How to watermark your best images

Step-by-step tuto

Written by Ophelie
Published 12th May 20
Will take 9mn to read

In the fever of publishing online for the first time your latest cool travel photos, you might skip a little but not less important step. Make a stop. Stick with me for a few minutes. Among all the photography tips and techniques, here is one very straight forward and super easy to apply – how to watermark a image, by yourself!

How to watermark an image? 4 easy steps and 1 extra tip


  1. Why should you watermark
  2. Choose your tool – open source watermark software or licensed tool
  3. Add a watermark – manual watermark: design
  4. Resize photo after watermarking (lower resolution)
  5. Store watermarked images

1. Why should you watermark your images?

You just went happily (or not) through your first photo editing process. You like what you’re looking at now –the first photo ready to get on your beginner photography Instagram, Facebook page or blog. And maybe you think, should I really bother on how to watermark this image? I’m a beginner. Who would steal my photos? It’s how I thought when I started publishing online my photographs.

Protect ...

One day, I ran a Google search for my blog images. And I found a lot of them out there. Images on the Web are like birds at migration seasons. They fly away from you. If you don’t put any mark on them, it’s as if they would be totally free spirits. And anyone can take them.

... and market

And the best of all of that? It’s one of the super easy photography tips and techniques to learn. As newbie photographer, you’ll put it into your photographer skills’ wallet in a snap. It belongs to the digital photo editing basics and there are watermark tools very easy to use – Photo watermark, Canva.

Photo editing in 6 steps

7 slides summing up Photo Editing for beginners. To download and to keep with you in a pocket format! Click below and enter only your email.

2. Choose the right watermark tool for you!

You’re awesome as photographer… and you’re even better with the right tools adapted at your own needs. From your photography gear to the digital photo editing programs, take time to pick your photo tools. And of course, the choice of the best watermark software can’t be forgotten. Since you’ll need it for each of your amazing snaps!

If you want to compare a larger number of tools, this quick-to-read article gives a comprehensive list of best free watermark software out there. On my side, I’ll give you an overview of 3 watermark tools… the ones I use myself.

Choose a tool according to your needs

Let’s reflect together and tell me:

  • What’s your budget for a watermark digital tool?
  • What’s the time you want to dedicate on watermarking?
  • What level of details you need for the mark’s design?
3 watermark tools - how to watermark an image

3. How to watermark an image in simple steps

Before opening the watermark tool

How you watermark an image could make a difference between amateur and more professional-looking photographs.

So, it makes sense to think about the watermark’s design. We don’t need any tool for now. Only imagination.

1. The name

What”s a copyright ? By definition, it’s a sign which REPRESENTS yourself. Often, a copyright (or watermark) is made of the symbol ©. Itself followed by the photographer brand’s name. As beginner photographer, I’d recommend to you to put the official symbol © within the watermark. It has quite of a legal value.

When you choose the name of your watermark, think of:

       – simplicity: make it short, easy to remember

      – high relevance: at best, use your own name or blog’s / portfolio’s title

2. The design

How do you want the copyright to look like visually? Think about the ‘look and feel’ of your online portfolio and of your images. How is your photographic style and the design of your blog? Colorful? Minimalist? Serious? Playful? There is no right, no wrong. It’s all about being consistent.

When designing your copyright, think of:

  • consistence with your own style
  • typography: take the same one as  on your website (for example, typography used for main titles, call to actions…)
  • size: in caps or not? How prominent? You can adapt the size for each photo, though
  • color: try a discreet one(brown, light or dark grey…). Best is to keep same one, but you might have to adapt slightly according to the image (background too dark, too hell….). 
  • movement: apply a rotation, a wave effect, some stylish elements (lines, dots…). But keep it simple! 
Try to find the watermark!

Create the copyright into the tool you chose

1. Open-source and quick to use: Photo watermark (free version)

This watermark tool offers interesting features, easy to use for beginner photographers. You can upload a whole folder to apply simultaneously the watermark on a lot of images. Access to photo editing basics. Customize with different copyright symbols. Resize the final watermarked image directly in the tool.

How to watermark an image on Photo watermark free:

– Open tool > Add image or folder

 – ‘Text’ window > Type text > Choose typo, size, color, rotation, copyright symbol

 – ‘Image’, ‘Effect’, ‘Reframe’ windows > correct photo editing basics 

  – ‘Resize’ window > apply an adapted dimension for the publishing platform (Instagram, Facebook, blog…). Find all sizes on this blog.

 – ‘RUN’ 

Curiosity makes the awesome traveler you are. 

Check out other travel and photo blog posts!

Photo tips

Which travel camera to choose as a beginner?

2. Licensed photo editing software: Photoshop (used: CS6)

How to watermark an image in Photoshop, in 5 steps

STEP 1 - Open a blank canva


Name the file as ‘watermark’ for example. Change the size to reduce already the file size (I made it a rectangle because my brand name is long. Choose the best shape adapted at your own name / design).


STEP 2 - Make the background transparent

To apply later the watermark without this ugly white background on your photos. Watch this quick video to get a sumup in images.

  • Unlock background layer
  • Click ‘OK’ in the new window ‘Layer’
  • Choose tool ‘Text’
  • Click ‘OK’ in the new window ‘Layer’
  • Create layer ‘Text’: click on first background white layer
  • Click ‘OK’ in the new window ‘Layer’
  • A new layer named ‘Text’ appears above the background layer, right-hand side panel
  • Now, click-right on the first white background layer below

STEP 3 - Write and customize the watermark’s text

  • Click again with the text tool. A new layer might open, it’s fine.
  • Copy-paste the copyright symbol ©
  • Write the text (your name, blog’s name…)
  • Adapt size, typo, style (bold, italic…)

For example, my watermark is of the typography ‘OCR A extended’, to get closer to my blog’s accent typography ‘special elite’ (not existing in Ps cs6, it would be too easy!). I use here a size of 36pt and a regular style.

  • Add movement: to make the mark more dynamic, lively.
  • Click on icon ‘T

As example, I customized my watermark with ‘wave’ distorsion. To match the light-hearted ‘mood’ of my blog and images. Then, I played around with the settings. I wanted the effect discreet. But you can apply a lot of different effects with this tool. It gives you awesome freedom!

Choose rotation - How to watermark an image in Photoshop
  • Change the color: click on icon ‘color’. You can copy-paste the color code of the neutral (brown, grey…) of your blog / website, to keep consistent.

STEP 4 - Save the watermark as PSD element


STEP 5 - Apply the watermark on your photo in Photoshop


Move it, play with it until you find the right spot to place it on the image. For example, I now place my watermarks so that they are barely visible to the viewer. I want the copyright to ‘be part’ of the image.

Integrated watermark on a leave
Watermark applied discreetly on the boat

Done! You went as a successful photographer through all the steps on how to watermark an image in Photoshop. I hope, you found it easy. If not, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

4. Resize the watermarked image before publishing

Have you already noticed that your website was slower after uploading new photographs on it? It happens to all of us photographers. Our images are heavy. Especially when they go through photo editing tools like Photoshop. And when you add a watermark on them. Many modifications which add weight to the original image – if it’s a RAW, an already heavy file

Image weight depends on:

– Image size. The smaller the dimensions, the lighter the file.

– File format. JPGs are lighter than PNG and GIFs.

Why to add image resizing in the watermark process? Short explanation: to make your image ‘fit for web publishing’.

 – Improve website’s speed. Thus, scaling up SEO performance. To go deeper into image optimization technique,check out these infographics easy to digest from SEO Sherpa.

–  Adapt the size to social networks standards and avoid unwanted cropped images

How to resize an image

Directly in the photo editing tool: Photoshop + Photo watermark provide this feature

  •  In Photoshop: File > Save for Web > choose your dimensions
  •  In Photo watermark > ‘Resize’ window

How to compress an image

Directly online, uploading your photos. Super easy, and free with these tools:

  • Tinypng

More about compressing images from WP rocket’s blog article

5. Store the watermarked images

The last of the photography tips I’d like to give to you on how to watermark an image. Last but not least, actually. If you know the pain of not finding your pics a few months after having edited them, you’ll understand the importance of this basic tip.

My tip for beginners

Make sure to save your precious watermarked images (as they are the final version of your hard work) in at least two different places. As inspiration: in one folder in a cloud storage system (for me, it’s Google Drive) and one folder on an external hard drive (SSD).

I am made of photography,stories from the road and a good dose of passion. I am Ophélie, French-born traveler always on the go. My travel photography blog is about my travel experiences, tips and my addiction for adventure. To help you explore countries on your own… as an independent and curious traveller.