While thinking up a new topic for this blog (keeping up with a blog is not one of my talents), I was hit in the face with a topic.
I was driving home one day and I pulled up behind a car at a stop light that was plastered with bumper stickers from different vacations they and their family went on. Whether it was Outer Banks, or wherever they went (I didn’t pay attention to that much detail).
[this is not the car that I saw, just a Google Image.]
What do you see when you pull up behind this car? What do you think about? I know what I see- Hawaii (hmmm might be cool to go there), Led Zepplin (I haven’t listened to that song for awhile…). Do you see what I’m saying? People who put these stickers on the backs of their cars may see these stickers as personalizing their cars- bragging that they’ve been to Hawaii or Outer Banks or another vacationing spot.
I personally have a Hello Kitty with a camera sticker on the back of my car. Do people think “this girl might be a photographer!”? Probably not, they probably see “OH HELLO KITTY! SO CUTE!”
Which brings me to another part of the car…
If you’ve purchased a car, used or new, you most likely have this sticker on the back of your car. You don’t really think about it, because it’s not hindering you in anyway- but I know what I’m thinking. In my area “Blue Knob Auto” is very popular on the backs of cars. When I see those, I think “that place is really popular” or “maybe that’s where I should get my next car.”
How many of you use or carry these items on a daily/weekly basis?
Whether it’s a bumper sticker, an auto dealer sticker, a Sheetz cup, soda can or plastic store bag- it’s all advertising. You can’t look at a Sheetz cup without thinking about that Sheetz coffee you had earlier, a soda can without getting thirsty (especially on a hot day), or the groceries you need to buy when you see a shopping bag.
That brings me to my last question of this post…
If individuals don’t have a problem sharing their vacation, auto purchase, food/drink choice or store choice, why is there such a stigma toward photography watermarks?
Watermarks ARE meant to keep people from printing the image (as many think) but the WRONG people. The people who don’t pay for the image rights (which is for another article) and the people who want to claim the image as their own.
But there is another reason for watermarks- at least this is the reason for us. We watermark (that tiny, annoying text mark in the bottom corner) because it’s our way of advertising, meeting people and booking new sessions.
Just like looking at the bumper sticker and planning your next vacation, the auto logo and planning your next vehicle, or maybe using advertising to influence your next coffee, soda or store purchase- why not let a photography watermark help to choose what photographer to choose for your special memory and event? Why not proudly show your photographer choice and share with others for their chance to have the same experience?
If you choose a photographer you’re not pleased with their images and feel the need to crop off their name/business name- just opt not to share the images. But if you are absolutely in love with your images, keep the name/business name visible to help the photographer keep their job and their dream.
The next time you may think about complaining, seeing that watermark on a friend or family’s photo session album, consider the can of soda in your hand, the car your driving, the gaming controller in your hand, and even the cell phone you are most likely viewing this on. You’re advertising for a corporate company (Apple, PlayStation, Coca Cola, etc). Why not help advertise for a small business who isn’t quite as well known as the ‘big companies’?