Tech Tips Tuesday – Adding a Watermark to Your Images

Thanks for checking out Tech Tips Tuesday! If you missed our first edition about controlling your depth of field, check it out here!
This week we’re going to deal with watermarks. It’s always important to watermark your work when uploading to the web. Not only does it help to protect your work (have you seen how many artists that have been dealing with having their work stolen these days??!), it also helps for advertising! The more your name is out there, the more your online presence and popularity will grow. So now that we’ve agreed that it’s a good thing to do, let’s talk about how to do it. I’m no pro in this department, but I’ll explain what works for me!
The point of this tutorial is to convert a jpg into a png, which allows for much more flexibility when using watermarks. So if you have a png file of your logo, you’re way ahead of the game. But for the sake of this article, let’s start with a jpg image. Either something you’ve created yourself in photoshop, or had someone design for you. Open your jpg file in photoshop. This is my logo, in white, on a green background.
1. Grab your background layer in the layers palette, and drag it down to the “new layer” button. This will duplicate your background layer. Click on the eyeball to the left of the original background layer – this will make it disappear. (You won’t actually see a change in your logo)
2. Using the magic wand tool,
3. Set your tolerance (this determines what range of color the tool will be selecting. In my case, the image is only 2 colors, so technically I could use a very high tolerance, and it will still only grab what I click on because it’s easy for the tool to find. If you have a lot of color in your logo, or varying degrees of the same color, you will have to play around with the tolerance to figure out what works best for you). You will see “marching ants” appear around your logo.
Hit Delete. Now you’ll have your logo on a transparent background.
Now drag your background layer to the garbage can in the bottom right corner of your layers palette.
Do NOT flatten your image. Go to File, Save As, choose a spot on your computer that is accessible and easy to find, and change the format to PNG. Click save.
I don’t actually know what this stuff means, but I save it as “smallest/slow” and “none” and it works for me 😉
So now, open an image that you’d like to upload to the web, do your re-sizing and sharpening or whatever you do, then open your new png logo. All you have to do is drag your logo using the move tool, onto your image, resize it, and change the opacity if you want it a little see through.
Then flatten, save the image and badabing, badabong, you’re all set!
Here’s the final image with the watermark in place:
Like I said, I’m no pro in this department, but hopefully that helps a little!
Part of the question this week was also where I got my logo designed. I designed my first logo myself, using photoshop, but as my business grew, I wanted my branding to as well. It’s a bit of an investment, but I believe branding is one of the most important things for a photographer. I have a long ways to go with my branding, but it’s a start 😉 I got my logo designed through 99 Designs, which worked well, and it was a fun process! There are also tons of premade logos, and branding solutions sold through Etsy . My advice to a start-up photographer is to not spend a ton on branding, because your focus can change so much before you really know what you enjoy. I started out doing TONS of newborn photography, because all my friends and family were having babies, and that was who I was doing shoots for! Now I don’t even offer newborn photography! So it would’ve been a waste to spend all sorts of money branding myself as “diapers and dribbles” photography, when 2 years later my focus is now almost solely on weddings.
Good luck! And if this article has raised any further questions, just email me and I’ll do my best to help.

  • Love that you’re so open with your beginner tips!ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for writing this, I will be coming back to it when I have more time – I am a dumbass that does not watermark. 😛ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I already know how to do this but at one time I did not and had to look up how to do it and was thankful for the people like you that took time out of their day to make a tutorial. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    You are so generous with your sharing – that’s awesome 😉 I am a firm believer, though, that if you’re going to watermark it should be over a critical part of the image – where you have placed it in the image is WAY to easy for anyone who wanted to claim this awesome image as their own to just crop or clone out.ReplyCancel

  • Loving this advice! I think I first created my watermark in CS2 so this is a great reference for me incase I want to do an update 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kelly

    Great tips! Can you show us how you customized your “pin in” button on one Tuesday tip post? 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for putting this together!ReplyCancel

  • Great tips! I would love to know how you customized you pin it button as well!!ReplyCancel

  • I love it – thank you! – I have been looking for a way to convert jpg to png for so long!ReplyCancel

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