It’s impressing how fast you can find photos on the internet, just type in a keyword such as ‘love’ in google, click on images on the left and watch hundreds of images pop up. Other services such as taggalaxy will display the resulting images on a globe which you can spin around for easier viewing.
Even though searching seems quick and easy, it’s actually quick and dirty, but under what conditions can we use these images for our website?
Images are often fished from the internet without considering that all illustrations and photos are copyrighted.
If we write a love letter, shoot an image or publish a website, we are creators and authors and our work is automatically copyrighted, which means no one can copy, change or publish it without our permission.
From ‘all rights reserved’ to ‘mention the attribution’
In 2001 a new model for licensing called the Creative-Commons-Licences (CC-Licenses) was introduced, which allows the author to choose from different more or less restrictive usages. With a CC-License, the author can i.e. give irrevocable permission to use his creations such as text, images, music, films etc. cost free and for non-commercial purposes only (some rights reserved).
CC-Licenses are modular and explained in pictograms so that it is easily comprehensible under which restrictions the artwork can be used.
Free and inexpensive images
To search for images which can be used for your blog under a CC-License such as ‘attribution’, which means you must only name the author, go to the online photo sharing platform flickr (advanced search). Here you can find images from talented photographers worldwide, who agree on sharing their work under a CC-License. Go to the advanced search and filter according to the CC-License you are interested in.
morguefile.com is another place where artists and photographers allow you to use the work for free. Possibly it will take a little longer to find a suitable image.
Premium images at affordable prices are available at istockphoto.com, starting from about 3$/image. The images found here are preselected for commercial purposes.
Image searching and shopping is very time consuming, is often pays off to take your own photos.
If you have any tips for searching photos, please leave a comment below, thanks!