Logos are for sodas, not pictures.

We don’t put our logo on our images that we print.  We don’t place them on pictures that we post on Facebook or on our website.  When we burn them to your CD, they don’t include a FotoFly logo.  Every so often, I get asked why we don’t.  My answer is simple.  I don’t like them.

When we first opened the studio, we planned to insert a logo at the bottom of each image.

When I first opened the studio, I initially designed a logo that would go on each picture.  I think I was on autopilot based on what I had seen at other studios.  As I printed that first picture with our logo on it, I couldn’t help but think about why I was doing it.

To me, the two biggest reasons that photographers place a logo on their image are:

First:  marketing.  With pictures being printed and emailed, you would be dumb NOT put your logo on it right?  It’s great exposure!  People will see a good picture and have no question who created it.  It did seem like a good idea to promote my studio and establishing a brand.  But, as I really thought about it, I felt like it is drafting the customer to promote the studio whether they wanted to or not.  I thought if I asked every customer if they wanted my logo on their picture, 100% would say NO.  So, why would I do something that my customers didn’t like so I could attract more customers?  It doesn’t really make sense.  I think customers have tolerated it because it is so universal.  But, I suggest that people revolt and ask photographers to stop using their pictures as flyers.

I can see why it makes sense to put logos on shampoo or cars or electronics.  In a lot of cases, the brand is inherent in the value of the product.  However, with photography (like most art) the value of the product is in the beauty of the creation.  Leonardo da Vinci did not sign or date the Mona Lisa.  Someone check if Michelangelo carved his logo on David.  I’m guessing no.  What’s interesting is that the most famous artists’ work is immediately identifiable because of their technique or style.  Think Ansel Adams or Picasso or Salvador Dali.  The goal for FotoFly is that, when people see a picture we’ve taken, people automatically know where it came from.  I would like us to be identifiable not through a logo but through the image itself.

Second:  copyright protection. Photographers who don’t give you the electronic image don’t want you to be able to use the image in any way without paying for it.  So, they will place their logo across an image so that the world will know that you didn’t pay for it if you use it.  This is obviously not an issue for us since we give every image to every customer.

I'm glad this isn't necessary.

From the beginning, we decided that we will not place our logo on any of the electronic or printed pictures coming from FotoFly.  To be honest, I haven’t had a customer mention the lack of a logo.  But, I have to assume that they prefer it that way.  I feel good that the only thing being promoted in our portraits is the person.

I kinda like that other photographers do this.  I think it is one more reason to come to FotoFly.  I also like other photographers mark up their work as their own so no one mistakes their photographs for ours.  I probably shouldn’t even write this post…  So, I’m going to do a Jedi wave and say to the photographers that ‘this isn’t the post you were looking for.’

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8 thoughts on “Logos are for sodas, not pictures.”

  1. You’ve touched on a subject that has bugged me for years. When I see a pic w/a watermark I silently whisper under my breath to the photographer “get over yourself”. I have three close girlfriends that are photographers and they totally disagree with me.

  2. Ya, but I think watermarking your pictures online is a smart idea. I know of a lot of people that have had their images ‘stolen’ and claimed by another photographer. And I also read about a mommy blogger who’s family picture got stolen and was used as an ad somewhere in Europe.

    I think it’s just safer to watermark your online images, especially in this world where it’s sooo easy to take things from the internet.

  3. THANK YOU! for not putting your logo on my pictures! It does bug me that my bridals have the photographers name written across the bottom of every one (I didn’t know he was going to do that, or I would have picked a different photographer). I do photography as well, and would never add my name or logo to someone’s album. It takes away from the beauty of the photograph. I am also a quilter, and never once have I labeled a quilt for that same reason.

  4. Love the Mona Lisa and David examples–pure awesomeness. I think bloggers (not professional photographers, necessarily) put their watermark on their photos because so many photos get stolen and used on sites without permission. But otherwise, I say leave it off! ;)

  5. I think it says a lot for your company, that you are confident enough in your quality that you don’t have to do that. I love my pictures from Fotofly, and have to admit, I wouldn’t like them as much if it was on there! So thank you!

  6. The thing with FotoFly is that you don’t need your logo on any of your work – it’s just that great anyone who sees the photo will know it was FotoFly!!

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