Watermarking your content
Many models choose to watermark their digital content. Watermarks help prevent theft, and can direct viewers back to the model if they find her content online. In most cases, watermarking photos or videos is very easy and can be done with basic software.
Deciding what to watermark
Some models choose to watermark every piece of digital content they produce, leaving a standardized and visible footprint on all their photos, videos, and even live webcam feeds. Other models choose only to mark important projects like videos, while other models watermark things based on personal preference, what is most convenient, or what is most likely to be stolen.
For the average model, choosing to watermark most or all of their content is a good idea. Unless the watermark is extremely obtrusive, it is unlikely that it will harm the quality of the content in question.
The cons of watermarking content
The only foreseeable negative that comes with watermarking images is that the watermarks may become obsolete. For example, if a model watermarks hundreds of images and videos with "Jane Doe, www.janedoexoxo.com", and then she changes her URL to "www.janedoelove.com", every single image and video she produced will no longer send curious viewers to her URL. Sometimes, models change their stage names altogether, leaving people unable to even use Google to try and find the source.
The best way to partially circumvent this issue is to keep copies of all content without a watermark so that they can be updated if the model's contact info or name changes. However, all content that is already in circulation will no longer be able to send traffic to the model.
If you use URLs in your watermark, you may find it beneficial to have them all point to an account on a website you know you will always use (such as Twitter or Tumblr), and if you ever need to change your URL, create an entirely new account with your new URL and have the old one point to the new one.
Choosing a watermark
All models choose to mark their work differently. Some models have a single stamp or style for all their content to provide a uniform and cohesive image. Other models will watermark every photo and video in a different style, choosing what fits in best with the content.
Because the purpose of a watermark is to provide the viewer a way to find out who created the original. Therefore, all watermarks should be legible and easy to read. Extremely small or hard-to-see watermarks may alter the image very little, but they are also just as easy to miss or remove by thieves.
If your goal is to create one watermark that can be copied across all photos and videos, think carefully about your design. A plan black name may be sleek and classy in one photoset, but it may be impossible to read or even see in another. Likewise, a bright and bold watermark may be fun for many photos but can detract from the serious or sensual nature in others. It would probably be wise to choose legibility over similarity in cases when watermarks don't quite "fit" in with the image or video they go to.
When deciding your watermark should look like, you may also want to consider the following:
- How much information will be on the watermark? Will you provide only your name, or URLs, quotes, and other information?
- Do you want to design a watermark which can be used for the majority of your content, or do you prefer to make a new one for each project?
Balancing obtrusiveness versus attractiveness
When creating watermarks, there is a never-ending struggle between choosing a watermark that is noticeable and hard to remove, but at the same time does not detract from the image.
It is always wise to select how to watermark content on a case-by-case basis. For example, a tease photo which is to be released publicly may do well with a very large watermark to protect the image. However, a member who is paying for a full set of images may not be so happy to see watermarks placed directly on top of the model's skin or in the middle of the picture.
If the content will be released publicly for no charge, and its aim is to increase the model's popularity, more obtrusive watermarks may be suitable. However, it may influence people to share the photo less often.
As a rule of thumb, an image with an obtrusive watermark will be shared less, while an image or video with a small watermark will be shared more often. Some members may also be upset if they pay for content which is marred with an intrusive watermark.
Keep in mind that just because a watermark is large does not mean it has to be intrusive or ruin the photo. Some watermarks are very large and noticeable, but still blend in with the overall image well.
In the end, it is always up to the model as to how she wants to mark her content. Many times, it comes down to personal preference or what "looks good" instead of a calculated decision.
How to create a watermark
Watermarks are easily created on any photo or video editing software. The simplest watermark is just plain text applied over the top of the image, which can be achieved in programs like Microsoft Paint, Windows Movie Marker, and iMovie.
Some models like to experiment with text design and will create very flashy or ornamental watermarks, while other models like to keep it simple. As always, the most important feature of a watermark is legibility. If it is hard to read, it is not very useful for identifying content.