Why Shouldn’t I Grab Photos from Google Images For My Blog?

Emerald Skies by Janusz L
Photo by Janusz L

Google Images, what a great way to find photos, just search on your keyword and the images appear. But should you just grab and freely use any image you find? Not unless you want copyright issues.

As a photographer (hobby) imagine my surprise to see my photo of a red rose with snow being used as the avatar of a young lady who said she was a photographer on a social networking group. No mention anywhere that the photo was not her own nor where she got it. Irked me! My photo, I want credit!

I checked with some professional photographers in one of the photography forums. Yes, my photos, even if I post online, are my property, copyrighted unless I say otherwise. I could press charges if I wished. Others have been known to give the offender bad press. Often it is done out of ignorance, best to educate your fans, if they weren’t a fan of your work, they wouldn’t be posting it on their site.

I strongly advise against grabbing any image from a google image search without permission. Unless it says otherwise, you don’t have permission to use it. My 11 year old daughter was working on a famous rock page. She wanted pictures of famous rocks, when I told her about needed permission to use she was frustrated, too many were not free to use.

Images add visual appeal to your blog posts. Not everyone is a photographer or graphic artist. I like using others photos along with my own. Today I was very happy to find a
A Complete Guide to Finding and Using Incredible Flickr Images
by Skellie. Check it out!

Thanks to her advice, y’all can enjoy and share the beauty created by others while spreading a little fame and link love.

11 thoughts on “Why Shouldn’t I Grab Photos from Google Images For My Blog?

  1. Yes! Great, informative post Heidi. This happens all too much, and I know Google images is so popular now too. People just don’t know, so thanks for putting the information out there. Just because it’s public doesn’t mean it’s public domain!

  2. Hi, Heidi
    I don’t blame you for being a little peeved about the use of your picture with no credit. I think I’d been a little angry, too. Good advice on this topic. As a beginner in blogging, I just learned a lesson in what “not” to do. Thanks.

  3. If I get images from the web I usually provide a link back to the photographer’s site.

  4. Rhea, yes it is best to provide a link back to the photographer’s website. Most don’t mind that way as it gives them more publicity.

    Sometimes a photographer may want their image only available certain places, so it is still best to ask before using.

    If you read the Flickr article I linked to, you will see that many of their photograghers already agree to let us use their images as long as we give credit. Speeds things up. We know we have permission to use, giving proper credit, and they don’t have to answer a bunch of email asking permission. So a Flickr creative commons search works better than google image search for this purpose.

  5. Thanks for the great information! I’m relatively new to blogging and am unaware of the finer points. Nevertheless, it does seem outlandish to take something (be it an article or a photo) and use it as your own without giving credit to the one you created it. Good for you for clearing things up!

  6. So many artists are afraid to put up a website for fear of image piracy. The fact is it’s going to happen and, unless you want to spend way too much time, money or energy hunting down the thefts, it’s a fact of life.

    I usually only provide small thumbnails, I splice my larger images and put multiple copyright lines across my enlargement sections.

    I’ve also provided a “Free Art” section in my Free Stuff – but I should ask for a link back!!! Where was my brain????

    Thanks for making me aware I can use my posted images to build traffic!

  7. You are welcome Eileen.

    Terri, I agree, it would take too much time and energy to track down thefts.
    First I added my credits to each image, I’ve seen others watermark theirs like you are doing.

    For now I go with the smaller images, although not thumbnails, they are small enough that they won’t get a decent size print.

    Free links back are always good!

  8. Hi Heidi,
    Great topic! I always try to connect back with the photographer or creator of the image for the reasons you have mentioned her. Being new to blogging, I know that I have found some images ….but it remains in my mind that I need to be sure to ask and receive permission.

    As you said…free promotion for them! Also, I know several photographers and it is wonderful to share their work:)

    Good to read your post!

  9. Great post, Heidi. Skellie’s definitive article about Creative Commons licensing – and her beautiful blog photos – inspired me to begin using photos on my blog.

    One tip I might add: don’t be afraid to whip out that cheap digital camera and shoot just the right image for your post.
    It may not win any awards, but you won’t find it on Flickr, either!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *