Do you take great photos and want to protect your copyright? If so, you need to add a copyright signature to your photos.

A copyright signature is a way of marking your photos as your intellectual property. It can be a watermark, a copyright notice, or both.

In this article, we will discuss what a copyright signature is, why you need one, and how to create one. We will also provide some tips for creating a copyright signature that is visible, unique, and difficult to remove.

By the end of this article, you will know everything you need to know about copyright signatures for photography. So, let’s get started!

What is a Copyright Signature for Photography?

A copyright signature in photography is a visual or textual element that indicates the creator’s ownership of the image.

It serves as a digital watermark, making it clear that the beautiful pictures are protected by copyright laws.

This signature can take various forms, such as a photographer’s name, a symbol, or a combination of both.

Power of Digital Signature in Pictures

A digital signature, crafted using image editing software, serves as an effective deterrent that distinguishes itself from watermarks by not altering the visual essence of the work.

Essentially, it’s an image element that remains concealed until the file is downloaded.

This implies that anyone inclined to use the image must either consciously disregard the digital signature or take the extra step to remove it.

Craft Your Personal Stamp: Watermark Your Photos with Your Signature

Adding your signature as a watermark to your photography not only lends a distinctive touch to your company logo but also serves as a protective shield against copyright infringement for your images.

This straightforward process can copyright any image you share on the internet.

For this demonstration, Adobe Photoshop will be used, but the same instructions can be applied to any other imaging software or watermark app.

Step 1 – Create Your Signature:

Begin by using a thick black felt pen and a white sheet of paper to draw your signature. Make it bold and prominent.

Afterward, scan your signature into your computer using any scanner.

To ensure the scanner is set correctly, make sure it is scanning at around 300 dpi and choose the option to scan it as an image instead of text.

The choice between scanning in color or black and white does not matter at this stage.

Step 2 – Generate a PNG image of your digital signature:

A PNG (Portable Network Graphics) image format allows for transparent backgrounds, making it perfect for logos. Follow these steps to create a transparent background and save your signature as a PNG:

  1. Open the scanned signature in Photoshop.
  2. The lock symbol can typically be located adjacent to the Background layer within the layers palette. Click on this lock symbol and drag it to the trash bin. This action converts the background into a separate layer.
  3. Navigate to Select > Color Range. Set the Fuzziness to 150 and select the white background. Click OK to highlight the white background.
  4. From the Keyboard, press the backspace key. This will remove the background.
  5. To achieve a more polished look or to manage the density of your signature, you may want to explore Photoshop’s Select and Mask features.
  6. Go to File > Save As and choose PNG from the drop-down menu. Save the file in a location for easy access, and a dialog box will appear. Opt for the largest file size and click OK.
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You’ve successfully created a PNG image, complete with a transparent background, effectively turning your signature into a versatile logo.

Step 3 – Use Your Signature as a Watermark

The final step is to utilise your freshly crafted signature PNG. Here’s how:

  1. Drag the PNG file onto any picture or image you wish to watermark.
  2. Resize and reposition the signature as needed to align it with your preferences.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully created a watermark using your own signature. If you intend to use it as a logo, you can add it to your content just like you would with any regular image – it’s that simple!

Suggested Reading: How to protect copyright images

How to Add a Copyright Signature in Photography?

Adding a copyright signature to your photography is a crucial step in protecting your creative work and asserting your ownership rights. Here’s a simple guide on how to do it:

Step 1: Choose Your Watermark

1.1 Select a Watermark Type: Decide whether you want a visible watermark, which is a visible overlay on your image, or an integrated watermark, which remains hidden until someone downloads the image.

1.2 Design Your Watermark: You can use an image editing tool or dedicated watermark software to create your watermark. It can be your signature, logo, or any text that represents your copyright claim.

Step 2: Apply the Watermark

2.1 Open Your Photo: Use an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or an online photo editor to open the photo you want to watermark.

2.2 Add the Watermark: Select the layer or option in your editing software that allows you to add text or images. Paste or import your watermark onto the photo.

2.3 Adjust Size and Position: Resize and position the watermark where you want it to appear on your image. Make sure it’s clearly visible but doesn’t overpower the image itself.

Step 3: Customise Watermark Settings

3.1 Opacity: Adjust the opacity of the watermark to strike a balance between visibility and blending with the image. Typically, watermarks are semi-transparent.

3.2 Text and Font: If you’re using text as a watermark, choose a font and style that matches your brand or personal taste. Ensure the text is legible.

3.3 Color: Pick a color that complements your image while maintaining visibility. Many watermarks are in grayscale or a subtle color.

Step 4: Save Your Watermarked Image

4.1 Save a Copy: Always save a copy of your watermarked image, preserving the original file without the watermark for future editing or printing.

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4.2 File Format: Save the watermarked image in a common file format like JPEG, PNG, or TIFF, depending on your preferences and intended use.

That’s it! You’ve successfully added a copyright signature as a watermark to your photography. This simple yet effective step helps protect your creative work and ensures proper attribution as the rightful owner.

Steps to Add Copyright Notice to Your Pictures

According to the United States Copyright Office, copyright safeguards original creative works, encompassing items like poems, books, art, paintings, and architectural designs.

In most cases, your work is eligible for copyright protection and should be safeguarded.

Copyright, however, doesn’t safeguard ideas; it must manifest in a tangible form, existing beyond mere thoughts.

  1. Use the Appropriate Symbol: The appropriate symbol for copyright is the copyright symbol ©.
  2. Identify the Year of Publication: Mention the year of publication, indicating when you distributed copies for sale or transfer. If the work is unpublished, you can state: “Unpublished work Copyright 2019 [Your Name].”
  3. Include the Copyright Holder’s Name: Ensure that the copyright holder’s name is also included. You can use either the full name or an abbreviated form.
  4. Mark Your Work Clearly: Place the copyright notice prominently on your work, ensuring it provides clear notice of your copyright claim. It should not be hidden or concealed. If it can’t be integrated into the work itself, consider adding it as a visible tag.
  5. Include a Rights Statement: The most common rights statement is “All Rights Reserved.” Alternatively, you may opt for a Creative Commons License, which specifies certain terms for use, typically allowing non-commercial usage. Alternatively, you can use “No Rights Reserved” if you wish to relinquish certain rights.

Adding copyright information helps protect your creative work and communicates your rights and permissions to others.

Why Add a Copyright Signature in Photographs?

Adding a copyright signature to photographs serves several important purposes:

  1. Protection of Intellectual Property: It signifies that the photograph is your original creation, asserting your ownership and intellectual property rights.
  2. Deterrent Against Theft: A visible copyright signature discourages unauthorised use and distribution of your images, deterring potential infringers.
  3. Legal Proof: In the event of copyright infringement, a watermark can serve as evidence of your ownership, making it easier to assert your rights in a legal context.
  4. Branding and Recognition: A consistent copyright signature can also function as a branding element, helping to establish your identity as a photographer or creator.
  5. Preservation of Attribution: It ensures that viewers recognise you as the author of the image and facilitates proper attribution when shared or used with your permission.


The field of photography has advanced, providing photographers with a range of options for safeguarding their creative works.

From visible watermarks to integrated watermarks, the process of adding a watermark for protection has become an uncomplicated one.

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Photographers can now leave their distinctive signature watermark, whether it’s a professional signature watermark or a graphic watermark, on their images with ease.

With watermark software and step-by-step instructions readily available on the internet, photographers can tailor their watermarks to suit their personal tastes and ensure the safeguarding of their original files and personal work.

This not only deters potential copyright infringement but also helps build a recognisable brand identity.

In the digital age, copyright for photographers is vital, and watermarking pictures is a simple yet effective method to assert ownership.

Whether you’re an individual photographer or part of a team of professionals, integrating signature watermarks into your file format is a practice that ensures your creative efforts remain protected and attributed to you in the vast realm of online photography.


How to create a copyright signature?

Creating a copyright signature for your photographs is a relatively straightforward process.

You can use photo editing software to add your name or a watermark to your images.

It’s essential to strike a balance between visibility and subtlety, ensuring that your signature does not distract from the beauty of your photograph.

What is the importance of copyright signatures?

Copyright signatures are crucial for photographers as they act as a deterrent against unauthorised use of their work.

They serve as a visible reminder to potential infringers that the photograph is protected, discouraging them from using it without permission.

Can I remove a copyright signature from a photograph?

Removing a copyright signature from a photograph without permission is a violation of copyright laws and could result in legal consequences.

What should I do if someone uses my photograph without permission?

If someone uses your photograph without permission, you should contact them and request that they cease using your work. If this does not resolve the issue, you may need to consult legal professionals.

How do I put my name on my photography?

To put your name on your photography, you can create a digital signature or ideal signature watermark using image editing software.

This signature can be your actual name, a stylised version of it, or even your logo. You can then overlay it onto your photos to assert copyright and ownership.

What is a signature in photography?

In photography, a signature typically refers to a visible or digital mark placed on an image by the photographer.

It serves as both a form of artistic expression and a copyright assertion. Signatures can be simple text, a stylised logo, or any distinctive mark that identifies the photographer and their work.