The image accompanying your Facebook post or blog post plays an important role in grabbing the attention of your followers. How do you prevent copyright infringement when using images? It is preferable to use images you have taken yourself, but sometimes this is not an option. It can be tempting to just use an image from Google Images, but these are often protected by copyright. Here are 4 practical tips for finding the right copyright free images.
1. Search for photos with a Creative Commons license
Creative Commons licenses are licenses that allow photographers to choose which rights they retain and which rights they waive with respect to their creative work. There are websites that offer photographs covered by the Creative Commons license that have been approved by the original creator for use by a third party. The owners of the photos have chosen whether or not they want attribution when their photos are used, and these photos are available for use as long as you adhere to the terms of the Creative Commons license. The Flickr website contains over 17 million photos licensed under the Creative Commons License.
2. Search in Google Images
Go to the advanced search function in Google Images to search for images licensed for public use. You can use the Usage Rights dropdown menu to choose how you want to filter the images. Choose “unlimited use or share” or one of the other options, even finding images that you can customize or use commercially. Depending on your search, you can usually choose from hundreds or thousands of images labelled for reuse.
3. Use Free Stock Photo Sites
Stock Photo websites contain many high quality images that you can download for free. There are also websites where you can download photos for a small fee. Examples of free websites where you have a wide choice of beautiful images are Pixabay.com and Unsplash.com. A paid website that is full of good usable photos is ShutterStock. On the basis of a monthly subscription you can download a certain number of photos.
4. Create your own images
The easiest option to get the right photos for your blog or Facebook page is to create them yourself. Sit down for an afternoon to take stock of what images you need and plan some time to take them. You can do this yourself, but of course it’s also an option to hire a professional photographer to edit the images for you. What is the best option for your business depends on your wishes, goals and budget. Self-created images have many advantages. First of all, you don’t have to worry about copyright laws. In addition, the images are a lot more personal which makes your company stand out. There are many companies that use typical stock photos, so you’ll see the same images on various websites. With your own photos you can stand out and radiate more professionalism. You can’t use these images just once. For example, use a photo above a blog post, in the newsletter, on Facebook and your other social media channels.