How do I watermark photos?

Updated: Apr 09, 2014 05:59AM PDT
Custom watermarks

Pro Smuggers can display their images on SmugMug, big and beautiful, and place custom watermarks to protect them.

No worries, watermarks will not appear on prints ordered through SmugMug.

FYI: We only watermark images that are 801px and up on the longest side. We do not watermark photos whose longest side is equal to or less than 800 pixels because a display copy and the original are the same image.  The default proof watermark will apply to the Large display size.  Custom watermarks can be set to apply on any size down to the Thumb display size.  


I want one!

First: make a JPEG, GIF, or PNG image of your watermark. PNGs with transparency (like the example shown at the top) are a great way to get your name or logo on your work without covering too much area. Tip: Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Upload your watermark image to a SmugMug gallery. An Unlisted (Anyone with the Link) one is a great choice if you like to keep things tidy.

Gotcha: We use your watermarking image every time you apply that watermark to your photos, so please don't delete it or hide it.

In your account settings, navigate to the Business > Branding tab.

Click Manage in the Watermark section to open the Watermark options menu.

Click Create to expand the menu and then click the image icon navigate to the watermark image you previously uploaded.

Once you select your image, you can alter the other settings and watch how your watermark is affected on the sample preview image. Choose the smallest size image you want your watermark applied to (the default is Large).

Gotcha: Check that your gallery image-display setting matches your watermark size setting, otherwise your watermark may not appear. For example, if your watermark is set to apply to Large images and up but your gallery is set to display images at a maximum size of Medium, your watermark won't appear.

Choose where you want the watermark to appear on your photos:

And even fade the image so it obscures less of your photos:

To see how your watermark appears on landscape versus portrait images, select the Change Sample button.

Once you’re happy with the way your watermark looks, name it and click Create.

Tip: You can also access the Watermark menu through your gallery settings. In any gallery, click Customize > Gallery Settings > Security & Privacy > Watermarking. Turn Watermarks On and select your preferred watermark or create a new one.

Gotcha: Don’t forget to apply the new watermark to all photos in the gallery by clicking the check box.

To edit a previously created watermark, click the wrench icon below the one you want to edit. To delete a watermark, click the trashcan icon instead.

In Legacy SmugMug   Navigate to the photo and choose Tools > This Photo > Make into Watermark.


Make into watermark photo tool

We'll take you to a place where you can fine-tune its placement on your images. Play with the slider to set its transparency.

Customize watermarks

Don't forget to give your watermark a descriptive name! This will help you identify and choose the right one when you're applying watermarks.

  1. Click Submit to save your changes.

Go crazy. Create as many exotic watermarks as you'd like. Want to change your logo? Edit & delete watermarks in your Account Settings under the Business tab.

Apply them!

Want watermarks applied while you're uploading photos?

Go to your gallery settings, choose yes for Watermarking, and choose which watermark you'd like applied. From now on, photos you upload to this gallery will automatically get watermarked.

To apply watermarks to photos already in a gallery:

In New SmugMug

Go to the Organizer and select the gallery you want to watermark.  Click the wrench icon > Watermarks

In New SmugMug Only, the watermarking feature will not be available while hide owner is active.  

In Legacy SmugMug

Choose Watermarking from the Tools Menu. Then choose thumbnails, choose add and click the watermark button.

Tip: Block access to your originals. We don't watermark originals because we use them to make prints.

Removing watermarks

Change your mind? Remove watermarks from many or all photos in your gallery:

In New SmugMug

Go to the Organizer and select the gallery you want to unwatermark.  Click the wrench icon > Watermarks.   Then select your thumbnails, choose remove and click the watermark button.

In Legacy SmugMug

Choose Watermarking from the Tools Menu. Then select your thumbnails, choose remove and click the watermark button.

Remove watermarks

Edit or Delete watermarks

After you create a custom watermark, you'll find you can tweak or delete watermarks in your Account Settings. Click the Account Settings button on your SmugMug homepage and look for the Business tab, then "Branding."

manage custom watermarks

Changes will only affect photos you watermark in the future, not photos you've already watermarked.

If you want the changes to take effect on existing photos, just apply the updated watermark via the Tools Menu.


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