Starting a blog is easy like Sunday morning. It only takes three seconds to start a WordPress or Blogger account, and you’re off and running. However, few bloggers have the basic tools to use images and photography well. Images (be they photos or illustrations) bring your posts to life. They can make your site look professional by illustrating the themes and subjects of your posts. However, it’s important to know which photos you’re allowed to use due to copyright law. Here are the four easiest ways to acquire images properly and make your site look awesome:
- Take a photo yourself. Taking your own photograph adds an extra layer of creative awesomeness to your post: you’ve done it all yourself, from writing the post to illustrating it with a beautiful photo. We live in an era where most people have a high-quality camera in their pocket, so photography is easier than ever. But when you need a photo of a foreign landmark or an obscure subject – and you need it quick – you’ll need other options.
- Search a free resource like Compfight. This is my favorite image tool, and it’s how I acquired the image for this post. Compfight is a repository of images from Flickr and other sources. Search for your subject, choose a photo, and check its license for attribution/rights. In most cases, you’ll be asked to attribute the image to its author, as I have in the photo above. You get an image, the photographer gets credit and exposure, and everyone wins.
- Purchase photos on a stock photo site like Shutterstock. If you can’t find what you need on Compfight, you may find it here. It’s a worthwhile investment to allot yourself a small budget for professional-quality photos. If you need photos of celebrities or public figures, try Getty Images.
- Seek a public domain photo on Wikipedia. If you’re searching for a photo of, say, a historical person or a landmark, you might be able to find it for free on Wikipedia, which has many rights-free or public domain photos. Just make sure to check the photo’s rights/license for information before you go using it yourself.