To Watermark or Not?

For photographers, the allure of popularity and fame always sits at the back of our minds. Watermarks are one of those controversial topics that are either loved or hated. Let me explain why I don't specifically watermark most of my work.

Who is the work actually for?

With a majority of my work being weddings, events and family photography, the end result is an image that is about them. Not me. I don't want the bride and groom thinking about who took this picture based on a watermark. I feel that the impression and relationship that I form with a client should be what they remember. Word of mouth and referral are key. There are absolutely bookings from an image seen on social media or otherwise but a lot of work is from traffic through my website, ig, and word of mouth.

The same thing goes with portrait work. If I'm doing business headshots, there is no way that I would watermark a photo. Again, it's about the interaction with the person and the referrals that they make.

Even on instagram or personal project photos, I don't watermark them because it ruins the aesthetic of the image.

For example

Adding a watermark to this image wouldn't fit. It would distract and draw attention away from real focal point.

The exception

The only exception to the rule is if a venue wants to use images for promotion. Even then, it has to be tasteful within the context of the picture.

I'm not saying that wedding photographers or any other type shouldn't watermark if that's their style. I just don't do it because if i'm worried about copyright or stolen images, I always have the raw file.

Ultimately, it's about the memories I make for clients. I want those to be of the context of the photo instead of the text written over it.