How to Add a Watermark in Lightroom

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Watermarks are, surprisingly, kind of a contentious issue among photographers. Some people say that they are the only way to protect your work from being stolen and, therefore, that they are always necessary. Others claim that the level of “watermark removal” technology available to would-be image thieves in 2021 makes them entirely pointless. 

 

Without getting into that debate too much, I will say that I think almost every photographer has at least some use for watermarks. Whether you want to stop clients from printing the photos you took for them at home or simply make sure that you’ll be credited if and when your images are shared by others online, watermarks are the easiest way to demonstrate your ownership of a photo.

 

Adding watermarks in Lightroom is convenient when you’re doing all of your other edits there anyway, so I thought I would put together this step-by-step list of instructions to make the process easier.

 

On PC

Open the “Edit Watermarks” Dialog Box

In Lightroom, select the “Edit” tab, and then select “Edit Watermarks” from the menu that drops down. This will open a new dialog box.

Choose Watermark Type

Lightroom allows you to create either text watermarks, by typing whatever you want the watermark to say, or graphic watermarks, by uploading an image. Select the style you want to use and then input your watermark.

You can add the copyright symbol (©) to your watermark by typing “0169” while holding “Alt”.

Choose Watermark Options

For text watermarks, you’ll have the option to change the font, color, size, style, placement, drop shadow, and opacity.

For graphic watermarks, you’ll just edit the placement, size, and opacity (other changes would need to be made directly on the image you’re using as your watermark).

Save

Once you’re happy with it, save and name the watermark. It will now be available to use on any photo in Lightroom — all you’ll have to do is select it and, if you need to, adjust its position.

 

On Mac

Open the “Edit Watermarks” Dialog Box

In Lightroom, select the “Lightroom” tab, and then select “Edit Watermarks” from the menu that drops down. This will open a new dialog box.

Choose Watermark Type

Lightroom allows you to create either text watermarks, by typing whatever you want the watermark to say, or graphic watermarks, by uploading an image. Select the style you want to use and then input your watermark.

You can add the copyright symbol (©) to your watermark by typing “00A9” while holding “Option”.

Choose Watermark Options

For text watermarks, you’ll have the option to change the font, color, size, style, placement, drop shadow, and opacity.

For graphic watermarks, you’ll just edit the placement, size, and opacity (other changes would need to be made directly on the image you’re using as your watermark).

Save

Once you’re happy with it, save and name the watermark. It will now be available to use on any photo in Lightroom — all you’ll have to do is select it and, if you need to, adjust its position.

 

Tips

Use Transparent Background for Logos

Graphic watermarks are usually your brand logo, your signature, or something else that’s personal to you and your photography business. They’ll look best as watermarks if you use a version of them with a transparent background, so that the watermark isn’t an awkward box in the middle of the image.

Think About Branding

In a way, watermarks are just another visual element of your work. Putting some time into your decisions about font and color for text watermarks, or the design of your logo for graphic watermarks, can make all the difference. No matter how beautiful your photos are, an ugly watermark can overshadow them and influence the general perception of your brand.

Invert Graphic Watermark Color

You may already have both a light and a dark version of your logo, but if not, you can invert the color pretty easily in Lightroom. Use “Control+I” on PC or “Command+I” on Mac to change a light logo watermark to a dark one or vice versa.

Get Feedback

If you aren’t already, becoming part of an online photography community can give you a space to share your work, get opinions on things like watermark design, and learn from the experiences of others as well as your own.

Step Up Your Game

Whether photography is a casual hobby or something you take very seriously (or both, I know how it is), you can take your skills to the next level with photography courses that teach you about everything from editing tricks to the business side of photography.

 

Conclusion

It only takes a few simple steps to add a watermark in Lightroom. Even if you haven’t decided which side of the argument you agree with, I recommend taking a few minutes to review this guide and learn how to use watermarks — they are guaranteed to come in handy, and probably more often than you think.

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