Why the new watermark?

Some of you might have noticed that I have started to use a new watermark on my photos in the galleries. It is colorful and annoying and I am sorry. I too think that it is annoying.  I wish I didn’t need to use it, but it has come to this after denying to myself that it wasn’t a huge problem.  I have faced reality and, unfortunately, that reality involves a change in my watermark.

My gallery site doesn’t allow for downloading images directly, but many people are finding methods of taking my photos without paying for them. Lately there are many individuals using Instagram and taking screen captures to use my photographs. I have seen my images hanging on the walls of the high school and on Facebook when they have not been purchased. All of these have my old watermark and have been screen captured or downloaded from my galleries with tools and simple methods to avoid the download restrictions.  None of those methods are legal however.

My personal preference would be to remove watermarks on my photographs completely. Based on how many people are taking my photographs with the light watermark, I can only imagine how many would take them if there were no watermark at all.  Ultimately I do need to make money or there will not be any photographs available to those who want to legally purchase them.  Make money, why would I want to try to make money off of photographs?  They are only photographs after all!

Well — based on the look on some people’s faces when I tell them I will sell them my images, that might be a good question to tackle here.  I get looks like I am a three headed alien asking for their firstborn. When I go to an accountant and ask them to do my taxes, they ask for payment for those services. The same thing happens when I go to an automobile mechanic, they want money to fix my car. People expect payment for services so that they can live.  Well, I need to live and pay for services as well.  I just happen to take photographs as one of my businesses. I can’t support my business if people are taking my products without paying just like a store can’t support their business if people are taking their products without paying.

I try to keep my prices very reasonable.  Considering the costs of purchasing equipment and time spent taking the photographs, the cost is extremely reasonable.  I can’t keep doing it, however, if people continue to take the photographs without paying for them.  So, the ugly watermark is finding its way into my galleries.  If you want to use the photographs on Facebook, or Instagram or wherever, just contact me and we can work out an agreement for you to purchase them.  You can purchase prints and higher resolution images from my site, but if you want something simple that will not be printed or used at high resolution we can work out something for those as well.  Just contact me and we can work out some agreement.

So there you have it, the reason for the ugly watermark.  I am not sure how long it will last, but it is here for now.