First image is mine, second one by Craig Cloutier
With Pinterest around to provide unlimited visual inspiration it seems easy to find pictures for your blog posts. Pretty pictures are all over the internet, so it might be just a little bit too tempting to use whatever you like. After all beautiful images are going to make your blog looks heaps more attractive.
But there’s a reason for why I’m writing this post: there’s a potential danger with just using whatever images you want.
Every photo, illustration or other image has an owner and is therefore copyrighted, unless otherwise stated. If you use a copyrighted image on your blog without the owner’s permission you could get yourself into trouble. And it could get pretty expensive, too.
So here’s how to go the safe way to find pretty pictures for your blog:
1. Your first option is to use creative commons: You get to search different platforms, such as flickr or google images, for different images that you may use under certain conditions.
At the top of the page go to ‘licenses‘, then click on ‘find licensed content‘ and type in your keyword. If you’re not intending to use the images commercially or edit them untick the boxes below.
Now choose which platform you want to search, and... go.
Once you found a photo you like, click on it, scroll down, and double check its ‘license’ where it should say ‘some rights reserved’. You’ll probably be all good to use the image if you give credit.
2. If you have a specific image in mind that you want to use (e.g. from a photographer), have a look at what it says on that person’s site about using their images. You might be allowed to use them if you credit them properly and link back.
If that’s not the case, or if it doesn’t say anything about using their photos, contact them and ask if you’re allowed to use their image (mention which one) for whatever you intend to do with it (e.g. simply display the image, edit it, use it as part of an illustration, etc.)
I believe having the rights to use someone else’s work is really important. It shows respect and that you know what you’re doing.
I admit having been guilty of this issue before as well, until working as the picture editor of Arts London News last year really shaped my view on it.
It’s so important to know your rights - no one wants to get sued for using a pretty image. So, no matter whether you’re creating a cover for your music playlist, or just need some pictures to illustrate your blog post, be on the safe side.
P.S. Feel free to use any of my photos, as long as you give credit and link back. :) (I still have to add that somewhere on the side of my blog - will do it soon.)
Let me know how you're usually going about finding images for your blog - I'd love to hear!