Do you need to copyright your photos, and announce that copyright with a logo? I am not a lawyer, so check with a local legal source. But I do know a little about marketing. And about how images are often, um, “borrowed”. See the post of a couple of days ago about Google Image Search.
I usually do this:
I.e. a small logo on the image, often (but not always) with © sign.
And about those signs:
- The © sign on your photos makes it look a little amateurish, but in some environments (on Tumblr, for example) or categories (like photos of celebrities) I find it necessary for extra clarity. My photos are copyrighted even without the © sign, but it does stress the point.
- The ™ (Trade Mark) logo is something you can and should add to your marketing names. As in “The Willems 400-40-4 rule™”.
- The registered trade mark sign ® may only be added if you actually registered the trade mark with the appropriate authorities.
- Do embed your copyright information (“all Rights Reserved” and author name in the image’s EXIF data.
Photography is a business and it pays to treat it as such.
Watermarking your photos provides no guarantee of protecting them from copyright infringement. Last year a for profit magazine stole 10 of my photos (and other peoples) dismantled the photos and added their own watermarks. They claimed it was an innocent error.
I am not a pro like yourself and not looking to being compensated for use of the work however its very disheartening when you discover this kind of thing. Its expensive to have lawyers chasing these people down. Anyone in the media business should know and have consideration for other peoples work.