Are you enjoying your Sunday so far? Let me know in the comments, but first here are my random ramblings for this week:
Why I Don’t Watermark My Photos
Should a blogger watermark her photos? It’s a simple question, but also a very controversial one. People in both the pro and anti watermark camps tend to have strong feelings about their stance, and the conversation can quickly turn ugly. I trust that won’t happen here.
As you’ve noticed if you’ve seen any of my images, I’m firmly in the anti-watermark camp. I hate them, and will soon explain why. But first, let me say that I don’t have anything against those who decide to watermark their photos.
A lot of love and labour goes into taking a good shot, and I easily understand why some people take this step to protect their work. A lot of my favourite bloggers, like Paris from My Women Stuff and Michelle from Lab Muffin, watermark their images, and that has never prevented me from enjoying and loving their blogs.
I understand and respect their choice. I just made a different one. Here’s why:
1. Watermarks are ugly
Watermarks ruin the viewing experience. There’s no denying that. A watermark, especially when it is big, plastered in the center of a photo, or uses a cheap font, distracts from an otherwise clear and beautiful shot. Some bloggers have tried to fix this by creating pretty logos or using tiny watermarks in a corner, which are not such eyesores. But still, imo, unwatermarked pictures look prettier and more professional too.
2. Watermarks only prevents lazy thefts
A lot of bloggers start watermarking their photos after they are stolen. I can easily understand this reaction. It really hurts to see someone steal your work and passing it on as their own. No one should ever have to deal with that. But I personally don’t believe that watermarks are a big deterrent.
A lazy thief may stay away from watermarked photos, but those with a bit of skill and free time can easily use the “clone” tool in every graphic programme to get rid of the original logo or url.
If someone wants to steal, they will. But if someone has used your image because they genuinely believed they could (some people seem to believe that everything that’s on the internet is free and are honestly surprised to find out that’s not the case), then just contacting them and requesting them to take down the image will usually do the trick.
3. Watermarks are not a very effective promotional tool
Social networks like Pinterest and Facebook have made it easy to share images with the world. But it’s not always easy to discover who their original author is. If the image is watermarked, everyone can see whom it belongs to and, hopefully, like it so much they’ll want to visit the blog it first appeared on. But few do.
Even worse, if you want your image to go viral, most people avoid sharing a watermarked image. And not just because your branding ruins the visual effect of the picture. Some people, those who know that not everything on the internet is free for all, are worried that, by sharing a copyrighted image, they may get into trouble.
Will the owner be pleased with them sharing the photo, or will they receive an angry email with all sorts of threats? Sure, asking the owner in the first place would clear up any doubts, but how many of us have the time, or even will, to do that? It’s much easier not to share the image at all.
If you’re very protective of your photos, fine. But if you’d like them to be shared on social media and drive traffic to your site, watermarks will likely get in the way. It may be free advertising. But it’s not very effective advertising.
What I do instead
While I understand why some people decide to watermark their images, to me the little benefits they provide aren’t enough to compensate for a less pleasant viewing experience and the extra time it takes to add my branding to my images. But I still like to know if someone is “borrowing” my work.
TinEye makes that very easy to do. It’s a reverse image search engine that helps you find out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version. All you need to do is either enter the url of your photo. They also have browser plugins you can use to click on images you find online to discover who else is using it. The best part? It’s free.
What do you think of watermarks? Do you love or hate them? Or do you see them as a necessary evil?
What I’m Reading Now
Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella
I’ve never been a big fan of Helen of Sparta, or Helen of Troy, as she is best known. She may have been the most beautiful woman in the world, a face that launched a thousand ships, but she was also incredibly dull. Myths portray her as a powerless pawn in the hands of the gods, Menelaus, and her family. A few accuse her of treachery and enjoying the carnage the war of Troy unleashed. The Helen Amanda Carosella has created is, instead, completely different. Passionate, stubborn, and determined to defy the will of the gods in order to take charge of her life.
Long before she ever met Paris, Helen is haunted by nightmares of a burning city under siege. The only way to prevent it from coming true is by refusing to marry Menelaus. But both he and her family have other ideas. Alone and desperate, Helen has no choice but seek the help of Theseus, King of Athens and son of Poseidon. He helps her escape and the two start building a life together. But many dangers threaten their happiness. Can Helen really escape her destiny so easily?
Carosella seamlessly weaves mythology and history in this enthralling tale of family drama, political intrigue, and romance. Fast-paced and beautifully written, you won’t be able to put it down. Highly recommended. Available at Amazon.
Beauty Wishlist, Vol.07
DIOR DIORSKIN NUDE TAN TIE DYE (€56.00)
Dior Tie Dye is one of my favourite collections for the upcoming summer. I want so many pieces from it. My favourite are the new face powders, Pink Sunrise and Coral Sunset. They feature a mosaic of shades to give skin a nice pop of colour and glow. Available at Nordstrom.
DIOR TIE DYE 5 COULEURS PALETTE (€56.00)
I’m in love with the Contraste Horizon. It features brown, yellow, white, blue, and green shades that allows you to create subtle and colourful looks for the daytime. It’s available at Nordstrom.
DIOR ADDICT TIE DYE LIPSTICK (€34.00)
Aren’t these lippies cute? There are six shades available, one prettier than the other. They are called Red Bliss, Coral Trip, Hypnotic Plum, Cosmic Pink, Fuchsia Utopia, and Nude Ever. Available at Nordstrom.
DIOR VERNIS (€25.00)
Dior’s summer collection also features 3 nail polishes that satisfy every need. Want a bright pop of colour? Opt for Sundown, a radiant hibiscus. A radiant pastel look? Choose Sunwashed, a milky yellow. A natural look? Sunkissed, a rosy nude, is perfect for you. They are all available at Nordstrom.
DIOR TIE DYE TOP COAT (€26.00)
Any nail polish needs a good top coat to help it last longer. This new one from Dior really intrigues me. It is available at Nordstrom.
GIVENCHY LE VERNIS (€23.00)
I love the new summer shades of Givenchy Le Vernis. Croisiere Sensation, a bright pink, and Croisiere Aquatique, a soft aqua, give your nail a fresh pop of colour that’s perfect for the warm season. Available at Sephora.
KAT VON D INK LINER ($19.00)
I suck at applying eyeliner, but this promises to be foolproof, waterproof, and perfect for “effortless drama”. It’s available in 10 shades. My favourites are Dali, teal, and Nietzsche, periwinkle. Available at Sephora.
KAT VON D TATTOO PRECISION BROW ($19.00)
Apparently, it took Kat Von D five years to finalize the formula of this liquid brow liner in a range of long-wear, natural-looking shades that won’t fade or discolour. It’s available in four shades: Blonde, Light Brown, Medium Brown, and Dark Brunette. Available at Sephora.
What’s on your beauty wishlist this week?
3 work-friendly ways to wear blue eyeshadow to the office – My Women Stuff
A Less Than £5 Dupe for MAC’s Ripe Peach – Zoe London
Cosmetic Shopping: Beware These Marketing Misleads – Yummy Mummy Club