Today’s Question: I would like to apply a watermark to images before syncing them with a collection to the cloud from Lightroom Classic. Is there a way to add a watermark to photos without exporting first and then importing the saved photo back into Lightroom Classic? I also don’t really like the Print module option to print to a JPEG file.
Tim’s Quick Answer: I would say that the best solution in this case is to add the watermark via the export feature, but you can save a step by using the option to add the exported photos back to the catalog. Those copies can then be added to synchronized collection that you share with clients.
More Detail: While Lightroom Classic includes an option for adding a watermark to photos easily when sharing photos such as via an export, by creating a gallery in the Web module, or when printing from the Print module, there isn’t an option to add that watermark automatically to collections of photos you synchronize to the cloud for sharing with others. Fortunately, there is a bit of a workaround that works reasonably well.
While this process does involve exporting photos to create copies with a watermark applied, you can automatically add those photos back to the catalog so they can be easily added to a collection and synchronized to the cloud for sharing with others.
Start by selecting the applicable photos and clicking the Export button at the bottom of the left panel in the Library module. From the Export To popup in the Export Location section at the top of the dialog choose “Same folder as original photo”. I also recommend turning on the “Put in Subfolder” checkbox so the images will be separate from the originals. Then enter a name for that folder, such as “Share”, in the textbox to the right of the checkbox.
Be sure to turn on the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox as well, so the photos will be added back to the catalog, so you don’t need to import them through a separate process. Configure the preferred settings for the images, including the options for a watermark in the Watermarking section, and then click the Export button to create the watermarked copies of the photos.
You can then create a collection that includes these images to synchronize for sharing with your client. A quick way to create a collection that includes these photos is to drag the folder (such as the “Share” folder in this example) down into the Collections section on the left panel in the Library module. You can then right-click that collection and choose “Rename” to give it a more meaningful name.
Turn on the synchronization checkbox to the left of the collection name within the Collections section, and then in the grid view display click the “Make Public” button at the top-right of the grid view. This will generate a link you can then share with clients, so they can review the photos complete with your watermark.