Images are something that we all need to use, for a variety of reasons and places. For example, we share pictures on social media to help increase our engagement for our business, we write blogs for our website, we create brochures, logos or other marketing material and the like. Those pictures or images can make a huge impact on your business – positive and negative.
What I mean is that it’s pretty positive that we need them because consumers are visual and using images for our business can positively affect our business. On the other side of that, if you use images that belong to someone else on your website, marketing material and maybe even social media that it can cost you big time and that is not something you are going to want to have to deal with – negative!
Be careful with search engines
If you are taking it to Google, like most of us do for a variety of reasons, I urge you to reconsider when you are looking for images for your business. Google is an info warehouse and isn’t meant to be a free source for your images. If they are on there, don’t think they are ‘free game’ to use. Google isn’t required to show attribution because they aren’t claiming it for their own, they are just providing images, websites, blogs, etc based on the search that you entered, and the type of search you entered.It's not Google's job to vet the images, that's on you. Buy your website images! #justsayin Click To Tweet
Images shared to social media
If you are just sharing them on social media, you are in a better position but there is still no guarantee that the owner doesn’t ask you to take them down and or seek financial retribution from you. Further, it could be helpful to check out the terms and conditions for the social media you have found the image on, for how they state images found on social media are deemed. Usually folks post images on social media that they took from others, add a meme, or something and just regurgitate it so it is usually hard to determine where the image originate, but always consider that ignorance isn’t an excuse. I am clearly not an attorney so how you decide to use images on social media is up to you. I typically believe that if I share something on social media, for the majority of the time, I am not claiming it as my own and only sharing it. So, I personally don’t worry about it as much… however, this will have to be upon you and what risk you are willing to take for you and your business.
If they have attribution on them, this doesn’t give you the rights to do whatever you want with it either. And even in the same situation as above, posting on social media, that’s going to depend on you and your risk level. I will add though, however, that if there is a link attribution or quoted author or the like and you crop it off and try to pass it off as your own, you are crossing a slippery slope in doing so. With that being said, when you create images, be sure you are putting your link, url or logo on the images.
Anything that use for your business branding to assist you in making money for your business, I would highly recommend purchasing images. There are many websites that you can purchase images from such as Adobe, Stock Unlimited (my current fav, price and quality), Graphic Stock and they have their own internal search feature for you to seek out images that you need. Further, I would recommend checking out their terms and conditions and how they allow users to buy, use and what types of licenses they have for which images. While you are there, download those terms and/or their creative license to store with your images you download. This is on you to do your due diligence for your business.
I had a friend who innocently used an image on her website and had to pay a fine for using that image as well as taking it down. Concerned, she took that one down and many others then had to replace them. So, don’t create more issues for you and your business by having to pay fines as well as more work correcting issues that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.Don't pay for pictures, you may be paying a much larger price later. Do yourself the favor, buy now! #buyimages Click To Tweet
Images are our story tellers so use them, but be picky too
Images help tell a story to explain what you have in writing to better define the point you are trying to get across. So, please, take the extra time to find images that will work for your business but be sure you are using images that you have the rights to use.
Should you have any questions on images, the links to images sites that I have mentioned, please contact me and I’ll be happy to assist.
Please note that some of the image links above are affiliate links which means that if you purchase packages, images or subscriptions that I will be compensated for sharing them with you. However, please know that I would never recommend a service or product that I haven’t used, don’t use or find to be run poorly.
Feel free to comment below about any image sites you use with links to help others.