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January 24th, 2019

Should You Be Watermarking Your Images?

Posted by liveBooks

You spend hours upon hours getting the perfect photo. You love everything about it and can’t wait to showcase it everywhere possible – your website, blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Then your worst nightmare as a photographer happens – a few months later you notice your photo is being shared around, but with absolutely no credit to you as the photographer. In the digital age we’re living in, this scenario happens all too often. How do you protect yourself against this type of situation? Watermarking images is a constant debate in the creative community. In this post, we will explore the pros and cons of watermarking. We will also lay out a few other easy options to protect your work.

Pros of Using Watermarks

Watermarking is popular with many photographers. Placing a watermark on your images can serve a few purposes:

  • Additional Protection – Placing a watermark on your images makes it more difficult for others to steal your photos. Copyright violators may not always want to bother removing a watermark from a picture, as there are plenty of non-watermarked images available online. In addition, even if a watermark is removed or cropped from your photos, having an original “watermarked” image saved could be used as an argument in a case of stolen property.
  • Free Marketing – Photos get shared on the internet (and social media) at an alarming rate. Having your logo, name, or website URL in a subtle place on the photo can act as free advertising for you. This is especially effective for wedding and portrait photographers; people will always share their wedding or family photos on their personal social media pages, which in turn goes out to all of their friends, and their friends’ friends. Having that watermark not only gives you credit but drives potential customers to your work.

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Cons of Using Watermarks:

  • Distraction – If a watermark is not subtle enough, it can distract the viewer from the main subject of your photo and can sometimes look amateurish, cheap, or arrogant.
  • Doesn’t Always Protect Your Images – While watermarking does add an extra step for would-be thieves, it does not completely protect your photos. Many watermarks are easily cropped out and there are several apps that can find and delete watermarks in images. Even someone with very little Photoshop experience can easily remove most watermarks from images and pass them off as their own.
  • Less Sharing – Watermarks are a great way to get some additional advertising for free; however, people are less likely to share heavily watermarked images on their social media accounts. Furthermore, the people who are most likely to steal your photos probably never had the intention of paying for them in the first place, watermark or not.
  • Creates Difficulty When Changing Branding – When your business grows, many changes can take place. You may change your business name, logo, or website URL. If you want to maintain consistency, you would have to update all of your old watermarks on your images.

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Watermarking the Right Way:

In an effort to combine the best of both worlds, here are some quick tips for watermarking your images in a way that allows you to enjoy all of the pros and experience few of the cons.

  • Subtlety Is Key – Place your watermark in the bottom right-hand corner with a low opacity. While image thieves may still be able to easily crop it out, they would likely try to remove the watermark regardless of placement.
  • Class It Up – Another option is to place a strip at the bottom of your image that brands your name with a nice font but isn’t disrupting the actual photo itself.
  • Don’t Overload – Having your name, website URL, logo, copyright symbol, etc is overload for a watermark. Choose one of these items (your URL is a great way to drive people to where you actually sell your photos!) and use only that on the image.
  • Hide Your Logo – If you want to get really fancy, you can incorporate your logo into the photo somewhere where only you can find it. This will probably only work if the images you create are very unique, less so for everyday photos.

Other Alternatives:

Let’s take a look at some easy alternatives to watermarking your images that will still provide you with some protection from theft.

  • Don’t Upload a Full-Resolution Photo Online – For social media sites where sharing is rampant, this is extremely important and in the event that your work is stolen, will be an easy way to prove the original work was yours. If you sell your photos or prints on your website, you can always upload higher-resolution files there.
  • Utilize Your Camera – Most DSLR cameras will allow you to add some metadata directly into your photography via a menu on your camera settings. This can help make sure that every shot you take has your name, copyright, and URL injected straight into the digital thread of your image.
  • Description + Google Alerts – Most digital thieves will not bother to rename your photos, so using a description that is personal to you and setting up a Google Alert for that exact description can help let you know immediately if someone has tried to publish your work online.

Lastly, make sure you are educated on the tools out there to help you keep track of your images. TinEye is a service that allows you to submit an image to find out where it came from, how it is being used, and if modified versions of the image exist. Google Image Search is also an easy and free way to track your images – you can enter the URL or upload your image to see where it’s been or see any images that look similar to it. Whether you choose to watermark your images or not, it is always best to make sure you register your photos with the US Copyright Office.

Sources:

Why You Shouldn’t Watermark Your Photos

The Pros and Cons of Watermarks

To Watermark, or Not to Watermark?

How to Protect Your Photography Online

Watermarking Your Images: Pros & Cons

Why This Photographer Thinks You Should Watermark Your Photographs

April 18th, 2017

Spring Cleaning | Website Tips

Posted by liveBooks

Spring is officially here – the time of year where we can start putting away our winter coats and boots and get excited for warm weather, sunshine, and being outside. Spring is also the time of year that allows us to take inventory of the old, polish it up, sweep it out, and dust it off. This same concept of “spring cleaning”  should apply to your business as well – and most importantly your website. When was the last time you really did an overhaul of your site? If it’s been awhile, now is the perfect time and we’ve compiled a list of things to focus on first to get you started!

Content Clean-Up

Make a conscious effort to do a truly comprehensive content clean up. This can range from something as simple as going through your portfolios and galleries and deleting older photos, adding new work, or moving images around, to actually digging in to your analytics and seeing which pages get the least amount of traffic and editing from there. Website design trends are moving toward cleaner, simplistic, and clutter-free – so really evaluate whether each page of your website is absolutely necessary and providing value to your audience.

Update Your Events Page

One of the things we see all too often is event pages that are far outdated – even by a few years. Take the opportunity to make sure your website is updated with your upcoming workshops, speaking engagements, photo expeditions, or any other important events you’re partaking in. Nothing looks more unprofessional than inaccurate information on your website – plus, this will be a great way to promote the events you care about and hopefully garner more attendees.

Calendar

Calls to Action

One thing we’ve often noticed that’s missing from photography websites are clear calls to action. While most of the focus should be on your imagery, you also want to make sure you’re telling your audience what you want them to do. Whether that’s booking you for a job, project, ad campaign, or even buying prints, tell them what you’d like them to do and make it easy for them to do it. Having a button on your pages can be an ideal way to lead customers to your end-goal: contacting you!

Update Your Contact Information

If you’ve recently moved your studio or changed your contact phone number, it may be time to look over your contact page. Is your new contact information up-to-date? It can become easy to overlook this simple step, but doing so may cause you to lose a great deal of clients!

Also, try to have your contact information readily available in multiple locations on your website. Customers don’t want to search through countless pages to find your phone number or address. Remember – adding a map to your pages can be an ideal way to attract new customers!

 SEO Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be something you focus on all year ’round, but if it’s not your strong suit definitely take the opportunity now to pay extra attention. If your goal is to increase traffic to your website (which we think it should be!) then make sure your keywords, tags, descriptions, titles, and content on your pages are working for your business. If you’re not ranking as high with search engines as you’d like, it might be time to overhaul your old SEO tactics and start fresh with these tips!

Experiment With New Website Designs

We know that completely changing your website design is a huge undertaking – but small, subtle changes can be made to create a fresh new look without all the stress of a total re-design. Switch up the images on your homepage. Change the names/titles of your portfolios. Add a new page – such as a blog – to your website. All of these changes will keep your website up to date, as well as give returning clients new things to look at and explore.

Want to explore other design templates? Take a look at all of our responsive templates now to begin!

 

What “spring cleaning” are you conducting on your website? Email us!

Tuesdays Tip

liveBooks understands that leading clients to your WeddingWire storefront so they can review you is an important part of your business! This is why we created a simple way to add a ‘Review Us’ button to your website. To begin, follow the steps below:

  1. Log into your WeddingWire account
  2. Click ‘Request Reviews’ under the ‘Reviews’ tab
  3. Under the ‘Review Us Button‘ heading, customize your button color
  4. Click ‘Get the Code

Review Button 1

5. Copy the HTML code
6. Open the liveBooks dashboard
7. Click Content
8. Click on the page you wish to add your ‘Review Us’ widget to
9. Click the green “+” icon to add a content block to the page

Review Button 2

10. Highlight and click the HTML content block

Review Button 3

11. Paste the HTML code you copied from your WeddingWire account into the HTML box. For more information on how to use this content block, click here!

Review Button 4

12. Save and publish!

Is there a new liveBooks8 feature that you are excited to learn more about? Let us know at social@livebooks.com!

Tuesdays Tip

The liveBooks8 platform allows you to swap out images, edit text, and change layout all within the Design view of your website editor. With this tutorial, you’ll be able to swap out images from the design view on your liveBooks8 dashboard quickly and easily.

  1. From the main dashboard view, click the design view.
  2. Select the page you wish to change images on.
  3. Move the mouse over the image you wish to swap out and click the change image icon.

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4. You will be prompted to pick the replacement image from the image library.

5. Choose the image you want and click add images.

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6. View your changes and click publish!

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If you have any questions while publishing your site, we urge you to contact our Support team at support@livebooks.com!

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