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3 Ways to Protect Your Product Photos without a Watermark

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I’ll be honest and blunt: Crafters and companies that steal other crafter’s photos suck. And unfortunately, this runs rampant in the craft business world.

We, as sellers, need to try to protect our product photos. One way to protect photos is using a watermark. However, not everyone likes to use watermarks.

3 Ways to Protect Your Product Photos without a Watermark -

3 Reasons to Not Watermark Your Product Photos

  1. Easy to Remove. In our technology driven world, there are Facebook Groups devoted to removing watermarks, apps to remove watermarks, and tutorials all over the internet on how to remove watermarks.
  2. Limits Visibility. If you use a watermark on photos while selling on certain marketplaces it can affect your ability to advertise, as well as the visibility in the search results.
  3. Requires Photo Editing. Adding a watermark to product photos takes additional time and photo editing skills.

3 Alternatives to Watermarking Product Photos

Rather than use a watermark on your product photo, consider including a branded product in your product photo. This could be as simple as putting your business card near the shirt you are photographing or creating a customized background with your business name and logo to take product pictures in front of. Let’s look at a few examples.

Example 1 – Use a Branded Background

Instead of a watermark, invest in a branded background. There are a few ways to accomplish this.

Use a Digital Background

For this, you would take your product photo, remove the background (or use a green screen), and use a photo editing program to digitally add your branded background.

How to Protect Your Product Photos without a Watermark - Example 1 -

Use a Custom Printed Background

You can create your own branded background by ordering custom fabric with your logo on it. I’ve previously used Spoonflower, but you can order custom fabric online from several vendors.

Then, photograph your products in front of the background.

How to Protect Your Product Photos without a Watermark - Example 2 -

Example 2 – Use a Business Card or Branded Bag

Another way to protect your product photos without a watermark is to put a business card or branded bag into your product photo.

How to Protect Your Product Photos without a Watermark - Example 3 -

Example 3 – Using a Branded Product

If you make and sell similar products often, make a product with your logo on it and put it behind your product for sale. For example, in the photo below, I’m selling the coffee mug in front but have my logo on the coffee mug in the back.

How to Protect Your Product Photos without a Watermark - Example 4 -

Do’s and Don’ts of Watermarking Product Photos

If you’d prefer to watermark your products, read this article: Do’s and Don’ts of Watermarking.

In case you are wondering, many of the mockup examples shown above were made with a generator called Placeit.

Riena Mason

Wednesday 26th of July 2017

Hi! So I have a question about watermarks...I make mostly shirts BUT I also decorate for parties and make alot of the items (Centerpieces, etc) so how can I go about "watermarking" those photos?


Wednesday 26th of July 2017

A framed logo might work well for you. I'm imagining it next to the centerpiece on the table.


Wednesday 14th of June 2017

Just discovered your website. You have lots of useful info. Thanks for sharing it all. I was wondering though if you had a writeup on how to keep not photos but actual digital downloads safe without ruining their look. In the last few days I've seen on groups where people take a screen shot and trace it in a software outside or even design space and use it without paying for it. What's the best way to protect images like that?


Thursday 15th of June 2017

Generally, you'd watermark across the design with lines or symbols to make it harder to trace. You have to understand that any savvy user can likely trace it with the watermark anyway - but hope that people are honest. Here's more information about selling cut files:

Megan Candora

Sunday 16th of April 2017

Lately I've been seeing a lot if people take Etsy images and then trace the custom designs in silhouette design. Anyway to get around that without a true watermark?


Monday 17th of April 2017

Unfortunately, not really.

Mary-Lynne Eason

Wednesday 29th of June 2016

I greatly appreciate this article. I have struggled with this because I don't like the distraction of watermarks but hate the idea of someone stealing my hard work. Thank you for a great solution!


Thursday 30th of June 2016

Mary-Anne, You are welcome! I'm not a fan of watermarks either.

seth matkowsky

Wednesday 29th of June 2016

Thank you great Blog


Thursday 30th of June 2016

Thanks for stopping over, Seth!