Teresa Pilcher Photography

To Watermark or not to Watermark?

To Watermark or not to Watermark? That is the question…. This is not life or death and it isn’t Hamlet. But  I believe that in the end, it really doesn’t matter. But what lead me to this conclusion?  Well, if people want to steal your images they can and they will.. they simply crop or clone your Watermark out. So why do we bother to add them at all? Well, I like to make it a bit harder to steal my images. Also if they remove a watermark, it will prove intent. In case you don’t know what watermarking is, it is the practice of placing a logo or text over an image in order to identify the creator of that image.

So, it was after the frustration of seeing images posted, with no credit given to the photographer, I decided to add a discrete watermark to the bottom corner of my images. But guess what happened next… My image got stolen!! Apparently they liked the challenge. Someone cropped the watermark from this image and posted it as their own.. Now, I kind of feel flattered that someone thinks my images are worth stealing. However I still don’t understand why people don’t want to give the credit to the original photographer, it was only for recognition and not for material gain.

This image was taken in Rome quite late in the day. I love the style of this girl and the people who are window shopping make for great subjects.

Today I still watermark for some social media, I think of it more as a promotional tool instead of protection. In the end it’s really up to you, but if you do add a watermark don’t ruin the image by putting it right through the image. Lower the opacity and place it somewhere discrete. It really is such a distraction from your work.


Do you watermark your images and why?

Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography

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  • Yes, I don’t understand why people don’t want to give the credit to the original photographer. I watermark my works, although I’ am aware if they want to steal my images they can and they will. I agree with you, watermark could play an important role as a promotion tool.