How to Watermark Photos with PicMonkey

updated 02.11.12

Everyone wants to know how to protect their photos online, especially with the frenzy surrounding Pinterest these days. Sure, we love having our photography shared and pinned, but we do want proper credit for our work.

Attorney Sara Hawkins advises everyone to put a copyright notice and their website url on their photos and images. This is simple to do, and if you regularly post photos on your blog, you will probably want to add this extra step to your posting process. (I know, one more thing to do! Don’t shoot the messenger!)

How to Watermark and Protect Your Photos

1. Open your photo in your favorite photo editing software.

For this tutorial, I will use PicMonkey.com (a free online photo editing tool) so my directions are accessible for everyone.

Here is the photo I plan to watermark — a photo of banana bread that I made for a recipe post.

2. First, do any photo editing you want to do.

This is where you rotate, crop, adjust saturation, etc. I would also suggest resizing it for your blog so as to not take up unnecessary room on your server. I generally make my images 600 pixels wide because I know that size fits neatly into my blog’s content column.

3. Select the text tool.

Every photo editing program has the option to add text, it’s just a matter of finding it in the program you’re using. In PicMonkey, you will click on the P from the vertical menu bar on the left.

4. Type in the information you want to show on your image.

I recommend using the copyright symbol, even though it shouldn’t be necessary. (If the image is yours, it is automatically protected under a common law copyright; but many people aren’t aware of this and think that photos on the Internet are up for grabs, so it’s best to have your images clearly marked as copyrighted.) To make the copyright symbol on a Mac, you use OPTION+G. On a PC, it is ALT+CTRL+C.

You also probably want to include your blog name, and you can also include your blog’s URL if you desire.

Some also like to include the title of the post, if it is an image they hope will be pinned and linked back to their post — such as the How to Watermark Photos image above. Bloggers who post a lot of recipes and craft tutorials will put the title of the post on their photos so people know that there are directions to go along with the image if they click through to the source.

5. Adjust the color, size and transparency of your font.

I decided to use white lettering to show up better on the black background, and I chose a fun font. PicMonkey has tons to choose from. Don’t go too crazy, though. Generally 2 fonts is enough on one image. Not all fonts include the copyright symbol, so that limits you somewhat. Otherwise, have fun!

You can see that I moved the the text around until I found the spot where I liked it best.

6. Save Your Image

And you have your image, nicely watermarked and ready to upload into your blog post!

That’s all there is to it! Feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comment section below.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m not sure why the Windows key combination didn’t work for me, however, I was able to copy the copyright symbol from Word and use it that way. If I do the process multiple files to get the watermark, it won’t take the symbol at all.

    However, if you’re like me, and need to go back and watermark old photos, you can do it through the process multiple files in Photoshop Elements 10. Just make sure to check everything so that you keep the file name and the files go back into the directory they came from. Also uncheck resize.

  2. says

    Thanks so much for this informative post! I will definitely start doing this on my pics. I had not heard of iPiccy, so I am going to try it out this week!

  3. says

    This might just be me, but when I watermark (I haven’t yet, but it’s on the “list”)…I plan to make the text go over the image itself (not completely, but definitely to where it will interfere with the image). Because, if I wanted to be a jerk (I don’t! LOL), I could save your pic and then crop it to get your watermark off, as long as it’s not interfering with the image.

    • says

      Kristin, yes, it can certainly be removed, but hopefully it is a bit of a deterrent to some.

      The main reason, though, for doing the watermark is for Pinterest. What happens is, people inadvertently pin images incorrectly so that they don’t link back to the source, and then people on Pinterest can’t find your post if they want the recipe or the tutorial or whatever it is. So the watermark helps in that regard.

      And it does tell honest people that the image is not for them to use freely at will, because some people just don’t know any better unless it has the copyright symbol on it.

      As far as the dishonest people? Yeah, it’s just a bit of a road block for them, and in the end, there is only so much you can do to protect your property.

  4. says

    Such a good step by step guide Jo-Lynne. So good I pointed my readers your way on a blog post. I must say I am concerned at some of the issues I’ve been reading about the Pinterest terms and conditions and how many users may be caught out by copyright infringement once the likes of Getty spot their images being repinned. It seems somewhat unfair to create such a platform and then leave the users exposed by taking part.

    Anyway that’s a side issue. Excellent post as ever.
    Thanks
    Grace

    • says

      Thanks for the link love! And yeah, that is an issue, but one that I haven’t bothered myself with because I’m no professional photographer (clearly! LOL) But yeah… it’s an issue, and one that isn’t going away.

  5. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I was looking for an online photo editor to replace picnik too. I just tried out iPiccy and it is great. Thanks for the heads up!!

  6. heather jewell says

    Hi,

    I so want to know how to Watermark. I read your tutorial but I only have iPhoto on my Mac … not Aperture or any other upgrade whatsoever. I can’t figure out how to add the text? I can find where to change font style, color, etc. I feel really dumb … anyone? anyone?

  7. says

    Thanks for the tutorial… haven’t ever come across ipiccy before so great link! I’d just add that to find the Text tab you have to click on the Blender Tab first. Not an obvious place to hide it! Thanks for sharing! I think I will be watermarking more in the future!

  8. says

    I can not thank you enough for this article. I was looking for some easy way to watermark and/or at least put my blog name on my photos and iPiccy is so easy to use. Thanks!

  9. dagmara says

    Thank you for sharing this, It helped me a lot. I was looking for a watermarking software but it didn’t work well on my pc. I came across your post and this site ipiccy is really helpful and connected with flickr.

  10. says

    I’m a little late, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for this post! It works, is super easy, and you’ve finally answered my question! Cheers!

  11. says

    Thank you, Jo-Lynne. After realizing that my photos were being borrowed without credit I have been looking for how to protect them. I appreciate your tutorial!

  12. says

    Jo-Lynne thank you so much for sharing how to do the copyright. Although I just hit it thinking I could do for this message to you and it didn’t work. Well maybe I don’t know how to do it. I’ve been adding verbage to my photos in color not see through but couldn’t figure out how to do the copyright. I’ll have to try it again. Thank you.

    • says

      Yes! You would have to create an image on a transparent background. (Or ask your designer for your logo on a transparent background.) And then you would place that on top of the picture, using photoshop or a similar photo editing program.

  13. says

    Thanks so much! I just saw this, and Ohhhhhh, how I love those FREE super helpful websites. Definitely going back through my blog (though I’m not looking forward to the work!) and watermarking all the photos so I can put the good ones up on Pinterest! Thanks again!

  14. says

    Ah-maaaa-zing! Great tutorial! So easy to follow! I’ve been looking for an easy tutorial and some free software that would help me do it – this post has it all! Thanks!

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