If you’re just starting out in the wedding photography business, you’ve probably run into countless questions about exactly how you should run things, and which brand and advertising methods you should use.
Whether it’s branding, setting prices, or finally settling on a name, there are plenty of details to be worked out before your business is in full swing.
Watermarking is one of those housekeeping items that you should have sorted out soon after your photography business is started. This will help you to ensure that you receive the appropriate credit for all of the hard work you put in at each event.
In such a competitive industry as professional photography, it makes sense to take every opportunity to advertise your work and safeguard your rights.
If you love capturing all those special moments but have questions about the legal aspect of shooting and selling these images, we’re here to help with clear, informative advice!
Read on for a comprehensive answer on whether you should watermark wedding photos.
What Does It Mean to Watermark Your Wedding Photos?
So what is watermarking anyway? Officially, watermarking is when you add a branding image as an overlay on top of an already edited photo or document.
Many photographers add watermarks to the corners of their photos to place their own personal stamp on each of their images. Even outside of the photography world, you can find several popular brands that superimpose their name or logo over images used in marketing.
Objectively, watermarks are seen as a way for brands and businesses to identify their work to the general public.
It’s a simple way of making your vision known to the world and ensuring that anyone who comes across your images will associate them with your name.
Should You Watermark Wedding Pictures?
As a wedding photographer, you probably want your work to get into the hands of as many people as possible. Naturally, that means ensuring that your images are shared as posts on every social media platform that’s available.
In distributing your images, you also have a great opportunity to get your brand name out there among potential clients. For this reason, it makes sense for many photographers to watermark their professional photos as a form of advertising without any additional cost.
Watermarking wedding photos creates an undeniable connection between the artist and their product. This means that when people see your stunning images, your business name will be one of the first things that they notice.
Why Should Photographers Watermark Their Images?
Watermarking wedding photos can present many benefits to the photographer, at both a business and personal level. It’s no wonder that both new and seasoned photographers utilize watermarks as a tool to develop their business and appeal to their clientele.
Having a personalized logo can add to the legitimacy of your business, showing viewers that you can provide a high-quality, professional service that you’re proud to show off.
Rather than distancing your identity from your work, watermarking indicates a sense of security that only comes with creating art you truly believe in.
New business owners may choose to watermark their photos as a sign of confidence in and commitment to their brand.
After months, or even years of providing freelance photography services, it can feel good to go all in and acknowledge the passion that you have for this industry.
When Should You Use a Watermark?
Generally, it’s a fantastic idea to use a watermark when posting photos on your social media pages. These images can be reproduced and screenshot by individuals around the world, so using a watermark helps you to maintain a degree of control over how the images are used and who they are associated with.
We do not recommend that you use a watermark on images that you deliver to clients, as this can affect the overall quality of the photos they receive.
Naturally, couples will want to frame a few of their wedding photos to hang throughout their home, and these images will be much more aesthetically pleasing without a watermark.
As a best practice, we recommend that when using a watermark, you should keep the design simple and relatively small. This will allow others to identify your work without adding a distraction or eyesore to each of your wedding photos.
What Should Your Watermark Look Like?
While watermarks can come in all shapes and sizes, it’s important to choose a design that fits the heart and soul of your business. Whether you decide to create a professional logo or simply use your business name, you want to select a watermark that will work for you.
Keeping it simple means that you don’t have to stress about a perfect watermark and can actually focus on providing perfectly edited photos for your lovestruck clientele.
As long as your watermark has a tasteful, classic design, it should be compatible with each of your fabulous photographs.
Trust us, approaching watermark design with a “less is more” perspective will save you some stress and time in the long run. With all of the bookings coming your way, you’ll be thankful for a moment to breathe and appreciate the success of your photography business.
Do I Need a Designer To Create My Watermark?
No, it is not necessary to have a professional designer create your watermark, as this image is very personal to your unique vision.
For photographers who don’t have an eye for graphic design, however, this can be a completely viable option for developing your branding image.
Hiring a graphic designer or marketing professional can provide you with a polished look that will speak to the quality of your business.
If you’ve been in the industry for a substantial amount of time and have the income to invest in quality design work, we’d definitely recommend outsourcing this task.
Don’t feel too pressured if you’re a new photographer though, as we don’t expect everyone to have the means to hire a professional designer.
A DIY watermark can be designed using basic editing software, allowing you to get the same job done with reasonable quality for a fraction of the price.
Should I Put a Watermark on My Instagram Photos?
If you plan on using watermarks, it’s recommended that you included these brand images on all social media photos. This is in response to the tendency of social media images to be shared and re-posted frequently.
While your close circle of friends/clients may be familiar with your work, it may not be as recognizable once it’s been cross-posted in several Facebook groups or shared as screenshots between family members.
Using a watermark means that no matter how far your photos travel outside of your immediate social circle, your business can be effortlessly identified.
This way, potential clients can find and contact you more easily in the event that they come across your work online. This form of marketing makes sound business sense.
Where Should You Place a Watermark on Photos?
As a rule of thumb, you want your watermark to be recognizable without taking away from the beauty of your photos. For this reason, it’s important to situate the watermark in a position that won’t cause a distraction and therefore negatively impact the integrity of the photograph.
Typically, you will find a watermark in the corner of an image, far from the main focus of the composition. This allows you to show off your incredible work while promoting your brand name to everyone who comes across these photos.
To be even more specific, you can achieve the best results by placing the watermark in one of the bottom corners of the photograph.
As your viewers’ eyes admire the image, their gaze will naturally fall upon the watermark, causing them to take note of your business name and/or logo.
Can People Steal Watermarked Photos?
One of the greatest benefits of utilizing watermarks is that this practice offers a form of legal protection for your photos.
Due to copyright law, you have complete ownership of the images you’ve taken as a professional; watermarking helps others to recognize these images as your intellectual property.
With the advent of social media over the last couple of decades, it has become increasingly easy for photographers and their clients to share their photos with the world.
Unfortunately, this has also made it easier for individuals to claim unmarked photos as their own, profiting from another person’s hard work.
Watermarking as a wedding photographer can help you ward off these unsavory characters by creating an immediate association between your photos and business.
This makes it much more difficult for others to claim and/or prove that they captured your images in the first place.
Do Watermarks Affect Photo Quality?
This is a particularly loaded question, and its answer really comes down to the style and placement of your watermark.
Creating a watermark that is aesthetically pleasing can make or break the overall effect of your photos and determine whether your clients feel satisfied or disappointed upon receiving their wedding package.
When delivering wedding albums, know that your couples will expect well-edited, high-resolution files that they can look back on forever.
Professional photographers provide not only a stellar experience but also a finished product that their clients are happy to show off to their families and friends.
That means that you should take care to ensure that your watermark doesn’t draw attention away from the focus of your photos. In order to preserve the quality of these images, the watermark should be subtle and flow naturally with your personal editing style.