Tips for choosing an effective watermark image include focusing on something that accurately captures the photographer's brand, is easy for viewers to identify and link to the photographer, and that does not detract from the overall appearance of the photo. It should also be a black-and-white image with a transparent background and include either the photographer's name or logo.
Watermarks allow photographers to add an additional level of protection and branding to photos by placing a small, transparent image over the actual photograph. Though each picture a photographer takes automatically receives copyright protection, watermarks discourage theft without attribution and allow the image to promote the photographer if it appears on a social network or image sharing site. As such, an important consideration for the design of a watermark is compliance with the photographer's brand and identity. Some photographers choose to use a company logo as the watermark, as it keeps brand consistency and reduces the need for original art. The creates a unified and effective message across all images and properties.
The watermark should also clearly include the photographer's company or personal name or official logo so that all viewers easily and immediately can read it. Using highly stylized or unclear watermarks reduce the efficacy of its advertising power. After choosing a watermark, the photographer should convert it to a grayscale image in a graphic design program and remove any background sections, making it transparent. The watermark should appear in a corner of the photo prominently without compromising the image itself.