Many photographers are worried that the moment they post their photographs online they’ll be copied and passed off as someone else’s, or used by others without the photographer’s knowledge and permission.

I’m sure that does happen, but I also see things from a slightly different perspective. I work on a magazine where we find lots of images online that we’d like to publish – and pay for – but we can’t use them because we can’t track down the owner.

So I think there is a strong case for watermarking images you post online, but not just to protect them from misuse – it’s so that companies like mine can contact you if they want to feature your work. Once your photos are out there on the Internet, they can act as a calling card for who you are and what you do.

This is really easy to do with the Lightroom watermark options. In yesterday’s post I showed how to create and save an export preset for resizing and sharpening images for online use, and in today’s post I’ll show you how to add a watermark to your pictures as part of an export preset.

01 Where to find it

Lightroom watermark options

Start with the File > Export command. This opens the Export dialog, and this is where you’ll find the Watermarking option, near the bottom of the list of settings.

02 Watermark options

Lightroom watermark options

To add a watermark, check the box and choose an option from the pop-up menu alongside. I’m not going to use the ‘Simple Watermark’ option. Instead, I’m going to ‘Edit Watermarks’…

03 Watermark Editor

Lightroom watermark options

This opens the Watermark Editor, where you can start typing in your watermark’s properties. Right at the top of the settings list on the right there’s an option to use a graphical watermark you’ve created in an image-editor and saved as a PNG or JPEG file. That’s fine if you want to include a company logo and some fancy type, but I’m going to stick to plain text for mine.

1) Text entry box: What you type here will appear as the watermark on the picture.

2) Text Options: Use this panel to choose a text font and colour.

3) Shadow: This adds a drop shadow effect, which is more than just decorative – it can help your watermark stand out more clearly against a range of different backgrounds.