Startig a business & Watermarking


TPF Noob!
Feb 20, 2009
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I did a shoot for a local church's 75's anniversary a while ago free of charge. I got a check in the mail today from them for $200 and a note asking me to send them an invoice for my services, as well as asking if they could continue to use me for special events. (I didn't think the photos were anything great, but they liked them)

This got me thinking about whether I should actually make a company name & register my services into a business venture. Also got me thinking about putting some photos on istock or some site to see if any of my stuff sells. (anything to get me out shooting on a regular basis to improve)

The above thoughts got me thinking about putting a watermark on my photos that I plan on selling (or trying to sell for that matter). Is it really necessary at this point or should I wait until I get some kind of real business going.
If you want to display your photos at a reasonable size online, then you should probably watermark them. A lot of places (like Zenfolio and Smugmug) offer automatic watermarking. I use a very faint (20% opacity) watermark on my photos, in the bottom left corner. It's faint enough that someone trying to yoink my photos might not even notice, at least on some of them (Check it out: David Clark Photography).

However, perhaps you're talking about putting your name on the photos that you actually sell? In that case, if you're looking to have the photos actually embossed or printed with your name on the front, you'll need to go with a fairly fancy printing service, since I've never seen this option with mpix, adoramapix, etc.
If you are getting money for your photography service or you photos...then you should register as a business...and include that income on your tax return. Of course, this also gives you the opportunity for write offs etc.

I don't bother to watermark my images, but I also don't post large, high resolution image they aren't really worth 'stealing'.

If you are giving people prints, as 'proofs', then you might consider watermarking them...just so they don't copy them and have to come back to you for print orders.

Really though, if someone wants to rip you off...they will do it anyway. So don't spend your life worrying about it.
Thanx for the info guys.

dcclark - I'm looking at watermarking my images I post on the web.

Big Mike - I'm now looking at what's involved in registering myself as a business. I just have to come up with a name. CT Images is the only thing that comes to mind. (CT being my initials) Maybe I'll start a thread in the off topic forum to get suggestions.

Again, thanx for the help & suggestions.

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