I was recently at a Parade of Homes meeting for my local Building Industry Association (BIA), and one of the agenda topics was how to get more builders to upload their photos into the Parade of Homes website. Last year, only 5 builders utilized this free feature, and we couldn’t figure out why more builders wouldn’t post photos to market their homes.
One long-time Parade of Homes builder explained his reasoning, “We eventually uploaded our photos, but we are concerned that people will steal those photos and pass them off as their own.” He further explained that this is why he doesn’t participate in Houzz and other online communities – because he’s fearful that his “intellectual property” (i.e. the photos) being stolen.
Ah-ha! It makes complete sense because I know Warline Painting in Vancouver, BC often has issues with bad painters who steal her website copy and photos.
My answer to this concern is teaching my local builders to protect their construction photos with a watermark. Additionally, my motto is to create something once, and then use it over and over again. Since many builders and remodelers will be uploading multiple photos, I recommend you use PicMonkey, which is free online photo editing tool, to protect your photos with a watermark. NOTE: PicMonkey also has a paid version that provides a wider-selection of fonts and fanciness.
How to make a transparent watermark to protect your construction photos online
Step 1: Go to www.PicMonkey.com
Step 2: Click on “Create a Collage”
Step 3: On the left side, click the Layouts tab and select “Create your own.” A 2000 x 2000 single cell will appear.
Step 4: Click on the Background tab and then click the box that says “Transparent background.” This will switch your single-cell to transparent (a dashed line will appear around the box).
Step 5: Click the “Save” button, located in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Name your file and save the blank template as a “.png” file to your computer.
Creating Your Watermark in PicMonkey Editor
Step 6: Now that your transparent background is saved, open this file in PicMonkey Editor. It will look like a checkerboard image.
Step 7: Click the “Text” tab and then click “Add Text.” From here, you have a lot of options for the text types. Pick one and then type your text in the box. You can also change the colors and size of font in this step, too. Note: keep the size of the font fairly large (72 or higher) because you can reduce it when you place it on the image later.
Step 8: Go to the “Basic Edits” tab and select “Crop.” Adjust the crop so it is tight around the text. When you get it where you want it, click the green “Apply” button.
Step 9: Save this image as a .png. This will be the watermark you use for your photos.
How to Apply Your Newly-Created Watermark to Protect Your Photos
Step 10: Open PicMonkey and select “Edit a Photo.” When prompted, open the photo you want to watermark.
Step 11: With the photo open, select the “Overlays” tab, and then select “Your Own.” Open the watermark you just created.
Step 12: Now that your watermark is on your photo, adjust the position, color and size to your liking.
Step 13: Once you have the watermark to your liking, save the photo – making sure you change the name of the photo (from the original) and note in the file name that it has been watermarked so you can easily find it later.
Now your photo is protected. To protect other photos with the same watermark, repeat steps 10-13.
Get your step-by-step instructions for protecting your photos with a watermark (a Google document).
Download my free guide: 3 Photo Altering Tools I Use on Every Client Project (Hint: 2 Outta 3 Are Free). Click Here to Download.