Crediting images has become such a hot topic issue in the last few months, especially with the rise of Pinterest. So, how do you properly credit images? Is Pinterest a viable source? Jenna and Liz from Little Bit Heart share the do’s and don’ts for crediting images.
Your blog is a lovely and wonderful place- a space to collect inspiration, to share with others, and to create a community. It can also be, well, a bit overwhelming. And one of the biggest questions can be: how do you share inspiration responsibly? How do you credit images or ideas?
Not too long ago, Chandra from Oh Lovely Day initiated a great and educating discussion about crediting in the TWIPS Stumble Upon group, and we’d love to share our thoughts with you. Blogging definitely doesn’t come with a rule book, but here are some of the tips and practices we’ve learned. Happy blogging!
1. Good Credits Are a Good Blogger’s Responsibility
When you find a gorgeous image you’d love to share, the original creators (or sources) of that image really do deserve a credit in your post- how else will your readers know where to find them? The photographer, the florist, the event designer- all of these people who put hard work into creating that fantastic inspiration should get a little love. At the very least, the photographer is crucial to include. “Via Pinterest” or “Source: Pinterest” isn’t a credit- sometimes it’s a little like saying “Source: Google.” Yikes. If you’re sharing the image in your post, do the hard work (and it can be really hard work!) for your readers and track down the original source. As Stephanie from Fab You Bliss pointed out, a lot of people don’t have a ton of time to click on link after link, so having the original sources listed is a huge service to both the creators and to your readers.
Naoise from One Fab Day brought up a great point: that credit for images has two huge benefits for the creator- creating brand awareness and boosting SEO (search engine optimization- links and mentions from around the web can help move a site up in search rankings). Listing the sources by name (ie: “photo by ABC Photography – bouquet by 123 Flowers”) with links to their websites is a wonderful way to share new vendors and sites with your readers. The original creators are always, always VIP, but including the blog or site you discovered the image on is a nice courtesy: “photo by ABC Photography – via The Pretty Wedding Blog,” especially if it’s from an original feature that was submitted to that blog. Proper crediting can go a long way towards avoiding any not-so-pleasant-take-my-image-down-immediately! emails from original creators.
It’s hard to do sometimes, but if you can’t find the original sources, the best thing to do is to let it go and use another image.
2. Tracking Down Credits
Pinterest is an awesome tool. But it can be hit or miss when it comes to credits- many images are pinned from the homepage of a blog or site (ie: prettyweddingblog.com) and not the permalink for the post where that image was found (ie: prettyweddingblog . com/2011/10/reallyprettyweddingshoot). So when a blogger goes to find credits for that pretty little image they’d like to share, they get stuck scrolling down a homepage where the image is nowhere to be found. Or you might find the image- but the “credit” is another blogger who posted it, not the original creator (this can be a huge problem with Tumblr blogs- sometimes it just goes around and around in a creditless circle). Time to put on your sleuthing hat.
- Google Reverse Image search
This is a FANTASTIC tool for hunting down images. Seriously, it might be the best thing since Pinterest. Let’s try it with this pin (this mystery image is how I discovered the wonder that is Google Reverse Image) that has the source as “Uploaded By User.” Uh oh.
Right click to “Save Image As” and head over to Google Images. Click on the little camera icon, and upload your photo. The biggest size for this image is on a photographer’s website, so let’s head over there- that’s a good sign. Jackpot! It’s from a styled shoot, and there’s a whole list of credits. Just as a double check, I do a search for the photographer and the stylist and it comes up that this shoot was on Style Me Pretty. Now I have the photographer, the stylist, and the cake designer. Mission accomplished.
You can even install this awesome Src Img bookmark to your bookmarks bar- just click on it, click on the picture you need help with, and it takes you straight to a Google Image search with that image already in the search bar. Handy.
Similarly, Tineye searches by image- not by keyword- and is another great resource.
Jess from Two Wedding Belles pointed out that the great thing about both of these tools is that even if they don’t pull up the source on the first try, it’s pretty likely that they’ll get you to where you can find it within a few clicks, as opposed to the hours deep, “never ending blackhole” of creditless images.
- The Photo’s Metadata
Occasionally- a lot of the photos I’ve tried this with haven’t had it, but it’s pulled through when I’m really stuck- you may be able to look for clues in the photo’s metadata. On a Mac, Control + click (right click) the downloaded image in Finder and click “Get Info” / on a PC, you want “Properties.” Any keywords or copyright information that was included with the photo when it was originally saved should show up, which may help you with your search.
3. Linking with Love + Coming Up with Your Image Crediting Policy
Link With Love has advice on creating your own image crediting policy, and badges for your sidebar if you want to spread the word. Such a great name for it- linking with love. Find out what that means for your blog, and put it in action. Another awesome way to help: when you create new pins on Pinterest, make sure that the automatic source link is correct and/or put the creators in the pin text (you can do this after the fact by going to Edit Pin)- you just might save another blogger a little time. Now that’s linking with love!
If we as a group keep a good image crediting policy, how much change would we see? Would other bloggers and vendors that are inspired by our blogs adopt a credit policy like the ones they see us use? Just imagine all the people this big group might reach- wouldn’t that be amazing?