Watermarking Photos

How do I protect my photography work online?

Watermarking photos plays a big role in protecting your photography work online. It's an age old problem where you've taken some great looking photos and want to show them off. But, what if someone downloads your photos and uses them without your permission or claims them as their own? 
 
Well, it's not really that big a problem because your work can quite easily be protected by copyright and watermarking photos. The first thing you need to know is that you own the copyright of all the photos you take and you can legally protect them by registering the copyright. Read our page on copyrighting photos.
 
The next thing you need to know is that watermarking photos is easy to do and in most cases is a very strong deterrent to stop illegal downloading of images. After all how much use is a photo to someone when it has your name emblazoned across it?

unprotectected image

Image protected by a watermark

unprotected inage
protected inage

Watermarking photos with Umark

We use a program called "Umark" to watermark and protect our photos. Umark is both quick and easy to use and comes in a free or paid for version. This is how to watermark a photo in Umark.
 
  1. Click on "file" in the menu then click on "add image".
  2. Use the search box that opens up to select the image you want to watermark and then press "open".
  3. The image that you selected will be displayed in Umark. Now click add watermark.
  4. Select the type of watermark you wish to add. In this case we will go with text.
  5. An option box will open. Click on the text area within the option box and type the watermark that you wish to add to th image e.g. "©howtotakegoodphotos.com 2015"
  6. The text you add will appear on the on the displayed image in Umark. Now just click on one of the preset locations shown in the options box to place the watermark where you would like it displayed on the image.
  7. Click "OK"
  8. The options box will close now just click on save image.
  9. Select where you would like the image to be saved and press "OK"
It's as simple as that your photo is now watermarked and protected. What we have just done is a very basic watermark, as shown in the image above, but there are many more advanced options available especially in the paid for version. Other options include picture watermarks, shape watermarks, size, opacity and effects. "Umark" is a great program to protect your photography you can get it at the UCONOMIX website.

Watermarking photos with Paint Shop Pro

Of course many other photo editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro  will enable you to watermark your photos. The process may be a little more involved using these feature rich editing software packages. Here's how to watermark an image using Paint Shop Pro x 7.
  1. Select "file" from the menu then select "open".
  2. Use the search box that opens up to select the image you want to watermark and then press "open".
  3. The image that you selected will be displayed in Paint Shop Pro x 7.
  4. On the tool bar that runs from the top to the bottom of the page to the left of the displayed image click on the text tool (the T icon).
  5. Position the cross on your displayed image where you would like the watermark to start and left click on your mouse.
  6. Select the font style and size from the menu running left to right across the top of your displayed image.
  7. Type the text of your watermark e.g. howtotakegoodphotos.com.
  8. Once you have finished writing the text of your watermark select "file" from the menu and "save as"
  9. Select the file format you would like to save the file as, the location to save your file and type in the name that you want to call your file.
  10. Click "save" and your file will be saved with a basic watermark.