i don’t want to ruffle any feathers today, but i do want to discuss a topic that has a huge impact on me and my livelihood as a creative (as well as all other bloggers, artists and photographers): sourcing your images.
let’s start with the basics. some of you may or may not know that it’s absolutely (as in 100%) necessary to give sources to any and all images you use on your blog, website, facebook page, etc. without properly sourcing your images, you will lose credibility as a reliable source, damage the image’s owner’s livelihood and may open yourself up to legal action taken from the image’s owner. kapeesh?
the topic that i want to talk about today though, is the importance of finding the original source to an image and using that on your blogs and websites. lately, i’ve noticed that so many bloggers have started to link to pinterest as the source of an image, however pinterest is never a source. as my good friend jessica nichols put it: a person somewhere is the source. so i say, find them!
my philosphy is simple. if i can’t find the original source to an image, i simply won’t use it on my blog. yes, it’s frustrating. yes, it takes a lot of time to find the original source sometimes. and yes, sometimes i don’t get to use beautiful images because i can’t figure out where they came from. however, i feel that my integrity and the livelihood of the person who does own the image is more important than using it on my blog (no matter how perfect the image is!).
so just how to i go about hunting down a source? i like to use the google image search feature.
if you follow the link to an image on pinterest (or from anywhere for that matter) and don’t end up at the original source, search for it using google’s image search. in this example, i’ll be showing you how to search for this pretty flower image from suzanne & johns wedding by the nichols (originally found on pinterest which linked it to a tumblr site).
step 1: right click on the image and select ‘copy image location’. this will copy the image url.
step 2: paste the image url into google and hit search. then, select ‘search by image’.
step 3: start opening what looks to be the most legitimate sites (tip: automatically open them each in new separate tabs by holding down the command button (control button on a pc) as you click each link). skip the links that send you to pages like pinterst, tumblr, indulgy and we heart it. go to the 2nd (or 3rd!) pages if necessary. in this example, i opened the first two links. the first one was a dud and the second one took me to this blog:
step 4: once you find what looks like to be a pretty legitimate source (like this pretty blog above), read the text and look for links to an even more original source (sometimes people call this ‘going down the rabbit hole’). in this case, wed loft has done a very nice job of clearly linking to the original source. following that link led me to this page:
step 5: ta da! the original source! here, elizabeth anne designs featured several original images from suzanne & john’s wedding and linked to all of the vendors at the bottom (we could possibly assume that suzanne and john submitted their photos and info to this blog to be featured). use the link to this blog post as the source on your own blog if you choose to use any of the photos for any reason. in this case, you should go a step further and link to the actual photographer (the nichols) as well (since it’s clearly listed).
clearly labeling the original sources to all the images you use on your blog/website will help build your trust within the creative community, make your readers come to you as a reliable source and help support the careers of other artists and creatives in the community. it’s a win-win-win!
thoughts? advice, tips or tricks? i’ll meet you in the comment section. xox, bonnie