Watermarks are words or logos that photographers place on their images. You will frequently see them when looking at photos that are posted online.
People are always asking me why I watermark my images. Well, frankly it’s to protect my rights to the images, but even more importantly it protects my clients as well.
Nearly every day in the past week I have seen posts on facebook about stolen images. Not only is digital photography extrememly common, but it’s very easy for people to take a screen capture or right click on photos that are found online.
Some common areas of theft include:
- Clients stealing images because they can’t afford or do not want to pay for reprints
- Clients stealing images to share online
- People buying one image and then making their own copies of it
- Vendors stealing images that may have their products in them such as those adorable newborn hats and headbands, wedding cakes, clothing, etc.
- Vendors stealing images that may display examples of their locations/properties
- The worst of the worst is people that steal other photographer’s images, claiming them as their own to help build their business clientele.
It makes me sad to see this happen, especially when I know how hard photographers work at their craft. When people steal images, the photographers are not getting the compensation, nor the recognition they deserve. Not only that, but could you imagine seeing your face or even worse, your child’s face on an ad that you didn’t give permission for?
When we watermark images, it makes it harder for people to use them inappropriately or without our permission. In addition to watermarks, I get permission from my clients before posting their images online. Trust that I am taking the neccessary steps to ensure your images aren’t being used in ways that you would not approve of.
On the bright side, watermarks are great for brand recognition and if you like an image you see online, it makes it easier for you to find the owner of that image!
One final thought: If you are a client of Nicole Mathison Photography, you will receive complimentary low resolution watermarked files of any image you purchase to share with your family and friends. Many photographers have an additional charge for those 🙂