To Watermark Or Not To Watermark...

Baking By Oniro Updated 27 Jul 2007 , 4:00pm by KarensCookies

Oniro Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 3:29pm
post #1 of 36

I'm working on my website and still undecided as to whether or not to watermark each photo. Don't get me wrong - I have no objection to anyone copying what I've made or using a photo for reference (after all, how did we all learn?) but I _do_ object to someone lifting a photo of my work and presenting it as their own. My web person thinks that a watermark will detract from my work (I don't necessarily agree) and that if someone is determined enough to use the picture, they'll find a way (unfortunately, I agree with her there). Am I being paranoid? Sorry this was so long!

35 replies
sugarbakerqueen Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 3:36pm
post #2 of 36

I have seen alot of watermarks used on this site and none of them are distracting to me. They are so light it seems as though they are a shadow in the bavkround. I say, they are your pics, do what you wish.. Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

BTW- can't wait to see some of yours!

AuntieElle Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 3:37pm
post #3 of 36

I would! Unfortunately I lost ALL of my cake photos when our laptop crashed. I know I should have backed them up. Hard lesson learned. I don't think that anyone will be heisting my pics once I do get some up but it isn't a bad idea at all.


Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 3:47pm
post #4 of 36

I would use the watermark. Unfortunately, as we've learned many times on this site, either not all people are as ethical as we are (or maybe they are icon_twisted.gif ), or they do borrow the photos innocently enough, but sometimes still don't remember to give credit or remember to say it wasn't their work.

Yes, if a person is truly determined they can work around the watermark, but then they have to put in that time and effort, so using the watermark is definitely deterrent. I'm sure if someone wants to lift a couple of photos and some are watermarked and some aren't, they'd more readily go for the unmarked photos.


CakesbyM_LC Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 3:48pm
post #5 of 36

glad to see someone has asked this question...i like the watermark because it does "deter" from people lifting your image, but i know some people disagree with the watermark. i have been playing with mine trying to get it to be's probably way too big right now...
oniro- i agree it's a compliment to have someone use one of my cakes as inspiration (or I think to even have someone attempt to copy it!) I did have someone tell me to remove my watermark because he/she said that is why no one is commenting on my photos. ironically, she commented icon_smile.gif i think the watermark is just a matter of opinion, but might be important on a website.

Oniro Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 3:57pm
post #6 of 36

Thank you all! Now I'm not feeling quite so paranoid. I tried posting a picture in the cookies gallery but I'm using a Mac & Safari, which apparently doesn't work in the gallery - I'm going to try posting a picture with this reply (I have a halloween order and Frankenstein's eyes are already perplexing me...still working on it)! Apologies if it doesn't work (or if I'm not supposed to do this here...).

GeminiRJ Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 5:58pm
post #7 of 36

Oniro, I really like those cookies!

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:13pm
post #8 of 36

I dont like watermarks.... i know why people use them but come on.... if you are going to do one make it simple. Like a real watermark...barely discernable. The whole point of a watermark is that you don't know it is there unless someone looks for it! I can live with the ones where it is faint or looks like it is pressed into the pictures. But your name blazoned all the way across your picture in startling array of colors....geesh! It is distracting and makes the cake look bad!

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:14pm
post #9 of 36

Those are great cookies BTW!

FYI somebody could "lift" that picture too.

ckkerber Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:17pm
post #10 of 36

Oniro - I have a Mac and use Safari. What trouble are you having in the gallery? If you're able to post a pic here, you should be able to upload there, too!

Amazing cookies, by the way!

TPDC Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:20pm
post #11 of 36

I watermark all of my stuff on my website. People still say that they think my cakes are wonderful with the watermark on them. I also only have them at a 72dpi for the whole copying and stealing reason and uploading reason.

I have only had one person tell me they couldn't see my cakes very well (a fellow cake decorator). I told her that I had it is not in the best resolution because if I had it in the best resolution people that are on dial-up would be waiting for ever, plus, it detracts people from stealing my photo's.

I have only been in business 1 year and am getting orders for cakes from 75+ miles away. Personally, the watermark hasn't distracted people from ordering cakes from me...

Sorry so long......

Angelgirl Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:24pm
post #12 of 36

I recently had a friend add watermarks to some of my pictures- and I hated it. Maybe he just did a poor job, but it was the FIRST THING your eyes went to on the pics. I had him remove them all.

I know there are people out there that are going to lift other people's pics and pass them off as their own, but I've decided having good pics is worth the risk, at least for me.

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:31pm
post #13 of 36

See TPDC I don't mind you watermark so much cuz it is mostly see through.... Here are a couple others that I think are good....

Solid but not blocking the photo

Solid but still classy

I was curious and am doing a survey of well known cake decorators to see if the watermark their photos... so far debbie brown and Colette Peters are no.

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:35pm
post #14 of 36

Duff goldman - NO

Rebecca Sutterby - Yes but done very nicely and classy, not blocking the cake!

TPDC Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 6:43pm
post #15 of 36

Thank you marthajo1. I do agree that some watermarks are overdone, I know mine when I first started were/are overdone. They are not light enough, but one person only has so much time....

Here is something I am curious about with the big time decorators:
Do you think they don't watermark because they have someone that looks for copied pictures of theirs online? I know it sounds dumb, but it is just a question. Or, is it because they are big time decorators that it really doesn't matter to them because people know their name and they are going to go to them for their cake anyway?


marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:00pm
post #16 of 36

maisieparrish - NO
Ron Ben-Israel - NO
Susan Carberry - NO

Also check out some of your favorite decorators on here! Here are some of mine (pulled from my favorites, and these are just a few!)....

ShirleyW - NO
tutugirl - NO
adven68 - NO
pinkbunny - NO
Thanh Thanh - Yes but also understated!
tiptop57 - yes but very professional looking

oneprimalscream Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:02pm
post #17 of 36

I put an annoying, huge watermark over most of mine, since some jerk stole a lot of my photos off of here and my Myspace and used them on their own site (they have since been removed off their site). I make about 5 cakes a week, but rarely post any of them after this...but the few that I post now usually are watermarked.

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:03pm
post #18 of 36

TPDC-- Sorry I have been working on the rest of my informal survey since my last post! icon_lol.gif I don't know why they choose not to do it! Maybe they think a huge name across the middle of their pictures looks unprofessional....or maybe one of the reasons you said. icon_lol.gif

Cynita Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:09pm
post #19 of 36

TDPC, I think that is the case. They are already big name individuals and they are not really concerned with little leagues stealing pictures. They have already built a clientele.

Oniro Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:14pm
post #20 of 36

Thanks Ckkerber! I went to the Help section for posting to the gallery and there was a post to the effect that safari is problematic. My jpeg was 292 kb and 799x595 so I'm pretty sure it's not a size issue. Any suggestions?

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:17pm
post #21 of 36

Yeah Primal it is big BUT it is see through-- you can still see the cake! icon_lol.gif Thats all I am saying! Let me see cake! icon_lol.gif

Oniro Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:23pm
post #22 of 36

I neglected to add that I'm considering the watermark on my web because of what happened to a local cake designer I know. A picture of one of her cakes was lifted from her website by another cake designer and submitted to a local publication for her own studio's ad!!! Admittedly, this was an idiotic move (especially in such a small town) but she pulled it off and it was published. My friend had her lawyer send both the publication and the other designer a not so friendly letter and when the next issue came out (3 months later) they printed a teeny correction. What a huge waste of everyone's time!

ckkerber Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:25pm
post #23 of 36
Originally Posted by Oniro

Thanks Ckkerber! I went to the Help section for posting to the gallery and there was a post to the effect that safari is problematic. My jpeg was 292 kb and 799x595 so I'm pretty sure it's not a size issue. Any suggestions?

This is what I do and I'm sure it's not the most efficient way to do it . . . I just use iPhoto. I click on the picture I want to use, and click "Email" as if I were going to send the picture to someone. That lets me size it down (with the window that pops up asking if I want a small, medium, large, or full size photo sent). Then, instead of clicking "send", I right click and save the image to my desktop. So when I'm attaching a photo to the gallery, I click "upload" and attach the picture from my desktop. It's always worked for me! Like I said, I'm far from computer savvy and I'm sure there are better ways to do it but I've never had an issue. How are you doing it?

belindajax Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:27pm
post #24 of 36

Just a quick note on posting to the gallery with a Mac. You need to use the Firefox browser to upload to the gallery, for some reason it does not work with Safari. You can download Firefox free at

There was a whole thread about this topic.

HTH icon_biggrin.gif

belindajax Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:30pm
post #25 of 36

ckkerber-Have you done that recently?

I used to be able to upload in Safari until the gallery was changed about a month or so ago. Since then I haven't been able to upload at all with Safari but Firefox works fine.

tiptop57 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:39pm
post #26 of 36

I have a couple of interesting thoughts on this.....first off Oniro, I agree with you, if someone has it in their mind to steal they will find a way - period. "Nasty people!thumbsdown.gif "

But here is my thought on Watermarks and another way to look at them..........they introduce me and my work to the public and people will recognize my work by my piece, by my picture style and by my studio name. So later on down the road when I have been at this longer I can produce a piece and somebody will just say, "Oh that's a piece from the Trompe L'Oeil Studio"!

sweetflowers Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 7:46pm
post #27 of 36

Since I am a small nobody, I did watermark my one pictures because it was my original design (using Kerry's technique, but I designed the cake). I always make sure to go across the cake and make it see through so you can see the cake. If you compress the layers (in photoshop for me) then it is realllllllly hard to get rid of the watermark.

If you just put the your name to the side or below the actual cake, it is easy to remove it with photoshop or by cropping. I guess it just makes me feel better knowing it's there.

I'll have to ask Susan why she didn't watermark hers, could be because her web person didn't ask when they designed the site? Or, since she's very easy going, it could be she's just not concerned about it.

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 8:36pm
post #28 of 36

That is a good way to look at it tiptop! And I do recognize your name now! Of course I usually think it may be one of oyurs before I even see that! icon_lol.gif Truly Art!

ckkerber Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 10:35pm
post #29 of 36
Originally Posted by belindajax

ckkerber-Have you done that recently?

I used to be able to upload in Safari until the gallery was changed about a month or so ago. Since then I haven't been able to upload at all with Safari but Firefox works fine.

I guess I haven't tried it very recently because I just tried and it DIDN'T work! How frustrating! I'll have to check out that other thread. Sorry for my misinformation!

marthajo1 Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 10:47pm
post #30 of 36

Too funny ckkerber.... Every time I read your name in my head I read it "ckbaker" (like cake baker) up until just this second when in my watched topics I saw it correctly! It is funny the tricks your mind plays with words! Sorry off topic! icon_lol.gif

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