6 Tips for Using Photos on Your Blog

Monday, October 12, 2009

Many wedding bloggers depend on the generosity of photographers to provide images that illustrate a point or make up the majority of the blog's content. Here are six tips to keep in mind when using photos on your wedding blog:

1. Always include a link to the photographer's website or blog, even if the photo has the photographer's branded watermark on it. Linking to the blog where you found the photo is not an acceptable substitute; link to the photographer's site. If you are not going to include a link to the photographer, do not use the photo.

2. Do not use the word "source" as the photo credit's anchor text.  Use the photographer's name or company when creating your link.

3. Just because a photo is on the Internet does not mean it qualifies as "fair use" and giving a photo credit with a link does not mean you have permission to use it. It's important to remember that many photographers make their money from selling the rights to use their photos, either through stock photography or on a case-by-case basis. When in doubt, ask permission first. This will work best when you plan ahead.

4. Consider obtaining standing permission from a few photographers to use their photos in your blog posts, or use the Creative Commons library from Flickr to find photos that are already licensed for you to use. If you are using a photo from this source, you still need to link to that photographer's Flickr page.

5. Do not crop out the photographer's watermark or alter the image. If a photographer is allowing you to use their photos free of charge, it is because it is a good marketing alliance for them as well. They have edited the photo to reflect their best work from their unique artistic point of view. If you alter the photo, it no longer allows them to put their best foot forward.

6. If a photographer asks you to remove one of their images from your blog, and you did not have to pay them for the rights to use it, then take it down immediately. Do not argue with them or threaten to pull their paid advertising (yes, this has happened on multiple occasions; I wish I were kidding); they hold the legal copyright. Wedding blogs can be mutually beneficial for both the blog publishers and photographers, and everyone needs to remember that.



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