I have been asked again about watermarking my images before I send them out to people. The questioner seemed surprised when I said that I hadn’t activated the command in my image-editing program to do this – they expected it from everybody.
You can read about the necessity and wisdom of watermarking elsewhere – there are plenty of sites that give legal advice about it. I suspect that some of them are talking through their hats, but then so do I and little harm is done…unless you sneeze and then a straw Panama is a difficult thing to clean.
My reason for not watermarking is the nature of the contract I maintain with clients. They pay me for taking images and get the images I take. I don’t have to put out a gallery of enticement to get orders. If someone steals an image, they are stealing it from the person who has already paid me and that is their problem.
I feel that a prominent watermark – or an intrusive brand name – turns people’s interest away from an image. It becomes a nuisance for them to decode it and they go look at something else that is uncluttered.
Up till now I have had several blog post pictures on specialist subjects that have popped up in the first page of a Google search. I’m flattered by this and there is a link automatically displayed to my blogs. That’s enough for me. There has only been one case of image theft by someone for their Facebook site, and FB corrected that as soon as I notified them.
If I ever take pictures of a burning zeppelin, I will take the proper precautions – until then it would be an exercise in fussiness.