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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tips for Watermaking Modeling Photos

(This post will be mainly beneficial for freelance female and male models.)

You know what's really cool? This is my 1,000th post!!!!!!! Thanks to all my readers and subscribers for their support, questions, compliments and love...here's to another 1,000 posts in the future!!!

Okay, now let's get down to business. :-)

Now that you've read my post before this one, titled "The Importance of Watermarking Modeling Photos," it's time to get to the info about how to use this tool properly. As I stated in the other post, freelance models can find a lot of comfort in using watermarks on their photos because it discourages people from ripping off the images and/or abusing them.

Below are some tips and things to keep in mind when it comes to using watermarks for the purpose of protecting modeling images:

Use Watermarks When Submitting to Modeling Gigs

You don't have to use watermarks on every single photo you've ever taken. The most important place to use this tool is on any modeling images that you plan on emailing to potential clients when submitting yourself for gigs. For example, anyone that's used sites like Craigslist or Model Mayhem will know that oftentimes the person posting the casting call will ask models to send their images as attachments to a certain email address.

This is a situation where you want to make sure the watermarks are in place. If the person isn't legit and is just looking for photos to misuse and/or abuse, receiving your watermarked images isn't going to make their day and they'll more than likely delete them. Disaster averted. If the client happens to be legit, they'll be fine with the watermark (it won't be the first time they've seen one and will understand the reason for it).

Just make sure you put the watermark in a good spot (keep reading for more info on positioning the text).

Create Your Own Watermark

For those of you that are savvy enough in Photoshop or have a similar photo editing program that allows you to use text with images, it is totally acceptable to create your own watermark to place on your pictures. Not sure what the watermark should be? Below are my recommended suggestions:
  • The name of the photographer or the company (i.e. John Doe or John Doe Photography)
  • The photographer's website (don't forget to include the www. and the .com part)
  • The photographer's logo. This is an actual image or design, which a photographer may or may not have (if they don't have one, that's okay, just choose from either of the two methods above)
Here is a link to a pretty good tutorial about how to create and place a watermark on a photo:

I do not recommend using your modeling name as the watermark (if you're creating a desktop wallpaper then obviously this is okay because you're using the text not really as a watermark but as part of the design). But for watermark purposes, the text used is supposed to list the owner of the photo. Remember, models do not own their modeling pictures--the photographers do. So you must credit the photographer/photography company when placing watermarks.

FYI: You don't need to use the copyright symbol in the watermark.

Consider the Placement of the Watermark on the Photo

In my other post about this subject, I included examples of various ways watermarks appear on modeling images. There are a couple of different options but it's up to the model to determine where they want to position the text onto the picture itself.

For the purpose of submitting modeling pictures to clients via email, I would recommend putting the watermark right in the middle of the image. Make sure the transparency of the text is slightly faded so that the text itself isn't actually blocking the image.

Here's an example of this type of watermark placement:

For other uses, like posting modeling photos online in a portfolio, gallery or album on a social networking site, watermarking isn't mandatory and you don't have to use them. But if you'd rather play things on the safe side, there's nothing wrong with protecting your images. However, you don't have to put the watermark right in the middle.

It's okay to position the text in a more discreet--yet visible--spot on the photo. Like this image below:

Just FYI: when posting pictures on websites that use Flash, you don't have to worry about someone being able to "right-click" on images and doing a "Save As," where they can then save the photo onto their computer. Flash websites disable this function so if you've got a modeling website that uses flash, you don't have to necessarily use watermarks because it will already be protected.

One More Thing...

When creating your own watermarks and putting them on your modeling pictures, don't forget to save a version of your image with the watermark and without one. Failing to do this could end up being a pain in the butt if, for whatever reason, you need to remove the watermark.

Oh, and before I totally forget (this is very important): watermarks should not appear on the hard copy, printed versions of pictures models use in their portfolios! Did the photographer who gave you your images put a watermark on the photo you want to use in your portfolio? Contact the photographer and ask them to give you a hi resolution version that is free of watermarks and make sure to mention that you need this version for your hard copy portfolio. They'll understand and will be more than happy to accommodate such a request.

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