Watermarks Yes or Nah?

DISCLAIMER: I am in no shape, way, or form talking about anyone in specific who uses watermarks to copyright their work. Everyones situation and business’s are ran differently. I respect whatever decisions they make towards their work and all that is said below is STRICTLY my personal feeling. Now tuck your sensitive button away, and let’s proceed… lol. Seriously though this personal beliefs. 

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I have actually been asked this by several fellow photographers and even a few clients. Honestly, when I first started out I would watermark everything I shot. No questions asked. I didn’t enjoy watermarking my images, in fact I always struggled with where to place that logo and how to scale it appropriately. 

Hold on lets backup…what is the original or intended purpose for a watermark? Watermarks are basically used to protect/copyright infringement and also create an audience for your business. People see a great photo and instantly know who took it. Wonderful! Harmless right?

Well, for me I believe like all things in life theres a point that things like this go overboard. Yes I want to protect my photos and create a consistent audience. However, for me it's like at what point is this about social media engagement vs. my creativity/vision. I attended a WPPI in 2017 and I will never forget what the amazing Jonathan Canlas said it in the best/simplest way ever…”Watermarks are Eye Garbage!” 

Lol and he was so right! I was only doing this because some 'unsaid' industry rule said I should. These watermarks are not adding to the stunning images I am taking, and not allowing viewers to really get the full impact of what I am doing. Also, my photos speak as an introduction to who I am. I don’t want people to look at it and every time just ‘hear’ "Hi im Kyra i'm a photographer!" that's weird and annoying. As is scrolling through 100+ IG pictures all with the same watermark. I'm sure your logo is great; so stick it on your business cards, website, stickers, and paper products. Leave your art as the way you saw it at first glance. When you whole heartedly loved it. Your viewers and followers will so the same!