The importance of watermarking your images

OK, I will be the first to admit it, I am terrible when it comes to watermarking my images. This goes for both crochet and nail art (My day job is esthetics). I have read several articles online where lawyers, photographers, and other professionals basically poo-poo the importance of using a watermark on images because, in their words, “No one is going to make a million dollars from your photo.” True, that, but I’ve had my butt bitten locally. A discount salon in my city actually pulled my images from wherever I posted them on social media (probably Twitter or Instagram) and actually turned them into storefront advertising. Contact from one of my clients, a lawyer, resulted in all new marketing images at that salon – probably they just stole someone else’s – but at least not mine anymore.

The other argument I hear against watermarking is that it takes away from the image. This can be true but there are ways to make the watermark less obvious so that the viewer is not distracted by the tagline “ABC Crochet” (or whoever….I’m just pulling that one out of the air) and instead can focus on the lovely granny square afghan…or booties…or dishcloths. One of the things that we do with nail art is use the “curve” feature of some photo apps to produce a teeny tiny itty bitty little watermark that sits at the cuticle, hugging the shape of the finger nail. I’ve also seen wavy watermarks worked into the rows of blankets or sweaters. There are clever ways to watermark something, besides just stamping the image diagonally across the middle and ruining a good shot.

Like I said, I’m bad, bad, bad for watermarking things. I’d make it a resolution but I suck at keeping New Year’s resolutions. I am getting a little better at it, because I’ve been guest blogging and the blogs I’ve been a guest at have all required that my photos be watermarked with this website.

Regardless of what other people’s opinions on this may be, I can think of two reasons to watermark your crochet images:

  1. It is not a fool-proof means to theft protection, but at least your name is on there somewhere, provided that that the watermark isn’t in a spot that can just be cropped out. I know that no one is going to go out and “make a million dollars” on my work, as one lawyer wrote in a blog article on this subject, but he’s looking at the whole vast expanse of the Internet. I’m looking at the crochet world. The online crochet community may be millions of users strong, but thanks to the Google and Facebook algorithms, some of us keep bumping into each other because of our searches. Therefore it is highly likely that if my work gets stolen, someone I know or know of, will see it and let me know. This type of scenario plays out a lot in the crafting communities.
  2. Marketing!!!!! Share my stuff!!! Steal my stuff!!!! If it’s watermarked, then I know at some point at least some of those users are going to come back to this blog or to my Instagram or Facebook page. I know this because when I see something that I like, I look for the watermark to see where it came from and then I look that person up. I generally end up subscribing, liking, following, or whatever it is that I have to do to keep seeing that person’s work.

So go ahead – steal my stuff (well, please don’t because both stealing and pretending that my work is yours are wrong) – but steal the stuff that’s been watermarked. Everyone will know what a big poo-head you are for stealing and all that drama will drive traffic 😀

There are a lot of crafters posting and sharing photos that aren’t watermarked, that should be. I’ve watermarked for others and even though I stink when it comes to do it regularly, I know how and it always shocks me, how many of us don’t know how to get the most out of our smartphones. The app I use for this is called Phonto. That link takes you to the Google Play Store to look at it, but you can also view it on your phone at the right app store for your device.

Here is a short tutorial I prepared, using Phonto to watermark an image. The image is actually my next free pattern, which will be posted some time over the next few days:

Tap the app to get this page
Tap the app to get this page
Tap the icon to open up an image.
Tap the icon to open up an image.
You'll be prompted to choose your source.
You’ll be prompted to choose your source.
Once you've got your image, tap the edit icon to start watermarking.
Once you’ve got your image, tap the edit icon to start watermarking.
Voila!!! This image has been watermarked with my Instagram nic. I curved it to fit along the cowl edge. This makes it less likely to be lost if cropped, but doesn't really take away from the image itself.
Voila!!! This image has been watermarked with my Instagram nic. I curved it to fit along the cowl edge. This makes it less likely to be lost if cropped, but doesn’t really take away from the image itself. Once the image is saved, Phonto will prompt you to share. You’ll be taken to a page with a list of various social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.

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1 comment on The importance of watermarking your images

  1. Great post on watermarking! I watermark all my crochet and knit photos and I try to watermark them right after they are snapped. This way, I don’t forget later. I use PhotoFirma on my BlackBerry and it does the job nicely.
    🙂

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