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To watermark or not to watermark

March 10, 2010

Okay, I’m curious.  Do you add a watermark to the photos you post on your blog or on flickr?  I didn’t when I started blogging, but in the past few months, I’ve started adding them before posting a photo.

There have been a few times that I’ve found my photos turn up in various places, including other blogs, without credit or a link back to One Ordinary Day.  I’ve also read about how similar things have happened to other bloggers out there.  In fact, in one instance, someone’s photo was “lifted” and then entered into a contest.

So I guess my question is this… should I be adding a watermark and does it really protect my photos from being used without my permission?  Probably not.  But I’m really curious about your opinions on this.  I hope you weigh in!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2010 1:23 pm

    I think you have to do whatever you feel comfortable with. I think it takes away from the visual wow of a photo, but I understand why people use it.

    But honestly, unless you are going to put it right across the middle, it can be easily edited out if someone is trying to misrepresent it.

  2. March 10, 2010 1:34 pm

    Hm…that’s a good question. I would say if you post it to Flickr, watermark it. If you’re posting it to Facebook or somewhere else that has minimal resolution, don’t bother.

    It’s a bummer that people do that kind of thing, but I agree with Lorie that if they REALLY want to, they’ll find a way to life it. Although, a little prevention on Flickr couldn’t hurt.

  3. March 10, 2010 1:44 pm

    I have never watermarked any pictures and have now had my blog one year. This has never been an issue for me until recently. Just yesterday I saw a post that had one of my recipes and picture on someone elses blog. I am currently having the same watermark debate with myself.

  4. March 10, 2010 1:50 pm

    I don’t watermark, but I do make sure that I resize to itty-bitty resolution.

  5. March 10, 2010 2:41 pm

    Ive never water marked mine but I can understand the need. I find it rude hearing of others stealing photos with no credit given. such a shame. but it is the internet and if it helps you, then do it! Im not against it :)

  6. March 10, 2010 3:22 pm

    At this point I am not gonna watermark. So much can be altered in photoshop. I have a copyright on my blog that covers every image in each post. Does anyone pay attention? Probably not. This is a tricky, complex subject. We all put it “all” out there.

  7. March 10, 2010 7:59 pm

    I watermark my pics, but very inconspicuously. In a corner, using a light colored text. I realize that it could easily be edited out, but at least if it ever came down to proving whether or not a picture is mine, I have the original on my Flickr page, watermarked and all.

  8. March 11, 2010 2:15 am

    My pics aren’t the greatest, but if I wanted to add a watermark, I wouldn’t know how!
    Can you do it on your blog or does it have to have it on there before you post them?

  9. foododelmundo permalink
    March 11, 2010 3:08 am

    All of the top food bloggers don’t.
    IMHO it drastically takes away from a photo.
    I am honored when someone does use my photo/recipe – though I haven’t found one that hasn’t given credit or a link back.
    In general I like to believe that the food blogging “family” is filled with well meaning folks and have felt like I’ve gotten one big cyber HUG since starting our blog.

  10. March 11, 2010 6:01 am

    Well, you know I watermark my photos but as someone else mentioned if they wanted the photo they could crop it out. I feel like it deters enough people from lifting the photo but doesn’t detract attention from it.

  11. March 12, 2010 6:04 am

    I know that I personally am a little turned off when I see a watermark on a photo. I don’t know why, though… I guess it just distracts me from the actual photo. But I do feel that anyone has the right to protect their work in whatever way they see fit. And, I love your site, so if you started watermarking, it wouldn’t turn me away.

    Another reason why I think I don’t like watermarks… They make me feel like I am looking at a professional site, rather than someone’s personal writing and photography, and it gives me less of a connected feel to the writer.

    That’s my two cents, but whether it makes any ‘cents’ or not, I’m not sure! ;)

  12. March 12, 2010 12:39 pm

    Wanted to stop in again and let you know I just happened upon a photographer’s site, and she ‘watermarks’ her pictures with a simple little design. I thought it was effective, but also didn’t detract from the picture too much. Check it out…

  13. oneordinaryday permalink
    March 13, 2010 12:45 pm

    Niki – I edit my pics at because I don’t have photoshop. You can add text there and fade it until it becomes a watermark.

  14. March 13, 2010 7:24 pm

    I may have had a different answer for you a couple days ago but as of today I just don’t know.

    I personally don’t like the look of watermarks because I think they detract from the photo but I completley understand why they’re used and I think they’re effective.

    I don’t have a flickr account or anything else like that where I put my photos out there. On my new photo blog I’ve been putting the blog address on them. Again like someone else said, it can always be edited out.

    If people were just honest we wouldn’t even have to think about this. And while I’ve seen lots of my photos pop up on other blogs they’ve always given credit back to me and I appreciate that. But the other day just was TOO much. to steal them and copyright them- I just couldn’t handle. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. But I’ll figure something out.

    You do what you need to do and what makes you feel comfortable.

    ta ta!

  15. March 15, 2010 5:38 am

    I recently starting watermarking my photos because I’d see them pop up in other people’s posts. Generally I would get a link to my blog, but a lot of times it never said that the picture was mine and that kind of irritated me. So, yes. I watermark now.

    Do whatever you feel works for you, though. :)

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