Where Do You Find Great Pictures for Blogs?
So you know that it’s important to write a blog, and you know that everyone loves blogs with pictures. But, you don’t have pictures that you want to use for your blog post. What should you do?
I’ll give you a hint: You shouldn’t do a Google image search for “dog wearing clown costume” or whatever it is that you want a picture of.
The vast majority of pictures that you’re going to get from a Google image search are copyrighted material. You cannot use them without the copyright owner’s permission.
Even if the person who took the photo never registered the copyright for their picture with the US Copyright Office, they still own the copyright to that photo. As soon as someone creates a piece of art (or a photo, etc.) they own the copyright to it. So even if it looks like it’s just someone’s snap shot taken in their backyard, they own the copyright to it. No matter what, you can’t use it without their permission.
Tracking down the original owner of a photo that you found through a Google image search can be quiet tricky. I would recommend that you skip the image search all together and go to one of the many websites that have stock pictures for blogs (and anything else you could want to use a picture for).
Many stock photo websites charge you for the photos, either a flat membership fee or a per photo fee. This might sound like a rip off at first, but think about it. Paying $1/photo (or whatever low rate they have) is worth it to know that you have the right to use the photo. You don’t want to get some nasty letter in the future from an angry photographer’s lawyer telling to take down the photo you used without permission. If they wanted, they could tell you to pay them a bunch of money for the amount of time you used it. Trust me, it’s not worth it to use photos without permission.
Here is a list of places where you can get really great stock photos, though you’ll have to pay for them. (If you type “stock photos” into Google, you’ll find these companies, and more.)
If you’re just starting out and even paying for a few photos is beyond what you can do now, you still have options.
#1 Take Your Own Photos: It’s not that hard and, if you’re creative, you can probably come up with some photos to use for your blog posts. They might be even better than anything you could find on a stock photo website. Plus, you’ll know that the photo will be completely unique and no one else will be using the same stock photo as you.
#2 Free Stock Photos: There are places that offer free stock photos. Below is a list of websites that make stock photos available for free, but you’ll need to make sure to read the fine print. A lot of these photos have licenses that require you to give the photographer credit, or they don’t allow you to use the photos for commercial purposes. They could have any number of other restrictions, too.
So there you have it, a bunch of resources to make sure you’re responsible when using great photos on your blog posts.
And always keep in mind, if you were the one who had taken that photo you found on Google image search, would you want other people to steal it and use it on their websites? I highly doubt it.