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Photojournalist Launches iPhone Watermarking App

Photojournalist Launches iPhone Watermarking App

Photojournalist John D McHugh was so fed up with copyright infringement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that he has taken drastic measures and built an iPhone app called Marksta specifically to add watermarks to images uploaded to social networks. Apparently he was really tired of people stealing his images without credit, and came up with a solution that helps him and other photogs who feel the same.

McHugh partnered with app developers to streamline the process of adding watermarks to images. He says he realizes that he could just use his laptop and add watermarks in Photoshop, but that takes more time than he is willing to invest in just sharing images. He also says that Photoshop, being an expensive piece of software, is just not something that his "wife and friends" can't use. He says that though some developers have already done this on other apps "you can tell these applications have been created by developers, not photographers."

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As far as what you want the watermark to read, whatever you want to write, Marksta promises to make it simple and fast.


  • Add multiple lines of text to your photos, including ©, @, and #
  • Add an image or company logo to your photographs
  • Adjust size and position using gesture control
  • Adjust font, colour, and opacity
  • Add a customizable border
  • Reverse your text in a box to improve visibility
  • Add parallel lines or crossing lines to your text to increase protection
  • Justify text depending on placement
  • View all changes on screen in real time
  • Save multiple templates to improve workflow and speed
  • Non-destructive editing; Marksta will save new versions of your edit but always preserves the original image
  • Share directly to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr or send to Instagram, Camera+ and more, or email directly from inside the app
  • Customizable output size presets
  • Information button on each page guides you through the many advanced features of Marksta


Reasons to use Marksta

  • Add copyright information to your photographs directly from your iPhone before sharing online
  • Protect your images from misuse and theft
  • Ensure acknowledgement of your creative work
  • Safeguard your photos from being designated “orphan works”


Marksta will eventually cost about $2 for the download. For now, grab the app for free from the Apple App Store.

What do you all think? Is this something you are interested in using? Do you think it will reduce theft? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via BJP]

Jaron Schneider's picture

Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

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I don't see the workflow benefit here. Photographers already use tools like Lightroom that do this vey easily. If I wanted to watermark my images I would do it there. I also typically post images on social sites from my computer.

The "wife and friends" point doesn't make sense either. If they are serious about photography they know how to use the tools.

So the only place it seems useful is for photos I took with my iPhone. Frankly, I don't care about those and won't watermark them anyway.

I really don't see a need for this product, YMMV. Also, I tried it and it's buggy.

Except that many photos taken with iPhones have risen to national and worldwide attention, often without any credit given to the person who took the photo.  This is a way to make sure your photos taken with the iPhone are attributed correctly.

But you are right, no one would transfer photos from their camera/computer to the iPhone to use this program to watermark.

Right, so this is really just for photos taken with an iPhone which might have commercial value. A small number of photos from a small number of photographers. Doesn't seem to be a big market for this tool.

I've been using an app called A+ Signature for a while now (free in the the App store), it works the same and has the same features. I really like it, although I use it randomly when there is a great image that I wouldn't want used or if it is used that it at least has my info on it.

I use A+ Signature as well, and like it--but I got the paid version so that I had more font choices, etc. So I was able to make my watermark look the same as the one I use on my computer in photoshop. You can also actually sign it, with your signature, which is cool.

If you want Marksta to to be different, figure out a way to streamline the process of watermarking a photo. Right now, I have to take the picture & save it to my camera roll. Open A+ signature, load the photo, add my watermark, save the picture again to my camera roll, then open instagram (or whatever) and load the watermarked photo. A+ signature does send the image to facebook & twitter, and some others, but not to instagram. What I would LOVE is a way to watermark my images in whatever app I use to take or alter them in.

Tell us how you really feel Kaz...

I just did ;)
Seems to be a tool solving something that isn't a big problem.

Small problems need solutions, too.

There are a few apps that already do this. iWaterMark for example.

This kind of app will be a bigger deal with alot of cameras now having WIFI built into them. You would send quick proofs or comps to agencies or clients for quick mockup with this app adding vital copyright info. while they decide on the shot and you do the photoshop thing. 

Also photojournalists and hobby photographers can and should put copyrights on their stuff when uploading to the net. Yes it may not be extrodinary shots, but they are your!

Protect them from others and the websites that are going to try to make a buck off of them! If they want to use your photo, you should and deserve compensation.

I also will use this when I have client that want to see other shots i have, but they are on my cloud accounts or home network. I can quickly download, edit, color correct , crop, a photo(s) and send them within minutes from my phone or tablet. Now I can also add copyright info. Cool.

Why did my comment get deleted???

 Spamming maybe?

We very rarely delete comments, so it's more likely that it just didn't finish loading before you clicked away. 

I'm all for a photographer trying to help his fellow photogs and non-photogs. What's the big deal if there are already other apps that do similar things. Free market, people...

My friends Aaron and Jeff have already made an app like that titled "OverHD/Overgram." They have been getting some really nice recognition for it and the app even made it's way to the No.2 slot on itunes in the Photo/video category. Here is an article about the guys behind it and the app: http://insiderlouisville.com/news/2012/12/31/aaron-marshalls-over-app-is...

The devil finally has a name, so it seems...