Photos are becoming a staple for websites to appeal to their audiences no matter what industry they are in.
If you need photos for your website, it is straightforward to look for pictures online. You can easily type what you need in a search engine, and you will get pages of images you can choose from for your site. However, is it ok to use photos from the net?
Technically speaking, you can use the photos you find online. But, for professional use, you shouldn’t. Like other created content, these images are owned by makers, and they may only be used for certain purposes. If these owners see the photos on your site, you may end up with copyright infringement charges that may cost you a lot of money to resolve.
Fortunately, there are ways to legally get photos you find online and not get into trouble with their makers.
Here are the ways on how you can get images legally for your blog:
Create Them Yourself
If you want to use images for your website, the first thing you can do is make them yourself. If you have a camera, take the shots related to your content and post those on your website! You can easily use image design programs like Paint, Photoshop and others to make the graphics you need for your site.
Use a Stock Photo Website or Free Library
If you are not tech-savvy and don’t have the resources or time to take the photos yourself, you can use stock photo websites or free libraries. These sites have a unique search engine that will allow you to browse their library of images and use them for your website. Stock photo websites like depositphotos.com or shutterstock.com may require a small fee for you to pay to use the photos. Meanwhile, free libraries like Pexels allow you to use their stock photos for free.
Pay the Licensing and Credit the Image Creator
For images made by professional photographers, you may be allowed to use their photos legally by purchasing the licensing for these photos. Fees do vary depending on where the picture will be used and your agreement with the photographer. You can use photography licensing platforms to purchase licenses directly from photographers.
When you do use their photos, make sure to credit them accordingly.
Check if You can Use It for Free through Fair Use or Creative Commons Conditions
You can also check photos that are under the Fair Use or Creative Commons attribution. Under the Fair Use attribution, you may be able to use an image based on three conditions: use for non-profit or education, use to share information and if the photo is changed so much that it is no longer the same picture.
Meanwhile, the Creative Commons Attribution varies depending on the conditions set by the photographer. Still, usually, it may be resolved by emailing them to request permission or crediting them on the site.
While the internet offers information and materials for free, it doesn’t mean you can immediately take them and post them on your website without permission. Always check the images you want to use and get the permission or license to use them. Without it, you may find yourself in a legal dispute that may cut your online career short.
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