This post was inspired by a question one of our members asked me on uPhoto (our members only social network). Here’s the question: “Being a newbie and everything, I don’t know how to feel about putting my company name on all of the photographs that I am selling to a client. I don’t know if it looks tacky, I don’t know if it’s something that everyone does…”
Since this is probably a question that everyone has in the beginning, I’ll give my viewpoint on this and also in the featured image on this page you can see what our watermark looks like. This was my response to the question:
To be successful as a photographer, there is a certain element of shameless self promotion. Personally, I have never put our logo on any of our printed photos (photos we’ve sold to clients). I feel like it detracts from the image (think Olan Mills). However, I have had clients that wanted me to sign the bottom of the photos because it felt like artwork to them, which is kinda cool.
On the other hand, I try to NEVER post any images online, without our water mark on it. Our watermark has our logo, copyright, and our web address on it. This is a huge marketing opportunity for you to possibly snag additional clients. You never know where your photo might travel in cyber space and if someone sees it and loves it, you want to make sure you’ve done all that you can to help them find you.
Here an quick tip to help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization); Always use important keywords in the filename of your photos. Google uses the file name of the photo to index it in their SERP’s (search engine results pages). For instance, if you go to Google Images and search “my beach house on tybee” and out of 1.3 million results, you’ll see that 13 out of the first 16 photos displayed are photos that I took for one of my clients who rents super cool, retro, vacation beach houses, over on Tybee Island, GA. Give your photos unique names and include your photography business name in the filename as well. It can only help your photography rise to the top, rather than competing with all the other “IMG_1234.jpg’s” that are floating around in cyber space.
So, for me it’s 50/50. Since I don’t expect to get tons of traffic from a print that is hanging on the wall in my clients home, I don’t add our logo to the image. Especially since I reward my clients for referring new business anyway. If one of their friends sees the photo and loves it, my clients will surely pass on my contact info. If you put one of your photos on the web without any info linking that photo to you, you’re potentially missing a huge opportunity to expand your photography business.
Thats how we do it. It’s not the only way to do it, but for us, it has worked out well. I hope this helps. So, how do you do it? Please share your ideas in the comments below. Hopefully there some good insight out there with our members.