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News & Insight | Using Smart Watermarks And Embedded Exif Data To Protect Your Images

By Wendell Weithers on April 29th 2017

Image theft or image usage without attribution and compensation is a fear that always lurks in the back of a photographer’s mind. Once your image is online, it is at risk. As with all things on the internet, no defense is 100% effective and so it requires a level of vigilance and use of tools to mitigate the efforts of would-be creativity leeches. hopes to help you save your time and peace of mind with their automatic image protection tool; but at a cost. Let’s see if its worth it.

Here is what it can do for you. applies their digital mark automatically during downloads. applies their digital mark automatically during screenshots.

You can see how often your image has been viewed online.

[REWIND: How To Find Your Stolen Images Online]

What’s unique about this service is its business model because you don’t pay a monthly or yearly fee; so its free to sign up. Instead, the photographer hoping to protect their image must estimate how many times they foresee their work being viewed and pay for credits to apply the protection to the image(s) accordingly.  You can see an example of how this adds up below and if you want a 30 seconds overview of how use this tool, click here.

This service is intended to stop what company calls “casual theft” but isn’t a foolproof ward against images reapers dwelling in the shadows of the internet.

Per the company blog:

We want make the act a little more deliberate, so that you know you’re doing something against the photographer’s wishes when you take that image.

Our primary goal is not securing images, but making sure image creators get credit for their work. The watermark is just one piece of that.

A bigger hope though, is that this could encourage communication with image creators to get permission to use their work.

[REWIND: Why You’re Missing Out If You Aren’t Printing Your Work]

Many photographers may not see the need for this at first but, when you’ve been putting in the work marketing, loosing sleep to learn that next skill, networking to land a dream client, the paranoia of not having it pay off will evenutally seep into your mind. This is atleast a tool to bookmark for future consideration.


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Terms: #Distortion

Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Royi

    Nice tool though I’m not sure their model will hold.

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  2. Dave Smith

    You can just pull the image out of the browser cache. 

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  3. Romualdas Stonkus

    IMO, it is protection only against the trivial and lazy copy paste.
    F12 will reveal the details on how to copy the image for those who really want it.

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