Every day photos with unknown sources are shared on social media and blogs. Most of the people posting these photos without credit do not do so with malicious intent. They have found a nice image that they want to share with their friends or readers. The image makes their point.
I have written at length about how to find photo sources for proper attribution and why you should use a legible watermark.
I have recently discovered a mobile watermarking tool that is so simple yet sophisticated, you need no longer ponder whether it is worthwhile to watermark photos you take with your phone before posting on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus and your blog. This product is initially available just for iOS (iPhone and iPad) but an Android version is coming. It is a bargain at $3.99.
Not just original photos but illustrations, artwork and graphics can be easily watermarked before posting.
Be a good citizen and only watermark work you have the rights to. In most cases, this will be work you created yourself but it may be work you purchased. In the case of purchased work, there should be an agreement that you have the right to do this.
What kind of work should be watermarked? Think of the most popular photos you see on social media. Think of the photos Getty pays money for stock photos of:
Next there are photos that show off your work or your credentials. Watermarking these heightens brand awareness of YOU. Such as:
photos of original artwork
headshot or in action: model, singer, actor, musician
wedding planning: floral arrangements
social media marketing professional
How to Use iWatermark+ to Watermark a Photo for Instagram
I recommend that you upgrade your iPhone to the latest version of iOS. If you have been holding out because you don’t have the 6GB of free space required for the update and are still on iOS 7, I recommend that you make space for iOS 8. You should have been doing this anyway. You probably have a bunch of photos and videos on your iPhone that are already backed up elsewhere.
When you go to buy the iWatermark+ app you will see several versions called iWatermark, be sure to choose the latest one which is iWatermark+. It should be $3.99 or the equivalent of that in your currency. You can test the free version of iWatermark+ before purchasing. The free app has all the same functionality but it adds an extra watermark from the maker that will keep you from wanting to publish it.
If you are using Instagram for editing:
(You can edit a photo on your iPhone but many of us are addicted to using the editing features inside Instagram)
1. Have or save your photo to your iPhone camera roll/photos
2. Open in Instagram and do your usual edits
3. Send photo DIRECT to one person you trust on Instagram – this saves the image to your camera roll.
(you now have two versions of this photo, pre and post Instagram editing)
4. Open iWatermark+
5. Choose the photo you prepared for Instagram
6. Choose watermark from your database or create a new one
7. Adjust position, color, size if needed
8. Save to iPhone camera roll
(Now you have 3 versions of the photo on your camera roll/photos/photo stream: A. original, B. prepared for Instagram, and C. prepared for Instagram with watermark
10. Now you are ready to post version #3 on Instagram.
6. Choose watermark from your database or create a new one
The big deal in convenience here is that you can save unlimited watermarks to your own database to use again.
Name them so that you know what they are.
– Click on the check mark at the right side of each line to add or remove a watermark from your photo.
– To create a duplicate watermark, give it a new name. You can create a second watermark where all settings are the same but you have just changed the text.
– To delete a watermark, swipe left and click on the trash can
– To change the order of the watermarks, click on organize at the top left and pull the 3stacked lines on the right side of each watermark up or down in order.
– Below the watermarks you created are ones iWatermark provides such as “confidential” “copyright” “approved” “photo copyright”
7. Adjust position, color, size, opacity, angle, background and shadow of your iWatermark
When you are using more than one watermark on an image uncheck the ones you are not currently adjusting from your watermark drawer/database (6) by toggling the check marks. Now click on the settings bars icon just to the left of the check mark to get to the settings page. Changing the position is easily done with your finger. This is a sample settings page for text. Settings pages slightly vary for “text on arc” “graphic” and “watermark”
I will discuss “text on arc” settings below with a sample.
Using iOS8 for editing and straight to iWatermark+
You can open iWatermark+ directly from iPhone edit mode. Just click on the 3 dots on the top left of your edit screen. You will see the photo editing apps you have bought that work with iOS8 edit mode. iWatermark+ is one of these.
HOWEVER, it does not take you to the edit functions in iWatermark+. This makes sense if you are adding a watermark you use frequently for yourself. You can change position of the watermark during edit mode but you can’t change size, color, opacity, font or text.
How to Use iWatermark+ to Create a Watermark to Use Now and the Future on Your iPhone
When you create a new watermark on iWatermark+, you choose from the types of watermarks available
Simple Text Watermark on iWatermark+ Artist Examples
Many galleries request that artists put their signature on the back of the painting. In the interim, if their painting is online it should be protected by a legible watermark.
Clara Berta both sells and teaches art in Los Angeles. She is active on social media so it makes sense to use the “handle” she uses on Twitter and Instagram for her watermark.
Terry Naylor creates both photography and art under the name MyDigitalDisorder and has been using iWatermark for over a year. When iWatermark+ came out in November, he tested the free version, then upgraded saying,
“I can’t see me using any other app for watermarking my images. It just works, and blows any other app of the like away, with ease of use and options – hands down.”
See more of Terry’s work on his @MyDigitalDisorder Instagram.
Text iWatermark+ on Business Examples
Jai Roberts, owner of Honualani.com uses the flowers she gardens sustainably on her 5 acre property to encourage visitors to stay at her eco-resort. Sometimes it makes more sense for Jai to use her @Gardens4Life handle, sometimes she uses both. She prepared this photo on iWatermark for use on a blog about flowers.
Kaikini Bikinis designs and sells beautiful bikinis and publishes photos of women wearing them. Combined with the striking backdrops of Kauai, Hawaii where they are based, their Instagram account is well-liked and photos get reposted on Facebook, sometimes with vague references to who they are. Adding an iWatermark in no way detracts from their fashion and ensures that wherever their photos are seen, the viewer knows how to find Kaikini.com to get their own bikini.
Text Watermark on NonProfit Example
Raising the awareness for a nonprofit website address can mean the difference between a donation received or missed. I Have a Dream Foundation – Los Angeles uses iWatermark to spread the word with their inspirational photos of kids from at-risk neighborhoods in Los Angeles in character building activities on their way to graduating from high school and going on to college. @IHADLA on Instagram and Twitter.
MultiLine text with iWatermark for quotes and special messages
Just hit “next line”
Travel Photography Text iWatermark Example
You can find more of Colin Banks work on his Instagram @FranBanks or his Flicker account.
Use Your Logo or Other Graphics on iWatermark+
In order to use a graphic you should create (or have someone create for you) a .png of your graphic on a transparent background. If a graphic artist has created your logo for you, they should have no trouble providing this to you. Here are some samples.
You can see more of CT Senthil Kumar’s Espials CTSK on their @SimplyCTSK Instagram.
iWatermark creates a transparent .png of your signature. I would use this for something artsy but legible that you would prefer to be able to draw. Don’t use the signature you use for the bank. To create it draw a signature with a dark, thick pen on a white paper. Point your iPhone camera at the paper and touch the “Scan Signature” button.
How to do a Text on Arc on iWatermark+
Janice Smolenski, owner of North Shore Cab wants people to find both her website and her phone number. She is using this image for her Facebook profile.
On the settings for Text on Arc, the following 3 settings are key. You will need to change all of them from the default.
The taxi image above has two watermarks on it. One text on arc, and one (the phone number) text.
Personal Brand Enhancement with iWatermark+
Your handle which should be same across as many social platforms as possible enhances your personal brand. It also makes sure your photo when kindly reposted by others always carries your brand with it.
Information About iWatermark+
How iWatermark+ Differs From the Previous Version of iWatermark for mobile and it’s Advantages Overall
The user interface workflow has been completely reworked to make it easy to use, efficient and effective.
You will find other information about iWatermark+ on this website as well.
Please let me know if you are using iWatermark+. I am still adding examples.
If you hashtag your images that are watermarked using the iWatermark app, with #iWatermark, they are apparently looking for the hashtag on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and GooglePlus and may repost your work – with credit of course – to their profile. Here is an example on the fledgling iWatermark Instagram account.