking and my watermark has changed and evolved over the years, but I stick to placing a watermark and that is my choice.

I’d like to know what readers think too. As  reader, I know that sometimes, watermarks can be quite distracting so your input will be very helpful for me and other bloggers out there wondering the same thing icon biggrin Simple Blogging Tips: Do you need to watermark your photos on your blog?

A watermark is a way of marking the photo to show ownership and proprietorship. It is also a way to deter others from stealing your photo and passing it off for their own. Heaven knows, it happens so often online. For some people, just because something is available online, whether it be text or photos, means that it is public property. How wrong they are!

In terms of beauty blogs, I will say that whilst I don’t take the best photographs out there, I take pride in knowing that they are mine. I put work into making them look the way they look and I want to claim ownership, good or bad. I started out by placing a watermark of my blog URL or blog logo in a corner. I thought it was sufficient.

However, unscrupulous people soon took the photo, cropped out the watermark (the cheek!) and passed off the photo for their own. I recognise my photos, and especially when it is my property e.g. my bag, my hand etc. That made me mad. So, I went to the other drastic extreme. I slapped the header logo right in the middle of my photos. It was ugly, and it was distracting but it made my point. Its MINE icon razz Simple Blogging Tips: Do you need to watermark your photos on your blog?

In recent times, I decided to take a slightly more subtle approach. I still watermark my photos with my blog URL, but I place the text in the midst of my photo, in an area that is hard to crop out but not as distracting. That is my choice and whilst some people might say that people can still steal the photos if they want to, for me, I’ve done all I can to deter that and if they choose to use my photo on their website, they can jolly well live with advertising my blog for me icon razz Simple Blogging Tips: Do you need to watermark your photos on your blog?

The other school of thought which is employed by many blogs I see, especially the larger ones, is not to watermark the photos at all. I will agree that watermarking distracts from a beautiful shot and it can jar wildly with how a product, or shot looks. I salute them, because I’ve seen their photos used in any number of places online. I guess they have achieved that zen state of being that allows them to share their art with the world, while I’m still bogged down by feelings of selfishness and possessiveness. Some day, I might achieve that sort of Nirvana but till then, watermarking is my way to go icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: Do you need to watermark your photos on your blog?

Do you watermark your photos on your blog? Is there a reason why you do or do not? As a reader, does it bug you to see a watermarked photo? I must say that as a reader, I’m not bugged by it because I understand where the blogger is coming from. However, I will also confess that when I see a non-watermarked photo on a blog, I am less distracted and can view the photo in a more wholesome manner, the way the photographer intended to draw my eye. Pros and cons I guess – you?

Paris B

Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previousSimple Blogging Tips here.

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[ 71 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

pelf April 27, 2012 at 8:41 am

I used to watermark all my images when I started blogging, for the very same reasons you did. But over time, I found it time consuming (already I don’t have much time to blog, let along watermark all my images).

I blog because I want to write something, but whenever I think about the process of watermarking my images, I feel less enthusiastic already! That was why I did away with watermarking them.

But of course, whatever is posted online can be stolen by anybody, as long as they put their heart into stealing content/images. Hence I always remind myself to ONLY post images that I do not mind being stolen.

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

Gotta agree with you about it being time consuming! But then so is image resizing & editing so I take it all as par for the course … because I’m selfish like that hehe… ;)

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Teri April 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

I really understand the reason behind it and tbh I don’t think your watermarks are distracting at all. I used to watermark my pictures, but I’m a very lazy person when it comes to that so I just didn’t bother with it anymore. The chance of my photographs being stolen is very small too because I’m fairly new and just a small blog. I might be doing it again in the future, but for now I’m fine. I don’t really mind watermarks because I tend to automatically ignore them.

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

Hi Teri, its never too early to start because I think your photos are great :) But its a matter of personal preference anyway so do what makes you comfortable/happy :D

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Tina April 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

I always thought I wouldn’t be bothered if someone steals my pics, but when it happened it really unnerved me!

After the “incident” I have been thinking about watermarking, however (i) I like having clean photos on my blog, and can’t think of where and how best to put a watermark (ii) I’m too lazy to watermark each and every pic! :P

So now I’m kinda stuck btw the 2 minds, although am leaning towards staying un-watermarked. Perhaps I’ll just write it off as a one-off incident, and continue with my average-quality photos which hopefully no one else would want to steal :D

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

I remember your incident, Tina and it was awful! I can’t believe how rude and unrepentant that website owner was, and how rude she was going round calling everyone else names & being accusatory. Urgh! I love the look of clean photos too and watermarks do spoil that, I admit. You might consider just a small one and make it transparent so it is less intrusive. No need to get all defensive and slap logos everywhere like I did hehe… ;)

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onnjaejun April 27, 2012 at 9:53 am

I dont blog a lot. for my own blog i am like Pelf. i only put photo that i dont mind being stolen. and like Teri, i dont mind if other people water mark theirs. in fact, i didnt notice yours. : )

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

Thanks for the input! :D I guess I have yet to achieve that sort of Nirvana ;)

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dom April 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

Yep, I watermark mine because it’s MINE. I’m a bit paranoid of people stealing my photos, though it hasn’t happened before (or maybe I haven’t sussed it out yet). Hah! I’ve seen some very ‘in-your-face’ watermarks before but I think your style, and Chloe/Ash’s style of watermarking are great. Not distracting, yet enough for people to know that it’s your own pics.

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:33 am

There’s no telling what people will and won’t steal, lazy buggers :P I actually quite like seeing people watermark their photos because it tells me they take pride in their photos and that they want their ownership acknowledged. Also, its like saying that they took it themselves which I find important but that’s just me :D

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Megan April 27, 2012 at 10:21 am

I tend to just watermark the product shots I upload onto my blog but anything with my face in I don’t worry about. I don’t think my photos are quite good enough for anyone to steal anyway!!!

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:36 am

You never know, Megan! I’ve seen people use bloggers’ face shots to advertise their ebay sales, which I think is such a no no :(

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Jenn April 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

Eh yours is very inconspicuous di la! Mine is much more obnoxious! Kakaka!! :P

I watermark all the pictures on my blog too. I do not think of it as being selfish, but i see it as a way to protect my “property”. Those of us who takes the time produce decent quality shots will understand how much work it takes sometimes to create these images. I personally don’t mind for my images to be posted elsewhere with a credit link and my watermark intact if the person asks my permission beforehand and use it only for non-commercial purposes. But hey, some people are so lazy and deceitful that they even stole my image, photoshopped my watermark away and claimed it as their own! :O

So, to answer your question, yes, I watermark my photos and no, i don’t mind if a photo is watermarked! :D

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

I like how you’ve done yours though. Its conspicuous but not :D I dont’ mind photos being used with proper accreditation but there are lots of lazy and unscrupulous people online and I guess I just don’t want to attract that sort. Had my photos stolen before and as you said, they even photoshop or crop out the watermark. How low can one get?!

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Jacqueline April 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

I am not perturbed by the watermarks I see in pictures. I have also not watermarked my photos. I am just too lazy. I probably will be mighty pissed if I saw someone ‘stealing’ my picture but I have not yet experienced it, so ignorance is kinda bliss for me for now.

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Paris B April 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

Haha ignorance is indeed bliss ;) I think it takes a lot to not watermark photos and not just laziness, but also the confidence that its out there, and you don’t mind that it might be used by someone else (where you know it or not :) )

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makeup.addict April 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

Truth be told, I didn’t even know you watermarked you pictures until you blogged about it! I literally had to go back to your homepage to check your pictures too see the watermark. Your watermarks are so inconspicuous that I never even spotted them before this! Or it could probably be because of the fact that I am the least attentive person who is reading this blog. But kudos to you PB for taking such great pictures and also for being considerate to us readers by not putting huge obnoxious watermarks on your pictures. :D

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm

LOL! Thanks – I got quite tired of slapping big watermarks, no matter how effective they are. It was like giving in to the image thieves by making pictures look ugly :)

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Joyce April 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

I absolutely hate watermarks! It makes my pictures look soooo distracting and unattractive, but I have to because there are just too many online thefts, especially from Ebay sellers and Luuuxers. =(

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Isn’t sad that our online efforts are blatantly stolen by some of these unscrupulous people? I find that sometimes, making the watermark transparent isn’t as distracting as having it solid. Give it a go and see :)

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Joyce May 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I have tried making the watermarks opaque, but Ebay sellers are VERY sneaky. They shrink the image, so that you can still see the overall product, but not the opaque watermark. I have asked many Ebay sellers to take my photo down from their auction nicely and they have done so, but they all tell me the same excuse, “I found the picture on Google.” That’s like me saying “I didn’t steal your tv, I just found the tv at your house” or “I didn’t steal your money, I just found it your pocket”. -_-

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Joyce May 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I mean transparent watermark, not opaque watermark.

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Joyce May 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Also, it’s like me saying, “I didn’t steal your phone, I found it in the world.” They hold no responsibility for their actions whatsoever. =/

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Paris B May 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

Ah I’ve heard that “I found it on Google” excuse so many times. They must be naive to believe that there are all these photos out there just floating around on google for free use when each image is tied to a website :P

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beetrice April 27, 2012 at 10:54 am

Never thought anyone would bother with my amateur-looking photos, but in the days when my watermark was just a tiny text line at the bottom I came across some who cropped it out and passed it off as theirs.

Now I still keep it to the bottom corner of photos, but try to position it in such a way that it will look odd if cropped off – probably not much of a deterrent if they really wanted the photos, but better than nothing I guess. I like the way you’ve done your watermarking though! :)

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Thanks Bee and yeah some of these people are unbelievable! They can see the watermark yet they just crop it out. I don’t suppose that any watermark will deter them actually. But at least making the effort to photoshop out the watermark would be harder than just cropping :)

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Jyoan April 27, 2012 at 11:03 am

At first I didn’t, and then at one point in time I did. And I changed laptop to a Mac. I can’t find back the same photo-editing program and I just leave my photos as they are. I am quite fine with product photos being taken maybe because I don’t take that nice photos anyway. =P

But I am actually more worried about my own photos. I seem to take better photos of scenery and myself than of makeup products. =PPP

In any case, I have not seen my photos go elsewhere yet probably because my blog is not as big. lol.

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Never underestimate your photo skills :) Someone else who is lazy and sees what they want in your photo will just steal it anyway, whether you think it looks good or not :) But yes, for personal photos of yourself, the I think watermarking is a good idea. You just never know where it can end up :P

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jozefinfin April 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

I tend to watermark photos where my full face is visible! :D

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

That’s a good move. Never know where it might end up!

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Tine April 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

I watermark my images, but only at the corner. Probably pointless and very easy to remove but like you said, it’s a mark of my images, and it differentiates from images from other sources that I use. I’m not a fan of watermark across the images, but I can see where the bloggers who do that are coming from. It’s frustrating to say the least when their images are stolen by morons on the Internet.

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Yep I’m one of those who blatantly watermark across my image. Possessive! :D But I can see your point too – that you’re differentiating your own photos vs photos from other sources. Different ideas of how and why people watermark photos – interesting. :)

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lyn April 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

I watermark using Lightroom (my photo editing and organising tool) and they are done automatically. I don’t even need to spend time on it. I used to just insert text but it looked so boring so my recent photos all have my blog logo watermarked. I don’t find watermarks distracting but some are right smack in the middle and the watermark is bigger than the actual object so you can’t even see what’s photographed. I think it’s a personal choice. As a viewer / reader, I don’t have an issue with it and understand the need for watermarking.

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Ah yes! There’s those programmes that do batch editing. The programme I use does too but I don’t make use of it because I edit photo by photo. That’s a good piece of advice for those who might feel its too much work to place a watermark on every photo :)

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synical April 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Can’t be bothered. If I do, it’s only because I felt like it. My pictures are half-a**edly sufficient for me, the chance of anyone stealing is… meh. If they did, it just means they’re way lazier than I am.

Then again, I wouldn’t know if pictures of mine were stolen anyway, if it ever happened; I would have no way of knowing.

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

You’d be surprised at what you would recognise if your photo unintentionally ended up on another website. But I guess its a personal thing, watermarking :)

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Cas April 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I do think its time consuming so I dont really bother. Besides my photo skills aren’t that great so I doubt anyone would be stealing my photos, lol and even if they do then I’ll just take it as a compliment. Yes I’m that lazy I guess, lol.

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Good on you :) I don’t think it takes much more time than editing photos to be honest. Maybe an extra second or two, or if your photo editing programme allows you to batch process photos, its done in a pinch :)

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gio April 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I really hate watermarks, they are ugly and distracting, so I don’t think I will have use them on my photos. My photos aren’t that good anyway so I’m not sure anyone would want to steal them, but if it happened, I’d rather deal with the thief then rather than go through the hassle of watermarking my photos (i’m lazy lol). Having said that, I understand that some people prefer to watermark their photos to protect their property and in that case, especially when they aren’t as obtruisve as yours, I don’t mind that too much. I really see it as a necessary evil then..

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I think your pictures are pretty good Gio. They are clear and depict products well which for some people is enough to steal to use to sell their products or to use on their own websites. But I guess if you are comfortable with that, then that’s ok :) I watermark as a matter of course when I process my photos so it doesn’t take any more time than I really need :)

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ysk April 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

it depends on my mood,i’ll do so if I want to.but frankly,I don’t always do so,I’m a lazy girl XD

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Helz Nguyen April 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

As a blogger, I do watermarke my pics but its because I had a bad experience with ppl stealing pics of myself and used it on their profiles, so it was a case of identity theft. I learned my lessons then, and I also understand as a reader why bloggers do it too. I dont find it distracting, unless it is really NOTICEABLE. Its their own hard work, so its understandable that they want to protect it. I really dont mind sharing my pics, but you should always ask the permission from me first. I think thats fair enough, right??

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Thats so wrong to steal a photo of you and then pass themselves off as you! :O The nerve. I have given permission to others to use my photos too, provided they let me know first and they provide a link back. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I think your watermark is cute and it isn’t obtrusive either so keep on watermarking! ;)

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Helz Nguyen April 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Its nice to hear a positive feedback from a long time blogger :) I really appreciate it, Paris! Thanks :D

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm

You’re welcome :) Keep up the good work

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giddy tigress April 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I watermark my photos for the same reasons you do, except of course no one (I know) has stolen my images (yet). Mine are only at the corner though. But I must say you do have creative ways of watermarking yours. Someday…someday, when I am in the same league as you, I will look to you for guidance :)

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I think its to do with comfort level and being anal hehe… I had my photos stolen by people who used it to sell their products, and that was way back in the day. So I don’t think its a matter of being a big blog or a small one, but to do with what the thief is looking for and if they find what they want in your photo.

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Swati April 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I do watermark the images and reduce their size as the original images are too heavy during page load times so both works get done at the same time but even I feel that watermarking is a huge chore and sometimes I put off the post just coz of that reason.

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I agree – we edit our photos anyway, so watermarking doesn’t take any more time than it should :) I have put off posts for the hassle in editing photos but never for watermarking which happen naturally as a result of the editing anyway :D

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Sze Ling April 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I used to watermark all my photos too (in my previous blog). It bugged me to hell when someone take my photo and claim it as theirs

Now, I don’t do that anymore. Not because I’m more “generous”. But I think a watermark is just too distracting. And if anybody really wants to steal my photos and claim is as their own, I don’t think there’s anything I can do to prevent that. I believe in karma: what goes around comes around. So, it doesn’t really bother me that much anymore. :)

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Actually, there is something you can do – you can report the thief :) Will take a while but big hosts like blogger, wordpress and tumblr take copyright infringement seriously :)

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Applegal April 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I don’t think it’s selfish to watermark something that you produce. It’s your hard work and effort, and it is wrong for others to steal your images and claim them as their own! And talk as if they took the photos themselves!

I think it’s very bad especially if it’s portrait shots. I wouldn’t want my face plastered over someone else’s blog without my consent. Not a good thing at all.

So yes, I am pro-water marking!

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm

It actually bugs me to see ebay sellers use swatches and photos from bloggers I know to sell their products. linking to the post is one thing, but actually lifting the photo and saying “Here is a swatch of the product” and not giving credit is so wrong.

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Chea Yee April 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I use the default watermark feature on Picasa. Granted, if its just a travel photo, i don’t really bother. But if its a product that I bought or paid for on my beauty blog, then yes.

I don’t see anything wrong in water marking your photos. Its yours!!

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Paris B April 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Yup my thoughts exactly :) I don’t expect everyone to agree of course. Watermarking or not is quite a personal thing as I’ve noticed from my online exploits :)

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