How to Watermark Your Photos in Photoshop Elements

Welcome back to Photoshop Elements for Bloggers! In the last lesson, you learned how to add text to your photos with the goal of creating Pinnable images for your blog.

In this lesson, I’m going to share how you can create a brush in Elements to watermark your photos and protect them from theft. Forget manually typing your copyright notice on every single photo – we’re taking the shortcut!

Note: Don’t forget to adjust the video’s image quality so you can see things better! Just click on the little “gear” symbol at the bottom of the video player and select 720px, or the HD (high definition) option.

Let’s get started!


Video Notes

A few things I didn’t point out in the video, but perhaps should have:

  • When you select the dimensions for your watermark brush (I set the width as 2000px and the height at 300px), you’ll want to choose dimensions that fit your logo or your blog’s name.  If you have a square logo, for example, it will look different from mine.  You can always start out with a square canvas (like 2000 x 2000px) and crop the whole image to the size of your brush before you save it.
  • If you already have a logo that you want to use for the watermark, go to File > Place to place the hi-res logo on your canvas.  Then proceed as normal.

A quick review of the steps, in case you don’t want to watch the video again:

  1. Create a new document with a transparent background and high resolution. See the first “video note” above.
  2. Click the Type tool (shortcut key: T) and choose a font.  Click and type on your canvas to add text, making adjustments as necessary to get the look *you* want.
  3. If your type doesn’t take up the whole canvas, you can use the Crop tool (shortcut: C) to fit the edges of your canvas to your artwork (not shown in video).
  4. Select the brush tool (shortcut: B) and go to your brush selection palette on the top bar.  Make sure “Default Brushes” is selected on the dropdown.
  5. On the top tool bar, select Edit > Define Brush.  Give your brush a descriptive name. Click OK.
  6. Check out your new brush in the Brushes palette (top left).  On the flyout menu on the right side of the Brushes palette, select “Save Brush.”  Make sure you know the location you’re saving this brush to!  I usually save to my desktop and then move the file to a more sensible spot later.
  7. That’s it!

To use your new brush:

  1. Open up the photo you want to watermark.
  2. Select your Brush tool (shortcut: B).
  3. If your watermark brush isn’t already available on the brushes palette, you’ll need to use the flyout menu and select “Load Brushes” and find the brush you’ve saved.  It should then be available on the brushes palette.
  4. Choose your brush.  Use the toggle at the top of the palette to select a width for your brush that makes sense for your photo.
  5. Make sure your foreground color is set to white.
  6. Create a New Layer for your document.
  7. Apply the brush.
  8. Select the layer of your document that you applied the watermark to, then turn down the opacity to whatever works best for this particular photo.
  9. Save your photo and use it!

If this seems like a lot of work, don’t worry – it’s going to save you lots of time in the long run, and you’ll get quicker at applying that watermark brush every time you use it.  After doing this just a handful of times, I can open a photo, add my watermark, and save in about 20 seconds.

Have fun!

Next Time…

In the next lesson in our series, I’m going to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers and a Photoshop Elements expert! She’s going to take you from beginner to Power User and has the road already mapped out.

Keep an eye on my Facebook page to find out when the next lesson is ready.

Questions or Tips to Share?

Please leave them in the comments below!

Do you know a blogger who would benefit from this workshop?

Please share the home page for this course. After all, life is too short to blog with bad photos.

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10 Comments • Leave yours below!

  1. KT Fit Kitty says

    Hello – This was great – thank you! However, I still have a question. I am new to Photoshop and have a 30-day trial to see if I want to purchase. I have been given a watermark to use on my photos to put on my blog. How do I add it to my photos since I’m not creating it as a brush? It is a logo that’s saved as a PNG file. Any help you can give would be great. I’m at . Thank you!

    • says

      Hi there! You didn’t leave your name, so I’ll have to call you Fit Kitty. :)

      To add a brush that’s already made, just hit “B” for brushes, then go to your brush selector at the top left. Click to toggle the whole set of brushes open. Then at the top right of that drop-down box, you’ll see a little “out” arrow. Click that and it will open a menu of options. Select “Load Brushes” and locate the brushes file you’re trying to load. Click “Load.”

      You should see the new brush at the bottom of the brush choices, so just select it to use it. Hope this helps!

  2. Kelly Knowles says

    Hi, great tutorial. I am brand new to PS, and this was very helpful. However, I made a mistake somewhere, because the last letter of my name is cut off in the watermark. I saved the old watermark onto my desktop and deleted it, but now whenever I open PS again, the old watermark shows up just hovering around wherever I move the mouse. Do you know how to completely delete the old one? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kelly, you should be able to go to the dropdown that shows the little thumbnails of all your brushes and use the little toggle-out arrow on the top right. On that menu, select “Reset Brushes” and it will return the brushes palette to the default Photoshop ones. Then you can reload the correct version of your watermark there. Hope this helps!

  3. Deborah says

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I tripped across it doing a google search. I didn’t know you could do such a thing! Definitely makes things a lot easier. Your video was excellent and informative! Thank you so much! I learned something today!!!! :)

  4. Chris says

    So if i understand correct, if i want a watermark that is not easy visible, i just play around with the opacity (learned a new word BTW), correct ?

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