Pictures, pictures everywhere, but can you use them?

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” says it all. We all know the right pictures will enhance our blog or social media posts. The dilemma we face is how to find good-quality pictures we can legally use. 

You can just google it, right? Wrong! Sooner or later that philosophy will lead to problems. 

Finding pictures for my blog posts can take valuable time away from creating content. In the beginning, I hadn’t given pictures a second thought until someone brought this situation to my attention. If they were on the internet, they must be free to use, right? Wrong! Little did I know, you can get slapped with some hefty fines if you don’t take this seriously.

So, what’s a small business owner to do?

There are a few options:

Take your own pictures. When you take a picture, you own it and you can use it for anything you wish. This can prove challenging unless you’re a photographer with fancy equipment or someone with the latest iPhone who has a knack for taking pictures. 

Pay for Pictures. You can contract someone to take pictures for you or buy high-quality photos. Most of us don’t have the budget to invest in this option.

Find royalty-free images that permit you to use them. This is where most of us land. We look on the internet and there’s the perfect picture! It’s on the Internet, so I can use it, right? Wrong! Just because you find it on the internet, doesn’t mean you are free to use it. Getting this wrong can cost you dearly.

Here are some links that offer royalty-free images.

No matter where you find the photos, it’s important to do your research and ensure the photos you are using won’t get you into trouble.

Here are links to a few articles I’ve found that dive into this important issue.

Canva has stock photos available for use and if you’re a subscriber you can use these photos. However, the rules are murky in this area, and you are treading dangerous waters if you don’t do your research here. 

Here’s an article to provide some guidance in this area.

Photos are important for your blog or social media posts, and educating yourself concerning copyright laws will ensure you stay out of trouble.

What sites do you like best for pictures? Reply in the comments.

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