Stop thieves from stealing your photographic work or simply put your name on shots so others can look you up by adding your own signature or logo to photographs using this technique in Lightroom that should take less than a minute.
Image theft is no joke; when you've taken hours, days, even months, or years to capture the right photograph, the last thing you want is someone else pinching it for their own use. Perhaps you want to send a proof or contact sheet out to clients so they can pick from a group of photos but don't want them taking the shots and avoiding paying you? Or you may just want to give a little link in the photo so others who see your work online can trace it back to you and get in touch. These are just three important reasons why you'd want to apply a watermark.
So, in this guide, I'll show you how to apply a watermark in Lightroom Classic using your own signature or logo, and the great news is, once you know what to do, it should take you less than 60 seconds. Not only will I show you how to apply a watermark, but I'll also go over how to save the watermark layout so that you can apply this to hundreds or thousands of images automatically when saving your shots.
Head to ExportFirst up, select the photo you want to add your signature or logo to, then go to File>Export (Ctrl+Shift+E or Cmd+Shift+E on a Mac). Alternatively, you can do this on the photo itself by right-clicking it and going to Export. Don't be tempted to click on any of the preset export options you may have displayed when using this method, as you won't have the option to add your watermark.
Navigate to WatermarksIn the Export options window that appears, scroll down the menu until you get to the Watermarking tab. Tick the box next to the word Watermark and click on the drop-down menu next to it. Notice how I already have some preset watermarks set up, this is where you can choose yours once you've made some. For now, head to Edit Watermarks to bring up the next window.
Choose a GraphicNow that we have the Watermark Editor window open, we could head down to the bottom-left to start typing in a quick text-based signature. However, we're going to be adding our own pre-existing signature or logo to then apply over the photo, so ignore this area for now. Instead, head up to the top-right, and under the Image Options tab, click on the Choose button. Bear in mind that it states to "please choose a PNG or JPG image" so TIFFs, GIFs, PSDs, etc. won't work here. If you don't have a PNG or JPG version of your signature or logo, head into Photoshop, import the graphic, and save it as either before continuing with this guide.
Select the Right OneAfter clicking the Choose button, another window will flash open (File Explorer in Windows or Finder on a Mac). From here, we need to navigate to the folder where the logo or signature graphic is saved. Once you've found it, select the image and either double-click it or press the Choose button in the bottom right. The explorer window will close and drop back to the Watermark Editor.
Change the SizeNow the logo or signature appears as a watermark on the photograph, and by default, it is laid in the bottom-left corner. On the right-hand side, click on Watermark Effects to reveal a host of sliders and buttons we can use to alter the size and placement of the logo. Depending on the color and shape of your logo or signature, you may need to dial down the Opacity slider so that it's less conspicuous in the photo. This step is especially important if your shot relies on having clean areas with plenty of negative space. Usually, photographers place a watermark on a photo so that it shows up if anyone tries to steal or recreate the image and so are inclined to keep opacity to 100%, as I have here, but others prefer a subtle logo splash.
Alter the Position
Just as you wouldn't shoot with exactly the same composition every time, nor do you need to keep your logo in the same spot for each photo. Thankfully, the Watermark Editor allows us to reposition the logo. Scroll to the bottom of the window and find the Anchor section. From here, you can click on one of the radio buttons to have the signature appear in the same location as the 3x3 grid display. Don't worry, we'll still be able to precisely place the watermark in a moment; this is just a rough placement for now (unless you're happy with the position already).
Adjust the Inset and Rotate
Our watermark is almost exactly where we want it. Just a little more jiggling around with the settings and we should be ready to export. I decided to place the logo on the right-hand side and adjusted the Horizontal Inset slider to 3 and Vertical Inset slider to 6 to bring it both away from the right edge of the frame and center it up vertically. I then also clicked the Rotate right button to spin it on its side. When you're happy with your settings, click Save and then click Export if you're ready to complete the photo save.
Save Your Progress
Alternatively, instead of just exporting the photo, you may want to save the progress you've made with making the watermark. Even though the process can take less than 60 seconds, what if you want to export 100 photos with your signature on them? That's going to take well over an hour, something that just isn't necessary. Once you've made your watermark adjustments, click on the drop-down menu in the top-left of the Watermark Editor window, and head to Save Current Settings as New Preset. In the window that pops up, give it a name, and click Create. Now, the watermark you've made with your signature or logo will appear in the drop-down list under the Watermarks tab when exporting future photographs.