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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Watermarking Photos

We get quite a few questions in our patterns group about how to watermark photos, so today we're going to have a little lesson on it!  A watermark is basically any mark you choose to put on your photos to identify your brand, and to hopefully protect the photos from being used without your permission.  It is not at all difficult to add and it can even be a little fun! 





First of all, you will choose what you want your watermark to look like.  It may be your boutique name, your logo if you have one, or even a small photo or icon. It doesn't have to be anything official; just something that identifies your photo as your own.
  


Next you will choose where you want your watermark to be. Some people like to keep their watermark discreet in the corner, while others like it to be more pronounced and "cute", and still others like to have it going across the whole photo.  The bigger your watermark is and the more it covers the actual image, the less likely people are to steal your photo.  If online meanies are determined enough, they can remove a watermark. But chances are, if they see your watermark they will move along to somebody else's photo that is easier to steal.  So if protection is your main goal, you probably want your watermark across the whole photo. If you mostly want your photos to be identified for promotional reasons, a smaller watermark is just fine.   





You also have the choice whether you want to put your watermark in the same location on every single photo or whether you want to place the watermark based on what is in your photo. So many choices!  And it is all up to you. 

Now let's get down to business about how to actually add the watermark. 


There are SO many different programs you could use to add your watermark to photos.  On my cell phone I use Picsart most often.  On my computer I use Photoshop or PicMonkey. If you want to try others, simply google other watermark software available or check your app store. 



 I think PicMonkey might be the best way to start on a computer if you're doing one photo at a time, because it's free and easy to use. I will demonstrate using it. Simply go to www.picmonkey.com and choose "Edit" or "Design", then upload the first photo you want to watermark.

That will bring you to the screen you see above.  On the far left margin you will find different editing options represented by icons.  Click on the butterfly icon, which is for Overlays.  You will be adding your watermark as an overlay.  In the photo above you can see several of the picmonkey overlays, but you will want to go up to the top of the options where there is a drop-down box for "Your Own".  Click that arrow and it will open up your computer files.  Find your chosen watermark in your files and select it. 



Your watermark will appear on your photo as an overlay.  Now you can resize it, move it around, play with the colors, etc.  When you have it where you want it, simply save it it to your computer and you are done!

If your watermark is a solid picture and you're wondering how to make the outside edges "see through" like our watermark above, that is a lesson for another day. In fact, I haven't done it myself before; I paid a graphic designer to make my transparent logo for me. It was a small price to pay in starting my boutique. A professional looking watermark is worth it!  In the meantime, though, you can use any image, overlay, or text. It does not have to be transparent to use as a watermark.  Picmonkey is also great if you want to make a text-only watermark. If you look back up at the category icons (two photos above), the icon that looks like "Tt" is for adding a Text overlay to your photo.  You can make it say anything you want! 



Isn't that pretty?  Haha, just messing around.  As you can see, it's pretty quick and easy to do. As you get more experienced, you can add more layers in Photoshop and add your watermark to large batches of photos all at once. You can learn to do as much as you want to do, or find help from a graphic designer. It's up to you! There are a lot of options available.  Whatever you choose to do, we recommend that you watermark any photos that you upload and want to protect for your boutique or personal use.  Better to be safe than sorry. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen

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