Watermarking Photos for Your Protection
If you are sharing photos, especially if you will be posting them online or emailing them, you never know what will happen to them. Someone could take the photos for their own use, and you might never even know. Here is a simple step-by-step tutorial on protecting images by watermarking your photos.
While there are many ways to protect images, watermarking is probably the most effective. Several other methods, such as right-click disabling and adding a transparent gif image file on top, either have work-arounds the experienced photo-stealer knows or they are time-consuming.
Watermarking is more effective, and it’s simple to use. In fact, there are programs that allow you to watermark a batch of several pictures at once. In fact, you may already have software that will create watermarks on your images right now.
Find Watermark Software
In order to protect your images with watermarking, you should first be sure you have software that allows you to watermark. Some popular photo editing programs, like Adobe Photoshop, already feature watermarking. There are other programs out there, some cheap or free, that just do watermarking and even do batch watermarking.
If you already have Adobe Photoshop, you can find out how to add a text watermark in Photoshop.
Otherwise, there are some other watermark software programs, such as:
- iWatermark, which works on both Windows and Mac systems. It costs $20.
- Alamoon Watermark, which is a simple to use tool helps you to quickly and easily create watermarks, (FREE)
- AiS Watermark Pictures Protector, which features batch watermarking and creates thumbnails. It is free to try, $30 to buy.
- Watermark Factory, with batch watermarking, resizing, cropping and rotating. It’s free to try, $29.95 to buy.
- Batch Watermark Creator , which allows for text, picture and tiled watermarks. It’s free to try, and $29.95 to buy.
- Easy Watermark Creator, which supports watermarks that are text, picture, date and can be tiled. It’s free to try, $23 to buy.
Create Your Watermark
Once you have decided to protect your images with watermarks, you will need to decide on a specific watermark. It is good to be consistent and always use the same type.
Here are some of the main watermark types and styles:
- Generic text watermark – This is the type that does not connect the photo to you in any way, but does still protect the photo and inform potential photo-nabbers that it is not up for grabs. You would use a text watermark with a basic term like, “Sample,” or “Demo” or “Do not use.”
- Specific text watermark – This is where you use a simple text watermark, but you identify yourself or something about the image. Sometimes this can automatically be made the file name. You can also use your own name, or the have it advertise your Web site.
- Date watermark – This is pretty self-explanatory. It serves a purpose: marking the photos. It doesn’t say much about you, the photographer, but it can be handy for organizing photos. This type of watermark isn’t used very frequently.
- Copyright watermark – This is probably one of the best methods of watermarking. It informs users you have declared a copyright to the image. Many watermark programs have copyright symbols you can add. Your keyboard also should have a copyright symbol.
- Image watermark- This is more elaborate. The good news is you only have to create the watermarking image once. This can be nice if you have a business logo.
Watermark Your Images
Once you have selected a watermark style, it is time to watermark any photos that will be vulnerable. It is crucial you follow all the proper steps. You want to be sure your image is protected, but not ruined for your own use. Here are the steps to watermarking properly.
- Isolate your originals – Before you do anything, be sure all of your originals are in a safe place (preferably with a secondary backup, such as on CD or DVD). You will want an original version of all images that are the proper size and are without the watermarks.
- Copy all images you want watermarked – Figure out which images you intend to watermark, and make a copy of them from those originals. It can be a good idea to create a folder just for those copied images, perhaps calling it “watermark.”
- Batch or one-by-one watermarking? – This is a decision you will want to make before you start marking. If you only have a few images, do it one at a time. This allows more quality control, and you can see if a watermark is in a bad spot. If you have dozens of photos, batch watermarking is much more convenient.
- Pick the watermark’s features – In the last step, you decided on the type of watermark. Now, decide how large you want the watermark. Do you want to center the watermark, or tile it across the entire image? How transparent do you want it? Play with each of these options. Keep in mind, the more intrusive the watermark, the better the photo is protected. The downside is the image gets harder to view.