How to post watermarked images online?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #1
    So, I'm looking to sell photos of a show I just covered.

    I have a watermarked images, but I don't want those to even be available in any sort of .jpeg format. Namely, I'd like them to be viewable online in, say, flash (or something akin to that)

    1. What's the best/easiest way to go about this?

    2. Relatedly (perhaps close to identically) What's the easiest way to allow people to see decent enough quality images, but to have them be in a non-picture file format?
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    A lot of people and a lot of companies make a lot of money by selling photographs on the Internet. They post low-resolution previews in .jpeg format. What is so unusual about your photographs that standard professional practice is undesirable? What is so great about your photographs that potential customers are willing to accept the annoyance of Flash slideshows just to preview them?
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    Asolutly not possable. If they can see it on the screen they can save a copy of the image they can see. Just don't worry about it. What you are selling are prints. Just figure you are giving away promo copies of the images in screen resolution. Some percent of the people will like those enough to buy a quality print. Don't worry about what your non-customers will do. Heck, a good web site might even bring you more business so you can cover another event.

    The watermarks generally do their job, they deface the image enough that few people will want to keep them.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    Even if you have them as a flash slideshow people can still "save" them (screen shot) and view them in the future.
     
  5. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #5
    I suppose it makes me wonder if my watermark isn't defacing enough (it's moderately translucent). It's certainly visible in all my shots, but I suppose my main concern is, is 640x480 watermarked too high quality? I made the mistake of posting some watermarked images last year on facebook, thinking it was a good and visible way for people to see and order them, and people appropriated them anyway, and I got no orders.
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Jul 17, 2002
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    USA
    #6
    What in the world makes you suspect that 640 x 480 is high quality?

    You may have other issues.
     
  7. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #7
    Yeah... so...

    Adobe and the BSA like to say that Adobe loses $X billion each year due to Photoshop piracy, and they reach that figure because they simply multiply the number of illegal downloads times the cost of Photoshop. However, this line of reasoning is highly flawed, because in reality, the vast majority of those downloaders were never going to pay $500 for Photoshop, whether they can get it for free or not. That 14 year old kid down the street who downloaded Photoshop to play with does NOT represent $500 in lost sales to Adobe, because that kid doesn't have the means to pay for Photoshop in the first place.

    It seems like you're jumping to the conclusion that each person who "stole" your watermarked photo from Facebook represents a lost sale. The fact of the matter is that, whether you posted that image to facebook or not, those people who copied your photo were probably never going to buy your prints in the first place.

    Who is the target demographic for your photos? If, for example, the shows you work are concerts that are primarily attended by people in their teens and early 20s, the demographic of potential customers probably don't have the means to pay $15 for a 4x6. They probably don't see the value of paying that much for a print if there is a plethora of free images available on the internet of the same subject/band/etc.

    If you aren't selling prints, it doesn't have anything to do with people "stealing" your low-res watermarked images in lieu of buying your prints. You should very carefully consider ways to add value to your work, comapred to what your target demographic can get for free.

    Give your photos away for free to as many people as possible to promote your business. Use those images as promotional tools and sell your services directly to the band (etc.) after you've built a reputation for quality.

    Just trying to throw some ideas your way to help.. I don't think a more annoying watermark is going to help you sell prints, though.
     
  8. HarleyMan macrumors member

    HarleyMan

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    Feb 2, 2009
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    VA
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    I gues the question is... "Would you have gotten more orders had you not posted any images to the Internet?"

    Another question. What is the TOTAL market for prints of the type you are trying to sell. In other words is ANYONE selling prints like these? If not then it's just a product that no one wants and you should go shoot weddings or shoot for product catalogs. Put if these images are selling in large numbers then it is your photography, and your marketing that need to improve. Have yo done any market research?

    That's the next thing, research. Have you talked to a statistically significant number of potential customers? You need hard numeric data so you can make a business plan. What is the size of your market? What share of it can you reasonably hope for? How will you grow your share from (apparently) zero to that share.

    Maybe the bottom line is that you can't sell physical prints any more because people want digital copies they can keep on their iPods. The record companies are having the same problem here. People don't listen to CDs they listen to iPods but they are still trying to sell CDs. Back to research -- figure out what your customers want and give then what they want.

    One "standard" market research trick is to vary your price. Sell some for $10, some for $5 and some for $1 and then some for $0.01 You will loose money on the one cent deals but that is OK. The idea here is you get data points that allow you to fit a function to the price vs. quanity sold. Having this data is golden and worth the loss. With it you know how to set the expect perfect price to maximize profet. I bet of math is involved but you can get help with that But you run the risk of finding out that even at one cent, one one wants your work. But even that is good data
     
  10. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #10
    What Anubis said, the fact someone is happy with a low quality copy (640x640 is low quality not high FFS) makes it extremely unlikely they would ever have bought from you in the first place so they aren't a lost sale.
    If you want to put a positive spin on it, maybe they are an advert for you, if your watermark was your website perhaps someone else who sees it may visit your site and buy.
     
  11. Little HZ macrumors regular

    Little HZ

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #11
    You are getting excellent advice from others in this thread. It just is not correct to assume that folks who "took" a low-res image would have bought a higher res image if only they could not have gotten their hands on the low-res one.

    Also, many different artists have shared this bit of advice, and I am finding it to be true. If you want to sell well, you should also give things away--the occasional print, some excellent advice and or insights, links to others w/ similar interests, etc. Build a spirit of sharing and community as you promote your work, and develop a body of work that is uniquely your own, and you will be on your way!
     
  12. debrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #12
    I agree with Annubis all the way. & now I have a question of my own. Ya'll seem to be the folks to ask.
    I'm going to be posting pictures of pictures. What I mean is I'm going to matte & frame my photos, take pictures of the finished product & then post that. Do you think I should use a watermark? :confused:
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    Why bother? Like everyone says here, give away low res copies to everyone. Maybe some one will see on they'd like a print of. You might place the URL of your web site on the lower right hand side so if some one sees a copy they will know where to get more. But if the make the watermark to large and ugly then no one will copy and pass around you work and YES you WANT that. Nothing better then you have you work shown everywhere and passed from person to person. Ugly watermarks prevent this kind of free publicity

    What's really silly looking are these amateurish photo web sites with water marked images. As if someone would want to copy some poor quality snapshots. You have to watch that, watermarks can really look silly if misused. There best use is on high res "proof" prints but even then they insult the client and may be counter productive
     

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