Did you know every time you steal a photo to use on your blog a baby panda cries? Well, probably not but still, don’t steal. I know you need photos to adorn your blog posts, or use in your design but there’s really no need to take them from others.
Did you know that even if you credit to the original photographer / source, it’s still not ok? Even if you edit the photo to make it your own? Additionally, if you think “ok, I’ll just take the photo down if they ask”, it won’t cut the mustard, you may still legally owe the photographer for previous unauthorised use of their photos.
The only photos you can safely use on your blog are:
- Photos you have taken yourself.
- Ones you’ve paid for.
- Creative Common Images. If the copyright owner has licensed the picture free for use by others you can use it. Always check the fine print though, licences can be specific about allowed use and sometimes you will still need to credit the image.
- Public Domain Images. Images where the copyright has expired or the owner has made it available to the public free of charge.
Look, I’m no copyright expert, and most definitely not a lawyer so I won’t yet into the nitty-gritty about copyright and fair use. What I can tell you is where you can get great inexpensive + free stock photos to use on your blog that will keep your karma intact.
- Death To The Stock Photo
I really love this service. Once you sign up they’ll send you a batch of new (and beautiful) photos that are free for use in commercial projects and on your blog. In addition you can go premium for extra photos each month and access to their entire catalogue.
- Free Images
This is a service owned by Getty Images, a directory of thousands of photos and illustrations with images that are free to use (although some require attribution, check your licence carefully). There’s a broad range of images, they do vary in quality though, but still – free!
- Photo Pin
A website that allows you to search through Flickr for images that are Creative Commons licensed and you can specify if you’re using them for commercial projects.
- Creative Market
I am really enjoying using this new platform for creatives to sell their creative digital wares. Their new photo directory is quite comprehensive and there are a lot of great photos in there. They’re not free but they are usually only a few dollars per photo, and you’ll be supporting independent creatives – always great.
That’s just where I like to get my images, there are a lot of other places you can get great photos, without having to steal! So no more trawling through Google Images and just plucking out anything you want – it’s really not cool.