selling photos. with or without water mark.


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Mar 23, 2014
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Akron Ohio
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i just sold a few prints to someone, i told them ill get them printed up and the prints would not have my water mark on they said they wanted the water mark on the prints..

i am just kind of curious if most people sell prints with or without the watermark.
I have never tried to sell a copy, but if I ever did I'd never do that without my watermark.
If doubt anyone wants a watermark on a print they paid for
I wouldn't want one on something I bought.

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For the consumer, it might depend on the quality of the watermark.

The attractiveness, size, and placement of the watermark could, in fact, make the whole experience of buying a print more satisfying.
A watermark is very unobtrusive and even with that generally not put on portrait type photos/prints, commercial photos/prints, and fine art photos/prints.
However, lots of pros have their copyright & contact information printed on the back of those kinds of prints.
Most print labs will/can back print.

On a landscape a watermark may, or may not, detract from the scene.

Any text, be it a copyright statement, a logo, or an artist signature losses effectiveness as a barely visible watermark.
So what many do is mat and frame a print using over size paper so there is a blank border that is used to facilitate mounting and the mat window that is between the print and the glazing is made somewhat oversize so a copyright statement, a logo, or an artist signature can be hand written on the print outside the image in the blank border visible through the mat window.
i was kind of surprised they wanted the watermark. they also want me to sign the back of the photos, its a old friend of mine, so that could be why.

i think my watermark looks nice but i think if i were buying prints i would not want a noticeable watermark on the photo.
People actually pay me for my watermark, and I just toss in an image they like for the background. :biglaugh:
If I was going to buy a print, 99.9% of the time I would want the image to be without watermark. If for some reason I wanted to watermark, I would most likely want a signature or something of the sort very small in the corner. Nothing large and contrasty to the image itself.
No watermark - ever. I think it's unprofessional and ruins the quality of the image. If a client isn't going to buy, they get a tiny 1000 pixel unprintable version, if they buy, they get the real thing.
Since it's an old friend, for him having it watermarked and signed probably will personalize it. But this should probably be a one time thing. From now on...

I'd suggest you don't do any more print sales (once you've completed the original requests) til you take time to get this all figured out. Not just the watermarking, but sizing photos and printing and framing and pricing etc. etc.

Usually artist/photographer info. would be attached to the back. A photo being sold as an art print usually isn't watermarked. Typically a signed or numbered/limited edition would sell for more, but probably once the artist or photographer is more established and has developed a reputation (as a top artist in the area, etc.).
selling photos is not something i usually do, if someone wants to buy prints cool, i do not plan to start framing the photos and selling them but if someone wants to buy a few prints i am all about that.

i have a few more people wanting to buy some prints off of me, so far its only been prints they wanted, not framed photos which is good.

now if i though i could make a living off of it or at least a good chunk of change i would be more interested in trying to sell my photos more often.

normally i would not expect to add the water mark. i would probably just put a signature on the back of the photo. i was just kind of wondering if selling a print with a watermark was a normal thing or not since that person wanted one.

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