It might seem simple, search Google, find an image, and then use it… However, for the best results and avoiding legal trouble, there is a better way…
Why use images in blog posts?
I don’t need to work hard to sell you on this. A text-only blog post is pretty dull and uninspiring.
Adding an image to a post (or page) livens them up with visual interest AND it helps someone more quickly understand what your post is about. (#humblebrag we really like what the image conveys on our recent website launch ideas post)
Why you MUST be careful about where you get your images!
Intellectual Property and “creative use” is an extraordinarily complex subject and even differs across the globe. Your best bet is only use images you are permitted to use.
We’ve had several clients who accidentally used an image they didn’t have permission to use. This can result in a strongly worded letter threatening legal action. This can sometimes feel like a bit of an extortion game to try to get you to pay up. Just avoid that mess and use a little extra effort to get legitimate images.
Where is the best place to get images?
Here are four good sources for usable images….
1. (FREE) Image Search Engine
When you use Google Image Search or Flickr there are options to filter by license. Find free images already cleared to use.
Google Image Search
Click the “Advanced Image Search” when searching in Google Images. Filter by the right license and then go find that image!
Like Google, Flickr has a massive collection of great images.
2. Stock photography sites
We have a monthly subscription to Big Stock Photo. There are quite a few great stock image sites. Be prepared they can easily be $10-40 per image but this is a small cost if the image is perfect.
3. Have professional photos taken
This is our favorite option. Get a local professional photographer to take a bunch of pictures. Make a list of shots you know you need and also have shots take of anything that is unique or interesting – you never know what future photo needs may arise. Here are some ideas of what to get photographed:
- Individual employee headshots
- Team / group shots
- Office building, signage, foyer, office space
- Employees in action (within offices or doing whatever work you’re known for)
- People naturally going about their day in your office environment
- Unique art pieces or awards
- Factory, storage areas, warehouse space, etc.
4. Ask permission to use
If there is a really great shot on someone’s website – they might be willing to let you use it. In this case, contact them and get their written permission to use it. Setting up the “ask” well can go a long way to getting clearance.