You might have written the most ensnaring article ever but the sad reality in this fast-moving world is that some people just aren’t inclined to read, including some of your actual blog audience. There are many factors why this is so, but in the end, it boils down to making it easy for them, by adding images. Of course, you have to do it the right way, which is why we’ve prepared this image credit guide for you.
After all, photographers and graphic designers are are similar to writers in the freelancing or creative world. As fellow freelancers or creatives, we have to respect each other’s hard work. Hence, knowing this image credit guide is a courtesy for photographers or graphic designers who worked hard on their images.
Suffice to say, you can’t just go slapping around any photo you find appealing on the Google image search results. Serious copyright rules have to be observed and imposed. So, take this image credit guide to heart and start being responsible for any image you use on your WordPress blog. Here are some steps to ensure you steer clear or any copyright trouble.
Check the copyright status using a tool
Knowing which image is copyrighted in a sea of trillions can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking. That’s why you must leave the checking of an image’s copyright status to an online tool. Something like TinEye can make quick work of checking whether the image you found online is available for use in public domains or has a royalty attached to it.
TinEye will also tell you who’s the owner of the image you want. The upside is that you’ll also find higher-resolution versions of the image since TinEye automatically looks for the original domain or source of the image. It’s simple to use (just upload the image and search) and should always be an option whenever you’re finalizing your content and placing the images like the icing on the cake.
Ask for permission
Once you’ve found the said image you want and have also utilized TinEye to look for the source and owner, it’s time to ask for permission. How you present your request might differ from owner to owner; however, you generally want to make a brief and formal letter or statement of intent. Either locate their social media account or send them an email to contact them. Also, include the specific details of how, when, where, why, and what you’re using the image for.
That means you have to be specific whether you’re using the image for profit or not. Depending on your intentions or goals, the owner might refuse or ask for royalties– assuming they reply at all. The important part is that you always wait for their reply before using the image; luckily, that shouldn’t take too long as most of them expect similar requests.
Understand copyright laws
Keep in mind that a photographer, visual artist, or graphic designer’s images treat their work like how you treat your written content. As such, these are what their copyright laws encompass as per the Copyright Act (courtesy of Rival IQ) unless otherwise stated by the owner:
(A) The right to reproduce the copyrighted work.
(B) The right to prepare derivative works based upon the work.
(C) The right to distribute copies of the work to the public.
(D) The right to perform the copyrighted work publicly.
(E) The right to display the copyrighted work publicly.
Now, there might be a way you can circumvent using their permission but it’s quite a grey area. It’s called Fair Use and it’s not as clear cut as the Copyright Act above. Fair Use states that a person or organization can use the image in a limited manner if the purpose is for the benefit of the public. Under the law 17 USC Section 107, usage of an image is not an infringement of copyright if it’s used for:
- News reporting
- Teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
Even so, you might only be allowed to use a lower-resolution version of the image or even just a thumbnail. As such, it’s not a green light to start abusing image copyright law. You still have to be honest about what kind of blog or website you have or whether it’s monetized or not. You might find that some image owners are more generous than others and won’t charge you if you’re not that big of a company or business. Whatever you do, respect their copyright claim.
Use free alternatives
Luckily, there are royalty-free images on the internet– quite a lot of them too. Some photographers or artists are kind enough to supply public domains with free stock photos. Even this image credit guide utilizes those sources sometimes. The most common among them are photos used by Wikipedia. Not so fast! You have to make sure that that Wikipedia photo has a “Creative Commons” or “Wikimedia Commons” designation or the accompanying text that anyone is free to use it.
This one is a good example of that. Check under the licensing section for this similar text:
If you see this, then use the image to your heart’s content. Other sources include:
No, the image section in Google is not viable. There are also many other sources of free stock photos in case what you’re looking for is hard to find.
Give credit where it’s due
Now that you have your photos, you can’t just set them in your article body and then forget about all your worries in the world. Regardless of whether you’re using free or owned images, you have to give credit where it’s due (unless the image owner or website explicitly states that it’s alright not to).
You can do this by including their name(s) in the caption section of the WordPress media/image uploader. A simple “Image via:” will do unless the owner wants a more specific credit wording. As much as possible, include a hyperlink of the author’s website or online domain in your image credit, preferably on the name itself.
Since you’ve gone this far into the image credit guide, we’re confident that you’ll respect the preferences and rules of photographers and visual artists regarding their images. In that case, we feel that we don’t need to reiterate why we don’t recommend cutting corners when using images. By that, we mean photoshopping, cropping, filters, or other shady methods to claim or steal the image. In any case, just give the respect you expect to receive from your fellow creatives or freelancers.