Often times photographers are looking for ways to quickly add a watermark to their images. Lightroom features a quick and easy way to add a text watermark to your images, but you can also add a logo. In this example, the logo watermark is actually text, but two different fonts were used. These fonts couldn’t possibly be used in Lightroom’s text watermark section, so I added them as an image instead.
Creating your watermark logo
To begin, I am currently working on a website for a local photographer, Kevin Christensen, and part of this job was to create a logo. Graphic designers get all nerdy about fonts and LOVE to look through them, dream about them, pin them, make wish lists of them… Most people don’t get that excited about fonts. Kevin was more than happy to have me peruse through my font stash and make him a design, which ended up looking like this:
For the watermark, I actually gave him a text only version of his logo, since the graphic section of the logo was only included in the header (top) of his website. I made him a black and a white version, since you really need both options depending on the image being watermarked.
Adding a watermark in Lightroom
To add the watermark in Lightroom, you simply need to select “watermark” in your export options. Often times people select a “simple copyright” watermark, but you can opt to select an image. Just make sure the image you upload is a PNG with a transparent background, unless you want an ugly white rectangular background…
Since this was easier to explain in a video, I made another tutorial for your viewing pleasure:
Here is one of the images that I added a watermark to:
When to use a watermark
Be careful when using watermarking. I recommend only using them when sending proofs to clients. If someone posts your pictures to their Facebook page, the watermark allows others to know who took the pictures. Additionally, when you put a watermark on a proof your client can’t make prints without paying for the images.
I do NOT recommend using watermarks on the images on your website. Instead, purposely size your images so that they can’t be printed well if someone pulls them off of your website. For Kevin’s website, I made sure that none of the images were larger than 1,100 pixels wide. The resolution on a screen is much lower than what is required for printing, so your 1,100 pixel resolution will allow images to show well on a website, but be too small for a decent print. So if some jerk tries to steal your photographs, they can only make a very small print.
Tip: There are many pre-made template sites that photographers use to showcase their photographs. Even if the site has you upload your images and tells you that it “resizes” your images for you, still only upload images that are a maximum of 1,100 pixels wide. From experience, I know that many of these sites aren’t reducing the image size, they are just displaying them at a smaller size. If you don’t size your images before loading them your site could run slow, or people could easily get ahold of your high resolution images for free.