Lets face it a watermark is one thing there is no general consensus on by photographers. Some use them, others don’t and some use them too much. So I’m not going to tell you what is right or wrong but instead just give you my thinking behind what I choose to do about watermarks and why.
Firstly I need to point out that I have tried everything from a little watermark to a big watermark and from no watermark to a logo.
I have finally settled on no watermark. Several reasons which I will outline bellow.
Should I watermark a photograph?
“It will protect my photo and advertise me” your photo is already protected as you own the rights to it so putting a watermark on it doesn’t protect it in that sense. It will however discourage people from using your photo in print and other commercial ways. As for the advertising yourself well what is the best advert of you if not your work itself. Imagine looking at a Picasso painting for the first time and there is an obstructive watermark on it, the watermark breaks the art work and stops the viewer from being fully drawn in to the illusion. Not to forget that generally speaking watermarks are generic so they can be used across all images so more often than not they do not blend themselves in with the work and instead stick out drawing attention to itself.
Should I not watermark a photograph?
Don’t graffiti over your work and then expect people to buy into it. Preserve your art and illusion, your first step is liking the photo yourself and then it is getting others to like it which is an easier job if you offer clean work.
I still want to use a watermark
That is fine too though it will at the cost of your work. However if you choose to use a watermark then why not limit the impact it has on your photo. Could mean using a smaller logo, reducing the font size or even affecting the opacity. I personally sometimes find it ok when people place for example their website URL as the watermark but if you put it right in the center of your image then I wouldn’t even bother looking at the photo never mind visiting your website. The best place is the bottom-center as the human eye scans left-right and top-bottom and of course using the smallest legible font.