Watermark/Signature on a Photo Print?

HipShotHipShot Posts: 528Member
edited September 2016 in General Discussions
Print question: If/when you have a photo of yours printed, do you have a watermark, "signature" or other identifier included? If so, how do you handle it so that it is as unobtrusive as possible while still identifying you as the photographer? Placement? Size? Degree of opaqueness? Etc?
Post edited by HipShot on


  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,286Member
    I think it depends on what you're using the prints for. Is this an art installation or some snapshots you're giving to your grandmother?

    I'm not sure if this is what you're talking about, but when I ordered from Snap Fish they placed some exif data on the back of the photo, like date, file name and all that. I'm not sure if you can customize it though.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • starralaznstarralazn Posts: 204Member
    This may or may not be the same... but when you go to a fine art gallery, there is rarely a signature or something of that nature on any of the pieces...
    Although art style in general is probably more obvious.
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 528Member
    Thanks for the input. I'm leaning toward not putting anything on the front of a print somebody pays for.
  • CoastalconnCoastalconn Posts: 527Member
    Watermarks are for the web. Prints should never have a watermark. Include a business card with the print...
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 528Member
    Olan Mills would probably disagree.

    (But I don't.)

    And I find it ironic that I've never seen a photo of Olan Mills.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Fine art is usually signed, but it's generally extremely unobtrusive.

    I personally find watermarks annoying, I see them as a form of advertising. Put your info in the EXIF, watermarks have no legal value anyway. Your image is yours regardless.
  • CoastalconnCoastalconn Posts: 527Member
    @Ironheart Not so easily done with social media. They strip Exif and people will often just save your picture and re-post it. I have a big watermark for a reason. I know I could remove it 9/10 with content aware fill, but most "theft" in social media doesn't do this. With my old watermark I had a few images posted on Twitter that went viral with my watermark unintentionally cropped off. Watermarks are a necessary evil and I tell people if they want to see my images without a watermark they can purchase it..
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    I wouldn't put a watermark on a printed photo that I intended to give or sell to someone. On the other hand I'd suggest you look into manually signing the photos. I spoke with a photographer who has sold her prints at trade and craft shows and she told me about what I believe are acetate pens. (I Think she said acetate). They're supposed to be permanent on photos once you sign it. They can be purchased at your typical art supply store. Recommend practicing what you want your signature to look like before actually signing the photo because you get no do-overs once you sign the print.

    I like the idea because it adds a personal touch to your print whereas a computer generated watermark is basically like a rubber stamp. Perhaps something to look into.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,443Member
    If its commissioned work then make sure you get enough $$$ so you don't care what they do with it . It was a fashion pre 2000 to sign large 20x16 + wedding photos with gold pen but if they object how do you get it off ???
    If you are displaying your work on a secure system like Zenfolio the only way they can get it off is by photographing the screen.
  • I don't watermark - but then, again, I don't display anything online. When I print, if it is for display or exhibition, I sign my first initial and last name at the bottom right corner with a Micron .05 technical pen. I am way pre-2000 I guess.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    When someone buys your image, part of what they're paying for is NOT to see your watermark.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    The prints I sold did the not include watermark or signature. Word of mouth in these cases sold more prints.
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