Love them or hate them, a way to discourage people from posting your photos online without due credit is to add watermarks to your photos.
Some watermarks can be removed by professional Photoshoppers and Google, but watermarks can help deter lazy image thieves from stealing your work, along with making it easy for viewers to see who took that picture.
Below, you can find a few of the various methods that you can use to add a watermark to an image, ranging from easy to sophisticated, to ensure that your images are at least somewhat protected from taking on a life of their own without people recognising that they are yours.
The fast and free way
Using the text tool in any photo-editing software is the cheapest way to add any kind of copyright to your image (heck, even Microsoft Paint will do the job) and tag your name on it.
By writing it in a corner, you can do it discreetly, in a small font size, or you can plaster it over the whole frame. It is entirely up to you to draw a box around it, paint it, use a funky font.
This approach may not be appealing, but it's simple and you don't have to buy any software that is fancy.
Image editors with bulk watermarking would be quicker, but you probably already have a software that will work if you only want to watermark a shot or two.
Marking several images at once for a cleaner approach, or if you already own a picture editing programme, read on.
Using a photo editor
You can always make your own using image editing software such as Photoshop, GIMP, or Pixelmator if your photo-editing software doesn't provide a watermarking feature, you don't want to download new software, or the online tools are too bare-bones or inflexible for your artistic needs.
How fancy your watermark looks will depend on your level of comfort as a graphic designer, but here's the most easy way to get started for most people.
Desktop watermark software
You can download watermarking software, which effectively does the same things as the online resources previously mentioned. You can find the process quicker, however, because you do not need an internet connexion, and you hold your images on your local drive.
There is plenty of software that does the same thing, both free and paid, even though each comes with a different set of extras.
PhotoBulk is a great choice on MacOS that allows you to add custom watermarks in bulk quickly, as well as edit EXIF details and resize images.
It costs $ 10 to download, but if you have bought a previous edition, it's one of the better-looking options out there and it's half-off. TSR Watermark and uMark, the latter of which is a premium app that allows you to add graphics and perform batch watermarking, are alternatives.
Thankfully, uMark also has a free version with restricted features.
Online watermark tools
Using an online tool like PicMarkr is another quick way of watermarking a picture. Upload or pull up to five images from Flickr or Facebook, then choose from three (text, picture, or tiled) watermarking choices.
Although a text watermark is identical to the one described earlier, another image (such as a logo) is put on top of the original by an image watermark (you need to resize it beforehand).
The problem with making an image watermark using PicMarkr is that it doesn't let you choose the opacity of the secondary image, so you can't mix it with the original photo. A tiled watermark, the third alternative, simply layers a text or image all over the frame.
Our recommendation is to keep things as clean and unobtrusive as possible if you're going to add a watermark.
Before investing in imaging software like Adobe Photoshop (unless, of course, you already use it), we also suggest checking out the various free choices.
A watermark is not a guarantee that without your permission your photos would not be used, but it at least provides a layer of protection and labels your content as your own.