Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Adding Photo Credits to Blog Posts

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/2/15

Adding photos to blog posts enhances them and makes them more attractive for visitors. It also makes them easier to share through social networking, not only for you, but also for your audience. Some sites like Pinterest can only be shared via photos, another reason to include them in your posts. Sometimes photos can make an added statement, without having to include via text, what they convey all by themselves.

Finding free photos is relatively easy. Search for public domain or free photos. Use Wikicommons, Pixabay, Public Domain Photos and many other sites to find a plethora of free photos you can use that will complement any article you publish. Be sure to read all licensing and royalty information; when in doubt, do not use a photo or picture without contacting the owner first. The other option is to upload your own photos and pictures, because they are yours and you don’t need to worry about licensing and royalty legalities.

Crediting photos and artwork is essential and the responsible thing to do. Even if it is free, you should always credit the artist who contributes to your blog. Do this by adding the information to the caption of the photo, or including a brief statement at the bottom of your post. If limited or no information is given when your retrieve the photo or artwork, and you know it is public domain, or can determine what the license is, include that information instead. This way, your legal obligations have been met regarding the addition of content that isn’t yours in your post. The optimum scenario is to include as much information as you can. A small line at the bottom of your post, with all pertinent information, will not detract from the content you’ve provided.

Because blogging platforms vary, I like to take screen shots of my photos. This way, all the extraneous code doesn’t mess with the other coding on my blog. It also prevents malware and viruses from creeping into my work. Though I doubt there’s a lot of that going on out there, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, when it comes to sharing computer code and publishing it on your blog.

Finding a picture you want to use on your blog doesn’t require you to use that picture verbatim. Providing the licensing approves it, you can modify pictures according to your personal specifications. It’s probably still a good idea to give credit to the original artist, but this option helps the photo become more closely related to your content. If you can’t find the author of the work, it is advisable to at least provide information on the site where you found it.

Reading the fine print on pictures and artwork you’d like to use on your blog is vitally important, as it will tell you how, when, where and why you can use the work. It will also tell you if you need to contact the artist first, and how you can go about doing that. Just as you want to receive credit and links on your writing, many photographers and artists want to receive their dues too. Albeit, there are so many public domain pieces out there with limited information, that this shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Taking a snapshot in the blogging world,

M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit: Iguana, Leo za 1, Picture of the Day, Wikicommons, Creative Commons Attribution