With all the awful stories about people finding their own photographic images on other peoples sites I've long been thinking that it's time I did something about watermarking the thousands of images I take. I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to techie things so I always put them off and when I do bite the bullet it usually turns out to be simpler that I thought - and this was no exception.
If like me you don't have existing soft ware to deal with this then there are number applications available online - many advertised as free although this generally seems to be for a trial period or with very limited capabilities.
I started of with a free trial for an application called Visual Watermark which seemed very simple to use and had everything I need - particularly batch processing, so I eventually bought the app for a one off payment of £18/$29.99 which considering the amount of photographs I take didn't see too bad. I'm not one for comparing and trying a whole host of apps - once I find one that does what I want I tend to go for it and stick with it. If you want to shop around a bit more there are a few links at the bottom of this post that might be useful.
So now I had the means to add watermarks to my photos I had to think about what I actually wanted them to look like. I wanted it to be more than just a simple name but I don't really have a logo for my brand because I dabble with so many things that it's hard to come up with a defined and representative image. At this point the lovely Caroline Dewison (who is definitely a tech head) offered to convert an image to a line drawing that would be suitable for a watermark so I started going through pictures to see if anything jumped out.
I kept coming back to this favourite image of one of my most popular lines from last autumn.
I revamped my business cards recently and used a cropped version of tis image on the back of them and, since a lot of my work is influenced by nature I thought maybe a stylised version of this would be a good representation and give me a cohesive feeling to my branding.
So Caroline got to work and came up with numerous images starting with a line drawing that highlighted the veining of the leaves in the image and then this blocked version.
However, when used in the small sizes required for the watermark they lost definition and looked a bit fuzzy so she smoothed out the edges and simplified the design to this.
I really like the clarity and simplicity of the lines so this is what I've decided to go with and now I'm happily playing with it in Visual Watermark to see how and where it works best. I personally don't think watermarks that go across the subject matter are appropriate when the image is intended to sell and can be off putting so, it needs to be positioned in such a way as to be noticeable but not obtrusive and close enough not to be simply cropped out.
As you can see the watermark can be moved, sized and rotated as required and I think for it to be most effective I might need to think a bit more about the placement of my products for photography than I currently do. I like where it's going though and will continue to play around and test fonts and transparency until I come up with the perfect fit.
If you are looking to do something similar these are a few links I came across during my investigations which as I said may be of use - although I haven't tried them so can't vouch for them.