Thanks to a recent blog post from Roni Loren, Best-selling Author, I am terrified to use images on my blog. Every blogger should read Roni's post and be aware of the potential hell involved with using images from the Internet.
Blog posts without pictures are like a newspaper without pictures. Line after line of text is not compelling. Just like a book cover, I often pick a post to read based on an eye-catching image. I simply have too many blogs I follow and not enough reading time.
In addition to this blog, I have a book review blog, Mom in Love with Fiction. Should I not use pictures of author's books from the Internet? I feel like I'm doing authors a service by reviewing their books (free publicity). Should I not use the book image only when it's a bad review? My fear is that is the time the author would have a problem with it.
For my posts here, I often use the site, Public Domain Pictures. But let's be honest, it doesn't have the greatest royalty free pictures. Other times, I get creative and use my own pictures. Case in point, the picture to the right represented my family's ongoing battle with Strep (yes, it is a bit disturbing!). I am by no means a photographer, and I use most of my creativity to write the posts. Now I feel like I need to take a photography class. And Lord knows you don't want me to draw. I have trouble with stick figures.
So what's a blogger to do?
Do I go back through all my posts and delete questionable pictures? I barely have time to move forward in life, much less go back to fix things!
One thing I know for sure... going forward, I will either
* Take my own pictures (I apologize in advance)
* Use pictures as appropriate from Wikipedia (research a topic and click on the picture Wikipedia uses, it will show you the license agreement. Most of the ones they use have a creative commons designation.)
* Use Public Domain Pictures
The talented Juliana Haygert, and a fellow ROW80 participant, wrote an excellent post recently about this topic and listed some Pinterest sites that feature creative commons images. Check out her post here. I'm now following all the boards Juliana recommended. I also found a wonderful site, Inky Girl, with fun writer graphics and cartoons by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (as well as other great information). From her blog...
My Inkygirl comics for writers by Debbie Ridpath Ohi are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License with the following conditions: You're free to copy and reuse my writing-related comic (non-commercially) for your writing-related blog as long as you tell people where it came from. BUT please keeping reading... You don't need my permission to post these comics on your website as long as you include a link back to this permissions page. A text credit would also be very much appreciated, such as "Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Inkygirl."
No problem. I'm happy to credit her pieces. I used one in a recent blog post, Stages of Writing. It was perfect for my topic and added value to the post.
Oh, and don't assume because people share images on Pinterest that you can share them. I've heard some horror stories about that as well.
For awhile, I used Dreamstime with some success. Unfortunately, they cut you off after you've downloaded so many royalty-free images and you are back to paying. And it's unclear sometimes which images can be used on blogs and which can't. I did have one photographer send me a note to take down an image used incorrectly. I explained that I was confused and even wrote to customer service at Dreamstime. I'm still confused. And, quite frankly, I can't afford to pay for images on a blog. Maybe some day...
Where do you go for images? How concerned are you with being sued for making a mistake and using an image incorrectly?