How Michel Klooster's Photologo Watermark Kept His Name Circulating When His Controversial Photo Went Viral

How Michel Klooster's Photologo Watermark Kept His Name Circulating When His Controversial Photo Went Viral

A photo you have taken going viral is a double-edged sword: you want it to happen, but at the same time, you relinquish control and too often, credit for your work. When Michel Klooster’s controversial wedding photo went viral, his Photologo watermark kept his name intrinsically linked with the story.

Last year, Wedding Photographer Michel Klooster had one of his images go viral. It’s a beautifully composed, lit, and framed image, but its hook was that it was a touch out of the ordinary. Bride and groom portraits are paramount to the shooter of the big day, and there are entire classes dedicated to posing the happy couple as they aren’t models and they can look a little… stiff. Well, that might have been a problem for Klooster, but thankfully we won’t know.

Surprisingly, the concept for this polarizing image of modern love was suggested by the groom’s new mother-in-law. Little did she know that this innocuous suggestion would lead to the resulting image taking on a life of its own. Once Klooster had posted the picture to his Facebook page, it spread like wildfire. After all, you seldom see oral sex in a wedding album.

So, we arrive at that double-edged sword. The exposure from having a photo go viral — and multiple photos go viral daily — is unparalleled, and that’s not hyperbole. The downside is that seldom will you find the photographer’s name anywhere near it, and big, ugly watermarks over the center of the image are thankfully a thing of the past. Fortunately for Klooster, he had a Photologo watermark subtly to the left of the… intimate moment. The signature doesn’t draw the eye enough to detract from the image in question, but it is noticeable enough that you will remember his name once you’ve closed the photograph. That is not to be underappreciated, as it’s a line that’s difficult to walk: being present enough that people remember your name, but subtle enough that it doesn’t encroach on the composition.

Gary Numan by Robert K Baggs. Logo by Photologo.

Klooster having his Photologo watermark on his image that went viral was the difference between complete loss of control and complete loss of control but with recognition — a worthy distinction. As Klooster worded it: "Having put my Photologo on it, it fueled me to become famous, because everyone knew I took that photo."

The kind folks at Photologo allowed me to trial their service, and the results are pleasing. They offer a soft, signature-esque design that looks closer to an autograph than an unsightly watermark. Whether your photos are likely to go viral or not, having not just a watermark but your name on your images makes the task of finding you significantly easier. Klooster has had many people contact him since that photo went viral, which I can only presume wouldn't have happened to anywhere near the same degree had it have been without his name clearly visible.

Fears Watch Co. by Robert K Baggs. Logo by Photologo.

If you are interested in adding this simple but attractive layer of protection to your work, Photologo is offering a discount on their customizable, hand-crafted logos for the Fstoppers readership. 

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Brian Pernicone's picture

I stopped watermarking my photos a couple years ago because I decided I want the viewer to focus on my image, not my watermark. These look pretty good, though. Not as distracting. Too bad I hate my own signature!

wiser h's picture

Signature watermarks are the worst. You made a good call ; )

michael buehrle's picture

so basically this article is a promo for photologo ? you guys are doing that now ?

Aaron Mello's picture

What makes you think that? "Photologo" was only mentioned 10 times in the article... lol

michael buehrle's picture

and a link included each time.

Ryan Mense's picture

Humor me and scroll back to the top and click the text that says "Sponsored" under the article title.

Deleted Account's picture

On my Windows, IE 11 computer, it only shows up at the bottom. After you read the whole thing.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Nikel Hooster - that's how it reads for me.

Ed Rhodes's picture

nowhere on the main page does it state that it is sponsored. On this page, the word "sponsored" is in tiny light gray font. pretty hilarious after all the peter lik BS about being transparent and open.

Jay Jay's picture

Ah yes, I definitely saw the word, “sponsored” in small type in faint grey under and tonthe side of the author’s name. Everyone else seemed to have seen it too. *ahem*.

michael buehrle's picture

so they are being paid to post articles ? so much for unbiased. they should have mentioned it more then, photologo didn't get their moneys worth.

Ryan Mense's picture

Well, at least the person I was responding to gets what I was pointing out. I was just looking to open your eyes to the fact Fstoppers has doing it for a long time. As for the rest of the comments that are focused on the presentation of the text, I’m with you there.

Cole Herning's picture

Just make your own. Super easy to put whatever you please as a custom brush in Photoshop. It's nice that this service exists I suppose...

Henry Louey's picture

You need a new copywriter. Any of these titles would get you more views

"People are losing their minds over this photo"
"Michel Klooster posted this photo - You are not going to believe that happened next"
"Why photographers are going crazy for this photo logo service"
"The photo that only 3% of Americans will understand!"

Feel free to hit me up anytime :)

Karim Hosein's picture


wiser h's picture

Why do all photographer watermarks seem kinda over the top? Kind of like photographers with three names.

Jay Jay's picture

Don’t even dare try emailing Fstoppers conplaining about advertisements masquerading as articles. They get downright angry and mean when questioned about their transparency practices.

While this one was marked as an ad, it was done in a way that 100% of everyone reading it would never have noticed. And there have been other ad-articles that weren’t marked at all.

While I love the information that Fstoppers produces when it’s not a sneaky ad, I have absolutely no respect for the people that let this kind of thing happen, not that they care, because...$$$

Yin Ze's picture

I agree. My account was banned as "spam" because I voiced a similar opinion. I am definitely not purchasing any more Fstopper products/tutorials in the future. Dpreview is transparent about "sponsored" content as they post a BIG RED "SPONSORED" icon next to the link so you are aware you are clicking on sponsored content. Fstopper method is deceptive.

Jay Jay's picture

I agree. I've purchased their tutorials in the past as well, but their response to me was so harsh and accusatory, that i won't be purchasing any more in the future. Biting the hand that helps feed you only costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars per hand. (As each tutorial is not exactly cheap). Love this site, just not whoever is allowed to talk to people that way. :/

Timothy Evans's picture

Remember when Fstoppers told you how to make your own signature watermark so you didn't have to pay someone to do what you can do in less than 10 minutes?

Ryan Mense's picture

It’s almost as if there’s more than one opinion on the subject!

Karim Hosein's picture

Yeah, call me when they show me how to do it in my raw developer. Oh, wait… I currently do it in my raw developer, DarkTable.

…and my signature is a scalable vector graphic, (SVG) so it does not have resize artifacts!

I should probably do a tutorial on that, but….

Paul Wieczorek's picture

Wait... what? There’s a photo of bride blowjobing her future husband and you talk about logo watermark? My God, what happened to this world...