Thanks to Photologo (and similar brands that seem to specialise on creating artistic branding for photos), it seems like every photographer that just bought their first camera now feels they have to watermark their photos to protect them. Photo theft is suddenly the single biggest issue of the modern world, up there with world hunger, a recession and global warming. As a result, everyone wants to logo up their latest snapshot to a facebook group just in case Coca Cola gets hold of it and decides to use it in their latest campaign.
It’s great that you spent $30 buying a beautifully created logo from those companies on the web. Its great you want to show off to your new logo to your friends and fell for the great marketing pitch that these logo creators came up with but….
- Your photos actually have to be good for someone to steal them. I know that seems brutal and I know some of the logo’d up photos are pretty damn good, but most of them aren’t. You’re wasting your time and making your photos look bad.
- If you add a logo to your photos when they aren’t great, all you do is devaluing your future brand. What I mean by this is that in 2, 3 or 5 years time, you’ll look back at your photos and think “Damn, I was terrible back then” and you have all these photos out there from when you were crap with your logo attached out on the web. You’ve attached them to website, Facebook and other locations and they are there forever. It’s like putting drunk photos up on the web.
- Contrary to what you think, your logo is easy to remove, and if you put it in a place where it can’t be removed, it makes the photo look terrible, so it’s a catch 22 situation. That is the reality of photography today with the editing tools we have. Photoshop makes it incredibly easy to remove anything from an image.
- If you think you are doing it for branding, see #1. I.e. you have to actually be good for the branding to work. Not just good, bloody spectacular. Ever wonder why the 1% who are actually spectacular don’t use logos or watermarks? See point #3.
So why bother with logos at all? There is a time and a place for logos. I use them regularly, but it’s not my own logo. I use them for events where the event organisers give people the photos and so they can post them to Facebook. That in turn promotes the event itself, which is easy to do when a couple of thousand people are putting the photos up. It doesn’t prevent photos being used because you are actively pushing them to post the photos. They don’t have to hide the fact that they are using them, and as a result, the people who post them are unlikely to remove the logo, because the logo represents their achievement, an event they did and that they are proud of.