The power of custom watermarks (and how to add your own to your Picfair Store)

First published:
June 5, 2023
January 31, 2024

The power of custom watermarks (and how to add your own to your Picfair Store)

First published:
June 5, 2023
January 31, 2024

Learn how to add a bespoke watermark to images in your Picfair Store, and why it's such a good idea to do so...

As part of the Picfair Stores feature package photographers can add their own personalised watermark to display over images in their Picfair Store.

In this guide, we’ll explore what a watermark is, show you how to add your own bespoke watermark to your Picfair Store, why they are a great idea when selling your photography online, and some stunning examples of bespoke watermarks for inspiration.

So let's get started...

What is a watermark in photography?

Photographer - Kat Lawman

Simply put, a watermark in photography is a semi-transparent, visible overlay placed on an image to identify the photographer. This helps protect the copyright of the image, and also promotes the photographer and brand.

A watermark usually includes the photographer's logo, name, or website and is strategically positioned over the image to ensure the photographer information is clearly identifiable, but also that the contents of the picture still remain visible.

Watermarks serve as a form of intellectual property protection by deterring unauthorised use of images. But they can also act as a significant branding tool by increasing recognition of the photographer, and promoting their brand, and work, when shared online.

How to add your own watermark to your Picfair Store

First of all, you'll need a file that you want to use as a watermark. Usually this will be in the form of a PNG file (see below). Your watermark design could be the same as your logo, or a similar version. See our guide on using a logo with your Picfair Store more information and inspiration.

To set up your watermark, navigate to “STORE SETTINGS” > “ADVANCED”. You'll then see a tab with "Watermarks". Toggle this to green to open the watermarks menu.

The Watermarks menu in the "Advanced settings" of "Store Settings"

Here you’ll see the option to either select "No watermark" (meaning the images on your store will not have any watermark at all over them, which some photographers prefer) or "Custom Watermark".

To upload your own watermark, select the Custom Watermark option and click "Upload". Locate the file you want to use in your browser. Once the file has been uploaded, you’ll see the file name displayed next to “Current File”. Here's an example:

My Watermark.png file

Just remember to select "Save changes" once you're done! Just note that watermark changes can take time, especially for stores with a lot of images.

For best results, your watermark file should be in PNG format and not exceed 200px wide or 200px tall, and the file size should be less than 1MB for quick loading. If you wish to reduce your PNG file size, TinyPNG is an excellent online resource.

You can also alter the opacity of the watermark, which is optional. Opacity means the transparency of the watermark, so you can control just how visible your watermark is against your images.

We strongly recommend you experiment with different opacity levels and different versions of the watermark to get your preferred look. There’s no right or wrong answer regarding how prominent you want your watermark to be displayed over your images–it’s all down to personal preference.

Once you've configured how your want your watermark to look (make sure you always save any changes!) you'll now have a custom watermark on your images.

Example of store page with a custom watermark. Photographer Philip Mowbray

Are watermarks on images removed upon purchase in a Picfair Store?

Yes! All watermarks are removed on images for print or digital downloads when purchased in your Picfair Store.

Five good reasons why you should use a custom watermark 

1 Protection against unauthorised use

One of the biggest concerns for photographers selling images online is the potential lifting and unauthorised use of their images. A custom watermark serves as an explicit visual identifier and ensures that your work is protected from being used without permission.

By prominently placing a watermark on your images, you make it clear to viewers that the image is copyrighted and that they should seek proper authorisation before using it by paying for your image on your Picfair Store. Also, a prominent watermark placement (with images on Picfair Stores, the watermark is placed in the centre of the image) makes it incredibly hard to remove.

Below, photographer David Powley has chosen a particularly heavy watermark to feature over his images–one that is very hard to remove.

Photographer - David Powley

2 Branding and promotion

Custom watermarks provide an excellent opportunity to establish and promote your brand as a photographer. By designing a unique and visually appealing watermark that represents your style and professionalism, you can create a consistent and recognisable presence across your online platforms.

This branding helps to build trust and loyalty among your audience, increasing the likelihood of people recognising and remembering your work.

See the example below, we love the 1960s-inspired font Ilex Foto have used for logo and custom watermark, it's instantly recognisable. Notice, also how the colour theme is consistent across the logo, store layout and custom watermark.

Photographer - ileX.FOTO

3 Increased visibility and exposure

When you share your images online, they have the potential to be seen by millions of viewers. However, in this vast sea of images, it can be challenging to stand out and gain recognition.

Custom watermarks act as a form of advertisement for your photography. When your images are shared or circulated or come up in Google Image Search, the watermark acts as a constant reminder of your authorship, directing viewers back to your Picfair Store or social media accounts. This increased visibility can result in more traffic, followers, and potential clients.

4 Professionalism and quality assurance

Using custom watermarks demonstrates a high level of professionalism and attention to detail in your Picfair Store.

It conveys to potential customers that you take your craft seriously and are invested in the quality of your work. By watermarking your images, you also communicate that you value your creative efforts, encouraging others to respect and appreciate your photography.

For example, the watermark below by photographer, inspired by nature, is sleek and professional, and with that conveys additional authority to their photography.

Photographer - inspired by nature

5 The potential for free advertising

Watermarked images can become a source of free advertising when shared and seen online, inadvertently promoting your work and brand.

When others encounter these shared images, the watermark ensures that your name and brand remain associated with the work, potentially driving traffic back to your website and generating more opportunities for sales and exposure.

Photographer Thomas Meurot uses a beautifully-designed watermark (in the same style as his logo), and one that would be particularly memorable if shared around online.

Photographer - Thomas Meurot

Some brilliant examples of custom watermarks on Picfair Stores

Photographer - Anthony Soo
Photographer - Capture and Keep
Photographer - Michael Wagener
Photographer - Matthew Greene
Photographer - Luis F Arevalo

Ready to add your very own watermark to your store?

Now you've reached the end of this guide you should have everything you need in order to add a custom watermark to the images displayed in your Picfair Store.

Go straight to your Picfair Dashboard to get started!

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