As an artist or photographer you should take pride in your hard work, and take any precaution available so your  images are not reproduced, stolen, or posted on other sites without your consent. A great way to prevent this from happening is to add a watermark to your images. A watermark is an element in a digital image file used to identify the copyright holder.  Usually a visible graphic element is created that renders the image unsuitable for reproduction and cannot easily be removed. However, if you really don’t want someone to steal your digital image, the best way to prevent that is to not put it on the Web. There are many ways to both automatically and manually watermark your images with the use of different computer programs. The following list are some of the different options you have for watermarking.

During Image Editing and Creation


Currently, $120 a year you can have Photoshop on your computer, which has almost any editing capability you could dream of within its wide range of tools. Photoshop is considered one of the leaders in photo editing software. This software allows users to manipulate, crop, resize, correct color, and add on top of digital photos. It is particularly popular among professional photographers and graphic designers. By simply adding a text box with a lowered opacity to the top of your image you are able to use both text and other importable graphics as a watermark. This text box can be duplicated across to screen or made larger and smaller as well as placed wherever you wish. You can also create the generic x across your images similar to ones that you may have seen online. These watermark layers that you create can be moved over onto other documents within Photoshop so you can have the same look for each image. Photoshop also offers new plugins that automatically add watermarks for you. With the Watermark CC plugin you can watermark one or more photos with one click. Like the manual watermark this watermark can also be text or a graphic. This plugin, like anything else in Photoshop, also gives the option to choose font, color, size, opacity and watermark position if you desire. 




A Digimarc is  a digital watermark that is embedded into your photos. Unlike most watermarks the viewer cannot see this form of mark however it still offers the same if not more protection to the image. Digimarc for Images is aimed at anyone concerned about ownership of their images. Subscribing for the basic level, currently $59 a year, provides only the ability to embed images, and is ideal for users comfortable managing the identification and enforcement aspects of protecting the allotted 1,000 images. Subscribers for the professional level, currently $119 a year,  enjoy the ability to enhance 2,000 images  and benefit from search services to help identify and take action against infringement if one of these images were to be used without consent. Digimarc offers take down service with aggressive enforcement actions which is available through their Enterprise service level of purchase. All of this works by Digimarc implementing an imperceptible code into your images which holds the purpose of identifying the proper owner of an asset, while eliminating any confusion about the correct copyright holder. Once you purchase a Digimarc level service you can add the adobe-add on to your Photoshop which makes it that much easier to use and implement this software, and put the code into your image the moment you create them. Unlike other forms of watermarking, Digimarc code watermark can resist file format changes, encryption, decryption, editing and cropping.

During Online Publication

WordPress plugins can be extremely helpful and time saving. The following two plugins are specifically created for watermarking purposes. Both are very successful and highly used however, they do have some varying capabilities.


Image Watermark, from dFactory

image-watermark screenshot 2

182,609 Installations


Features include:

  • Bulk watermark – Apply watermark option in Media Library actions
  • Watermark images already uploaded to Media Library
  • GD Library and ImageMagic support
  • Choose the position of watermark image
  • Upload custom watermark image
  • Watermark image preview
  • Set watermark offset
  • Select post types where watermark will be applied to images or select adding watermark during any image upload
  • Select from 3 methods of applying watermark size: original, custom or scaled
  • Set watermark transparency / opacity
  • Select image format (baseline or progressive)
  • Set image quality
  • Protect your images from copying via drag&drop
  • Disable right mouse click on images
  • Disable image protection for logged-in users
  • .pot file for translations included

Additional Image Protection Features

Right-click: This prevents a visitor from right-clicking and then saving the image.

Drag-and-Drop: This prevents a visitor from dragging and dropping the image off screen.

Logged-in-users: Selecting this option will apply image protection options against users that are logged into the site.



Easy Watermark, from szaleq

easy-watermark screenshot 1

110,470 installations


Plugin features

  • image watermark can be a jpg, png or gif
  • full support for transparency and alpha channel in png and gif files
  • jpg files, gif files and text can have opacity set (from 0 to 100%)
  • text watermark is created using ttf fonts
  • text color, size and rotation can be set
  • all built-in image sizes can be watermarked (thumbnail, medium, large and full size) as well as all additional sizes registered by themes or plugins (since 0.4.3)
  • since 0.6 there is a possibility to remove watermark by restoring the original image
  • fully translatable



Photo with watermark

Watermark explains their services as follows, “provides you with all the necessary tools to create and apply elegant, unobtrusive and effective watermarks to your photos. Simple, yet powerful editing tools let you create stunning multi-layer watermarks allowing you to protect and copyright your photos online. This site has 2 main plans a premium plan and an ultimate plan.”

Premium Plan

  • Unlimited photos
  • Use saved templates
  • Download watermarks
  • Use premium fonts
  • Use custom fonts
  • Batch Processing
  • Drag and Drop Import
  • Export to cloud
  • 24 / 7 Live Support
  • 3.99/month


Ultimate Plan

  • Unlimited videos
  • Unlimited photos
  • Use saved templates
  • Download watermarks
  • Use premium fonts
  • Use custom fonts
  • Export to cloud
  • Batch Processing
  • Drag and Drop Import  
  • 24 / 7 Live Support
  • Retain batches for 30 days
  • Multi-user access
  • 16.67/month

There are also other online sites available to watermark images with both free and paid for services depending on the quality you wish to receive and the amount of time you want to spend working on watermarking,




Of the variety of watermarking technologies there is no right or wrong choice. Each offers different services and it is up to you which one you think will get the job you need done.