Why and How to Watermark Your Photos

Carrie Dagenhard / February 24, 2019

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Whether you’re a photographer publishing original works, a merchant showcasing products, a food blogger explaining a recipe, or you’re simply uploading original photos to your WordPress.com website, you should consider watermarking your work to prevent content theft.

Here’s what you need to know about why and how to watermark your photos.

Why watermark?

Image theft occurs when people or organizations publish a photographer’s work without their permission. Unfortunately, this is an extremely common issue. Sometimes, people do this inadvertantly by searching for an image and using it without realizing that they’re violating someone’s copyright. In other cases, it’s done purposefully.

Regardless of intent, watermarking your photographs and other images can deter people from stealing your work. While there’s no way to guarantee that your images won’t be stolen, it does make image theft more difficult.

Some people choose not to watermark their images, and even allow others to use their photos. However, if photography is your bread and butter, it’s probably a good idea to brand your images.

How to watermark your photos on WordPress.com

There are two primary ways to add a watermark to your images. First, you can use a photo editing tool like Photoshop to overlay text, your company logo, or a copyright watermark directly onto your images. Just be sure to save the original versions of your photos, too.

Another option is using a WordPress plugin to add watermarks after you’ve uploaded your images, something any WordPress.com on the Business plan can do. Here are two popular watermarking plugins for your consideration:

  • Easy Watermark: This tool allows you to automatically add a watermark to each of your photos. You can also opt to add a watermark to your previously uploaded photos. It’s important to note that this process is not reversible; if you don’t want to watermark all of your images, Easy Watermark offers a mode where you can manually select which images to watermark.

  • Envira Gallery: This plugin is a great option if you want to create entire galleries and watermark each of the images within. It also allows you to upload your own watermark and change its position on each photo.

Watermarking now can save you the hassle later

Knowing how to watermark your photos is useful. Even if you’re not concerned about protecting your artwork from theft today, there may come a time in the future when you’re creating images that you don’t want to show up in the wrong places. Learning how to watermark photos is a surefire way to protect your property from theft and misuse.

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