This series has in the past been more about lessons I have personally learned as a creative entrepreneur/small business owner, but I think I’m going to expand it a bit to include lessons that I have learned as a blogger too! There are a lot of little things in the blogging world that aren’t set in stone. It’s an ever-growing and changing community, and not everyone does things the same way or even agrees about what the right way is. So, please realize that this is just one bloggers opinions and take it for what it’s worth!
One thing that’s at the forefront of unspoken blogger rules and varied opinions is image crediting. I think by now most respectable bloggers do this, and feel strongly that it’s the right thing to do. If you use someone else’s image on your blog, always always always give them credit! The best way that I know of to find the source for an image is google images. Go to google, and choose Images on the top right. You’ll notice in the search bar that there are two small grey icons off to the right. Choose the camera icon to search by image. You can choose whether you want to upload the image from your desktop, or paste in the link to the page where you found the image. This can be helpful both for finding the original image source, and for finding a better resolution version of the image you want to use.
If you search the entire internet, and can’t find the original source for an image, that doesn’t mean it’s free game. Don’t use it. And don’t link back to the pinterest profile where you found it and think that your job is done. When I say original source, I mean the person who created the image, or paid to have the image made. This could be a photographer, designer, artist, or even a magazine.
I think if you use someone else’s image as a part of a new image that you create (as a background texture for a blog post, mood board, etc.) that’s okay, BUT, you’re still responsible to credit the source. Also, please don’t add your own watermark to someone else’s image. If someone comes across that image on pinterest and uses the watermark to link back to your blog, they’ll likely think that you created the image, which is confusing and not really fair to the artist. In an effort of full disclosure, I do add a watermark to my color me monday posts. I feel like the appeal of that series is not only the images themselves, but also the combination of images and the colors that I pull from each image that makes it a creation of my own. I do always leave the original image sources at the bottom of the post.
I think usually people are okay with you using images of their work as long as you properly credit them, but sometimes they might not be. This has never happened to me personally, but if you are approached by a photographer, designer, whoever isn’t happy with the use of their image, accommodate their request and take it down immediately. If they created the image, they own it, and have every right to protect it as they see fit. Make sure you’re being respectful of that, and the time and artistic talents that went into creating the image. I’m sorry if this post got a little ranty, but I think this stuff is really REALLY important to talk about, and practice. What do you think, do you agree? Do you have anything else to add?