You need good photos for your blog posts. For Pinterest, Facebook, and general reader retention, every single blog post you create should have a good image attached. But this is a BIG, HUGE WAY to get yourself in trouble. So I’m sharing how to legally get photos for your blog.
There are many ways to legally get photos for your blog (or also known as “how to not get sued.”)
5 Ways to Legally Get Photos for Your Blog
Use Great Apps
The best way, of course, is to take your own photos and use editing software such as PicMonkey or Canva. Follow along with our photography tips or take a course – find a way to learn how to use your camera and get the most out of your own creativity and abilities.
But if that doesn’t work for you, there are some other things you can do.
Check The Experts
Start by watching our Blogging411 episode with Tamara of Tamara Like Camera for essential blog photography tips. In this 30-minute episode Tamara shares some tips about how to make sure you are not stealing photos.
Then, check out this article by Tamara on BlogHer: 8 Ways to Get Legal Images for Your Blog Posts.
Know the Rules
Remember! If you choose to use Flickr or Bing Images, be sure you’re searching for the right licenses. To find a photo that is available for you to use it must have a “Creative Commons” license. Just performing a general search does not mean that the photos that appear are free for you to use. You must make sure the licenses attached to each of the photos allows you to do what you want with them.
Want to use something from popular culture, like an ad, a TV show, or a movie? Did you know that if you take a photo of your TV while the show is on, it is good to use on your blog? What you can not do, though, is head to a website (like IMDB), download a photo from the show or movie, and use that on your blog. That’s someone else’s license and can get you in big trouble. Simply don’t do it.
Sometimes You’ve Just Got to Pay
If you know your post has the potential to be huge on Pinterest, for example, invest in some great images. As a blogger, you are a business and sometimes you need to invest a little to get a lot. iStockPhotos is always a popular place filled to the brim with hundreds of images to use, all at a reasonable price.
If you want to do a round-up on your website and you want to use pictures from other blogs, you absolutely MUST get the photo owner’s approval in writing (email works) beforehand. It doesn’t matter if you are using the picture to drive traffic to the blog or if you watermark/tag/caption it as a photo from someone else’s blog. You can not use it until you have permission from the original owner.
There is a lot to know about photos and their rightful place on the Internet these days. Be sure you are getting it right, the stakes could be higher than you think.
Note that this post does not take the place of legal advice. If you have any questions or doubts, follow up with someone in the legal field.
Members: Head to your Members Resources Education Portal for more on Blogging and the Law.
We’ll also send you to this great article titled Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog.
To do a reverse image search to see if anyone is taking your photos: http://www.authormedia.com/
Now get snapping!