Why I don’t watermark my stuff.

The other day I found out that a photographer was using my photos on his Model Mayhem account. I was surprised but it didn’t bother me much. Someone suggested that I should watermark my photos to prevent this type of incident in the future. That comment inspired me to write this post. Here are the reasons why i don’t watermark my stuff.

It looks cheesy.
I think watermarks take away from the aesthetic of the photo. Negative space – where watermarks are usually placed – is often overlooked. Negative space is very important for the entire composition. I spend obscene amounts of time getting the crop just right. This is my number one reason for not adding a watermark. Everything else is just extra.

If someone really wanted to steal my work a watermark would not stop them.
The most elementary Photoshop artist could easily remove a watermark in seconds.

I love my photos but not that much.
By the time I post a picture to the web I am already tired of seeing it.
I do not hoard or cling to my photos like a prized possession because I know there are more to come. On to the next one.

I try not to take myself too seriously.
No one cares if I took the pic or not. No one knows who I am. Yet!
If people can’t look at my pic and say that it is a Glenford Nunez picture, it’s not worth watermarking. When the time comes, and my photos are easily recognizable, there will be no need for watermarking.

grey Why I dont watermark my stuff.

Anonymity is sometimes a good thing.
Adds to the mystery. (@_@)

I could care less about money.
Some people watermark their work when they want to be paid for it. Sure, I have to pay bills but I am not looking to get rich from personal work. I just like to shoot photos and share.

Digital images on the internet photos are worthless.
Photos on the web are a commodity. That means everyone has access to it. It is not a tangible item. It floats in cyber space. It’s like trying to put a price on air. The idea behind the image is worth more.

Also, anything you post to the web should be a low resolution file. (72 ppi to be exact) You cannot print from low res images. So, this means that if someone steals my images they can only share it on the web. They wouldn’t be able to print the image without going through a lot of headache.

My images are watermarked but you can’t see them.
Most digital cameras tag all photos with EXIF data automatically. If you are not familiar with EXIF then Google it. Long story short, my photos have a heat signature that includes data like my name, lenses I used to shoot, f-stop, shutter speed and ISO settings.

Times Have Changed
People often compare photo sharing to music sharing on the web but times have changed.
Wiz Kahlifah – Currently on the cover of XXL and Rolling Stone magazine – doesn’t make the bulk of his money from album sales. He makes his money from touring and showing his face. No one would want to see him if they didn’t know who he was. No one would know who he was if it wasn’t for the Internet.

This is just my view and I don’t have anything against people who watermark. Everyone’s process is different.

This reminds me of a mini documentary I saw called The Stolen Scream.
You should watch it. It’s really good.

This post inspired by Shelley McIntyre

Update: I found out that the photog using my photos is no photographer at all. Apparently, he is a serial rapist using the Model Mayhem account to lure young women. Creepy!