Branding Your Work

Photography isn't something you want to hide. You create images to share and you want people to know who created that artwork. For some, their signature on a photograph is like a brand and you always want to promote and manage that brand. 

 I added my signature to this image by specifying a watermark in Adobe Lightroom's export module.  

I added my signature to this image by specifying a watermark in Adobe Lightroom's export module.  

With Lightroom, you have a couple tools that you can use for this including Watermarks and Identity Plates. But what's the difference? And, how do you use them?

With an identity plate, you can brand your Lightroom desktop as well as output from the slide show, print and website modules. In the output modules, the identity plate can be placed anywhere, even a border area. Identity plates can be simple text or a graphic image.

Watermarks must appear on the image in one of nine specific locations. (e.g. Top left, top center, top right, middle left, etc.) For output with multiple images, a watermark can appear on each image.  Like identity plates, a watermark can also be text or a graphic file.  

Watermarks are anchored within your image in one of nine preset locations. You can make slight adjustments horizontally and vertically to ensure that the mark does not fall too closely to the edge. 

One advantage of watermarks is that you can apply a watermark when you export an image.  If you want to create a folder of lower resolution JPG files, you can have your logo stamped on to each one during the export routine. 

Signing Your Work

Create a "brand", whether it be a logo or signature, using photoshop. For something like a signature, make sure the background is transparent. Save this "brand" as a PNG file - these files support transparency while JPG files do not. Then, create a Lightroom watermark preset using this graphic file. 

Once you have all the pieces, it's very easy to create a Lightroom preset so that your signature or logo is stamped on every image you export. 

Take It A Step Farther

 You can use an Identity Plate as a template in the Print module. 

You can use an Identity Plate as a template in the Print module. 

You'll find that identity plates in Lightroom can be quite versatile and there are lots of uses for them. You won't find this in any Adobe book, but think about using an Identify Plate as a template for printing. For example, I don't usually photograph events but each year I offer to photograph the kids at our church's Breakfast With Santa event. It all started years ago when someone would shoot a polaroid of each child on Santa's lap. 

I like to shoot tethered to Lightroom and was able to find a way to use an Identity Plate as a print template. I simply created an image that had the same dimensions of the final print - in my case a 5 x 7. I include the date and the event name along with some simple seasonal graphics. I leave transparency where I want the final image to show through and then load it into Lightroom as a print preset. 

I shoot the kids and my wife looks to ensure eyes are open and they look pleasant. If so, she hits print and voila, the family has a customized image of their child with Santa.