If you produce content of any type for your business, you want to make it as visually appealing as possible. And particularly if you blog, coming up with images you’re legally allowed to use can sometimes be confusing. Where do you get images? What are you allowed to use?
I just got this question on Facebook, and I figured that more of you might have this same question, so here’s what I do.
Most of my images come from Creative Commons images on Flickr. Creative Commons provides free licenses that tell you which content you’re allowed to use, and how you’re allowed to use it. You’re allowed to use some Creative Commons images free of charge, as long as you provide attribution (you tell people who the source of the image is, and you link to them.)
Flickr is a photo sharing site. Some people post their images to flickr under an attribution-based Creative Commons license. Here’s what Flickr has to say about this:
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work – and derivative works based upon it – but only if they give you credit.
To search the Attribution Creative Commons images on Flickr, you can go here: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/
If you look at the bottom of many of my posts, you’ll see how I provide the attribution. Typically it says: image credit: Name. The “Name” part is linked to where I got the original image.
Once I have uploaded that image to my blog, it stays in the media files. And sometimes I want to use that image again. So what I do when saving that image for the first time is include the image owner’s name as part of the file name, and take the URL where I got the original image, and add it to the “Description” field for the image. That way, if I use it again, I don’t have to go searching for that image again to provide credit. So for example, I might save an image as “bridge by LindaH” and in the description field in WordPress I’ll include a link to LindaH’s page on Flickr. (Mouse over the image in the this post and you’ll see the name I gave to that image.)
So what do I do if I can’t find an image I like on Flickr? Well, I have 2 options:
- In the past I purchased a collection of business images that allow me to use them without further attribution. Sometimes you’ll see these in my posts.
- I take the images I need myself. The camera on my phone makes it super-easy to take an image and email it to myself.
So those are the ways I get the images for my blog posts. How do you get your images? Any other tips or sources? Please share them in the comments!
image credit: Jack Brodus