Protect Your Photos with a Watermark

adjust appearance of photo watermark

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

Step 2: Click on “Create a Collage”

construction photo watermark

Step 3: On the left side, click the Layouts tab and select “Create your own.” A 2000 x 2000 single cell will appear.

 create your own watermark

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).

creaste transparent photo watermark

create watermark for photos

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.

 PicMonkey_Step 5

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.

apply a photo watermark

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.

create watermark text for photos

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.

 crop your watermark

adjust your watermark crop

Step 9: Save this image as a .png. This will be the watermark you use for your photos.

 tess wittler photo watermark

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.

add a watermark to your home photos

Step 11: With the photo open, select the “Overlays” tab, and then select “Your Own.” Open the watermark you just created.

 add watermark to protect photos

Step 12: Now that your watermark is on your photo, adjust the position, color and size to your liking.

 adjust appearance of photo watermark

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.

 save your protected photo

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.

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9 thoughts on “Protect Your Photos with a Watermark”

    1. PicMonkey is one of my “must have” tools for any business doing social media (at least for us PC users). The Pro version is worth the small investment. Thanks for sharing, Chris. Always appreciate your support.

  1. This is such a help and so important! I make my watermarks in PAGES in my Mac but for those who don’t have a MAC or Photoshop, Pic Monkey is great. I have to share this!

    1. Yes, us PC users don’t have quite as many groovy tools readily available, which is why I love PicMonkey. Free version (which is what I used for this post) is great. I apprecaite your comments and shares, Donna. Many thanks!

  2. Hi Tess,

    Great article and great tutorial. I have recently started watermarking my photos. Just another layer in protecting ourselves in the internet. It’s a shame it has come to this but I have come to learn that most people simply don’t know any better and think that if it is on the internet, its free for the taking.

    I do like posting my photos on because they do a pretty good job in protecting my photos from being copied and making sure I am getting credited for my work.

    1. That’s good to know about Houzz (and I’ll look you up!). And this is so true, “…most people simply don’t know any better and think that if it is on the internet, its free for the taking.” Thanks for commenting, Heidi.

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