It’s not my intention to offend fellow photographers, but in my opinion, your watermark should be a reflection of the size of your ego. Big ego, big watermark. Little ego, little watermark.

How can you strike a balance between showcasing your work and preventing someone from stealing it? Here are a few suggestions.

What size should my watermark be?

Look at your image and ask yourself what do you notice first, the image or watermark. If all you see is the watermark, it’s too large. If you have to hunt for the watermark, it’s too small. Your goal is to strike a happy balance. Showcase your image — let the quality of your work speak for itself — and the viewer will be encouraged to look for your watermark.

Showcase on social media or your website

Showcasing your work should be just that. You want the viewer to be in awe of your image without anything distracting their attention. An easy way to do this is to place your watermark at the bottom left or right corner. This will keep the watermark from competing with the image.

Watermark just right
Model Wendy Hanks: Watermark just right

Selling digital images

An exception to the “ego” rule is when you offer digital prints. It’s easy to crop out a watermark or logo that’s placed at the bottom corner of an image, so that won’t work. Instead, try placing your watermark in the middle of the image BUT lower the opacity to where it’s just noticeable and doesn’t distract from the image.

Fine art photographs or portraits

Fine art prints or portraits are usually signed. The same “ego” rule applies. If your signature is the first thing the viewer sees, it’s too large. Creating a signature watermark stamp will let you scale your signature to the appropriate size. If you don’t have a signature watermark stamp, it’s easy. Follow these steps in “Create Your Own Signature Watermark as a Brush.”

Model Amber Elise

Do you agree or disagree with the “ego” watermark rule? Leave a comment and share your thoughts and how you watermark your photos.