I have decided that I will not “like” or comment on any photograph that is posted with an obnoxious watermark. Why do people plaster a word right across their photos? I had one photographer respond that it is easy to crop our a watermark in the corner. I get that, but in today’s digital mad world and with 500px out there, I could find 1,000 amazing photos to download if I wanted. If I like your photo and want it on my wall, I will buy it and have it professionally mounted.

I don’t know why, but I find it irksome if it is right across the photo (but then again, that is the photographers prerogative).

Perhaps I am missing something or simply not a good enough photographer to worry about others taking my photos. I definitely do not make a living out of it!

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  1. I always watermark my photos and recently i had one of my photos stolen and used as a promotional fan-made poster for the new season of American Horror Story, it’s all around the internet. Obviously someone didn’t care about the watermark and still used my photo without asking my permission. So it’s definitely not going to stop someone from stealing it. But i think that as an artist watermarking your images is like signing a painting. When people share it around, many times you lose any kind of credit, or link back to your page and maybe your watermark is the last thing that does remain and so someone can still look you up and find more of your work if they liked it.

    • Perhaps it is about where the watermark is. The ones that bother me is when they are right across the picture vertically … Ruins the picture .. And makes me wonder “why share then”?

      I get the protection element as an artist as I am not trying to make a living on it, and others are. Just a bit less obtrusive is my point … (As per the above watermark)

      • Ok yes, huge watermarks are certainly not nice and i also don’t see the reason of why even share such a photo. A discrete watermark in a corner doesn’t annoy me though, as i already explained. There are lot’s of people who don’t make a living out of it and still watermark their photos. Actually when someone is not even an amateur photographer and puts a watermark ” their name photography”…That DOES annoy me! Just write your name if you want…don’t put photography next to it like you are actually a photographer.

  2. I don’t use watermarks. People can remove Watermarks with Photoshop very easily if they really want your images. I am typically not posting up images that are high enough resolution for Commercial use. I license all of my images Creative Commons Non-Commercial. I think this gives you great exposure as many people will actually honor it and link back to you. If you are really worried about people stealing your images there are technologies where you can embed a traceable digital signature into your images or you can use sites like Google Image Search or TinEye to upload a photo and find out where it is being used on the web. I do that from time to time and ask for backlinks or if it is being used Commercially I ask for a fee.

    Here is my licensing policy: http://shoottokyo.com/licensing-work/


    With a creative commons license you are allow to share, copy, distribute and transmit my images provided you give attribution to Dave Powell and ShootTokyo along with the image. The image must not be used for commercial purposes under any circumstances.

    Acceptable uses of the Creative Commons License: An individual using an image as a desktop wallpaper, in your blog post about a relevant topic, or in a school project about Japan.


    ‘Commercial Use’ regarding the use of images online or offline is defined very broadly. The determination of commercial or non-commercial use is based on the contextual use of the image and not if there exists a financial transaction. Commercial use of my images is allowed only if expressly granted by ShootTokyo. All commercial uses will incur a licensing fee. My fees are based on the following criteria; media, length of use, distribution size, and prominence of display.

    Examples of uses that require a license to copyright; to create an individual print for your office or home, for use on your companies marketing materials or website, or for use in your marketing campaigns.

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