For many network bloggers there’s no topic more confusing or controversial than where to find images. For many, it’s just a matter of not knowing the legal issues regarding regarding image use. The bottom line? If no one said you can use it, you probably can’t. The problem is, most network blogs require an image with each post. What do you do?
Read your guidelines
Your network should list places with which they have agreements in place, or stock agencies offering free image use. Be sure to properly source and credit the photographer and agency.
No matter how tempting, don’t steal
If you don’t have permission don’t right click and steal the image. Not only can this prove troublesome for you, but your network can take a major hit. They (and you) can get slapped with fines and end up the subject of a nasty and expensive lawsuit.
What About Celebrity Images?
Celebrity images can cause a lot of problems. You see, the agencies which supply the images are paid lots of money to provide their photos to websites and blogs. You don’t want to steal from them, but accounts are expensive and many networks can’t afford the expense. There are ways however.
Disclaimer: Before following this advice check with your network to find out if using these images are acceptable. All networks have different rules regarding images.
Book covers, magazine covers and CD covers are generally fine to use. There are also a couple of free sites with celebrity images available. PicApp is a brand new site offering free images, but you have to put up with their ad and code. I don’t have a problem with this, but many individuals and networks do. BuzzPhoto can offer free accounts but you’ll have to have their watermark in place. It’s not an attractive option but doable if you need an image in a pinch.
Free Image Sites
There are plenty of free image sites for instance:
- Morgue File
- Flickr – Creative commons only
- Lorelle VanFossen has an amazing list of places to find free images for your blogs.
Always check with your network to make sure they allow the use of these agencies. Remember, if you don’t have permission, it’s not yours to use.
Image: PR Photos