Hi, I see you have one of my photographs on your site. Please could you either remove it, or link it back to the original page. Thanks in advance. Otherwise I will be obliged to report its use to Google - who will remove your page from their index. RegardsIt was only recently I began including photos on my blog posts. As I became more active on social media sites like Pinterest and Google+ I realized my posts had to include a photo if I wanted them to receive recognition or with Pinterest even to be able to participate. Since my personal photo collection consists almost entirely of pictures of my dogs, a topic I don’t normally write about, I resorted to using photos I found on the web. Initially I used Microsoft's Images, but as my photo needs became more specific I ventured out looking for more original pictures and discovered Google Images.
I was in a hurry when I choose this particular photo - which was a good one - and is probably the reason my blog stats topped the charts in the days that followed. It hadn’t occurred to me that despite the photo being free and posted on Google Images, I wasn’t authorized to use it.
After receiving the email, I immediately removed the photo from my post (being at work I couldn’t easily figure out how to link the photo back to the original poster) and sent him an apology.
I still see this photo everywhere and none of them are linked back to the poster who emailed me. More confused than ever I reached out to professional blogger Kimberly Gauthier for guidelines on how to find authorized photos or images to use on my blog in the future. Kimberly has created blogs about both photography and blogging, so who better to ask. Her latest blog is Keep the Tail Wagging, an online magazine for dog lovers. Here is Kimberly’s response:
OMG – thank you so much for asking me! That has got to be a heart stopper Not everyone understands the rules. So, to avoid something similar happening to me, I do one of four things…
1. I take my own pictures – but, to be honest, with all that we have on our plate, how many people outside of photography bloggers have time to take their own pictures?
2. I use the Wordpress plugin Photodropper (http://www.photodropper.com/) – it searches Flickr for images with the right Creative Commons licenses that are for commercial use (we should do it this way even if our blogs aren’t monetized just in case we decide to monetize down the line).
3. Sometimes I just go directly to Flickr(http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons) and search for images myself. Again, I’m looking for images that can be used on commercial sites.
4. I create my own images that are text based. These are great for Pinterest, because it shows people exactly what the pin is about and we have an opportunity to really draw them in, sort of like with our blog titles. Here’s a link to today’s post on my site that has a text based image that I created in Word: http://www.keepthetailwagging.com/images-of-abused-and-neglected-animals/
If you would like to learn more about Kimberly Gauthier please visit her site Keep the Tail Wagging (http://www.keepthetailwagging.com/welcome)
A couple of days later, I received another email from the original poster. He wrote:
Thanks for your prompt response. I don't usually mind, but lately Google have been displaying sites with my photos above my own, and therefore I'm losing visitors.I still feel just awful. One of the premises of my blog is to promote honesty and integrity through my writing and I here I go steal an image from a fellow blogger. I’ve certainly learned a lesson and will be very careful when posting photos and images in the future.
The golden retriever photo in this post is from my personal collection.
Does anyone have any other guidelines or recommendations I should use when searching for photos and images in the future?
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