My creative process | The battle. To Watermark. Not to watermark.

Watermark Applied: Transparent and White ink blending in with background just 1/3 down image created

I didn't start off watermarking my photos. I was advised to start. 

This was three years ago.

Since then I have battled with the idea : to watermark or not to watermark. I understand the pros and cons of a visual watermark on an artists photography, personally however I believe unless to specifically communicate a partnership, collaborations, sponsorship or something specific because I find it distracting, I prefer "not to watermark". I am scolded often because of this preference but try and tend to stick to the advise, "to watermark", of my trusted advisers that are not so closely tied to my work.

I will discuss some of the ways I have watermarked in the past. Over the years the IntrovertlyBubbly watermark has changed, not been used and used in different ways as I experiment towards finding a comfortable medium for use.

Watermark Applied: Black Ink, Below Center of Image Created

Visual Watermarks as part of the fee structure:

I have worked locally with entrepreneurs, executing works that fall under a philanthropic portfolio, with a fee structure that included delivery of web-ready watermarked photography. Where as discussed client is free to use the delivery work for promotion of their services, products and business as a whole in mediums where typically wed-ready photos are used. 

This fee structure includes the delivery of web ready photography with the introvertlybubbly watermark discretely placed in anyone of the four corners, in either white or black ink dependent on the predominant background of each piece. More importantly, because the clients that qualify for works in this fee structure, clients use of watermarked images this fee structure are local makers, young entrepreneurs, start-ups, budding artists etc.. The rates of our services in the category are significantly reduced, and the fee structure is one that is attainable to persons falling in this category. Over the years the findings are that:

Pros:

As always client is happy with and acknowledges delivered work as meeting and surpassing all expectations

Superbly pleased that with the delivery of more photos than promised (something we love surprising everyone with)

No complaints with respect to time frame, delivery process or anything specifically expressed.

Cons & Challenges:

Delivered work is altered in such a way that the mark is edited out via cropping and/or delivered work is colour corrected in the simplest of ways to meet clients preferences

VISUAL WATERMARKS for COLLABORATIONs and Partnerships:

Similar to the above

Visual Watermarks for Credits:

Typically watermarking for this reason is solely for non commissioned works that are used on the web and are shared easily, liked and catch a dynamic audience. 

Pros:

I can communicate clearly to an audience, mine or otherwise as to the origin of the work that I have created so to engage persons and brands that are not otherwise familiar with the creative. 

Cons & Challenges: 

Distracting,

Feels overly promotional.

Watermark Applied: White Ink, Below Center of Image Created

Visual Watermarks for Branding & Consistency:

Consider scenario 1 (photo wo watermark, my photo shared with friends and family on my Facebook page):

Chan; I love that photo is it yours?  

Yes, I took it yesterday while doing x,y,z.

Oh, I usually look for your watermark but didn't see it. I love it. How did you do that?

Scenario 2 (photo shared wo watermark, not my photo shared  with friends and family on my Facebook page): 

Where is this?

 Somewhere out there...but also on the web

Oh! I thought it was your photo.

We can both dream then

Yeah. I need to build one in my backyard

Me too. I am keeping them, cutting and sticking into a journal...

Scenario 3 (photo shared wo watermark, not my photo shared  with friends and family on my Facebook page): 

 Hi dear, what a stunning photo!!!! You re making so much progress!!! Happy for you.

Three very different scenarios and possibly one of the only reasons that I am tending towards having, using a standard watermark. 

Pros:

I can communicate clearly to my audience, intended or otherwise, as to the origin of the work that I create.

Cons & Challenges: 

Distracting, 

Feels overly promotional.

Watermark Applied: Transparent black ink

Conclusion and Goal Setting:

Determine the way in which you would watermark, a way that works for EVERY photo that you publish ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE and watermark EVERYTHING that you put out regardless.

With love from Freeport, 
Chan