Sourcing images and photos for your blog safely (part 2)
Last week, we blogged about the importance of respecting copyright on any images or photos that you use in blog posts or on your site to avoid the potential for expensive copyright infringement claims. In this post, we talk about some of the ways we've found to source images.
There are several ways you can get images that you can use in your blog posts:
- Photos that you take yourself or graphics that you had created for you
- Photos or graphics that you purchase from stock image sites
- Photos that are in the public domain
- Creative Commons - images that allow use with acknowledgement/li>
- Free Photo sites - use with caution; check licenses and fine print
Below we offer a few reputable choices from each category.
There are many low-cost stock image sites that have large selections and tools for image searching. Some allow you to pay by the image, but it is usually more economical to purchase packages so read the pricing plans. Some offer pricing plans for a number of images; others offer annual, monthly, or yearly subscriptions. Images are sometimes priced by quality/size. For blogs and social media, you can buy smaller size images, but for a key image on your website or for use in print, you should purchase higher resolution. Some photos may require a photo attribution, link, or byline. As always, read the fine print and honor any restrictions. Here are some sources that we've used:
Public Domain Resources
According to Wikipedia, these are images "whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, have been expressly waived, or are inapplicable. Here are a few sources.
Creative Commons is a licensing arrangement where content creators make photos, videos, writing, music, and other creative content available for the public to use. You can use CC-licensed materials as long as you follow the license conditions. One condition of all CC licenses is attribution. Learn more at the at Creative Commons.
We advise caution for business use. Check the licenses – some photos require attribution or only make the smallest sizes available at no cost. Some are free for personal use but not for commercial use. We generally source images from the first three methods and do not use free image sites, but here are a few that are considered reputable.