Saturday, March 7, 2015

Finding Free Pics for Your Posts

It's been a few years since we commented on the ongoing issue of finding good pics to use on your blog. Since most of us are operating with no funding or with limited income from contributions or for ads, most of us who want to use images that are free of cost. (Photos are always available for a fee!) Because of this, some bloggers have run into issues with copyright owners.

For a long time, the photo agencies and the royal houses were not particularly helpful on this issue. Lately, however, they have become much more flexible. Even Getty Images is being kind to our not-for-profit royal bloggers. For this, we are extremely grateful.

Here is a quick (and incomplete) list of some of the resources you can consult when seeking images to use on your blog. Please note that each source requires different recognition, although it generally boils down to citing the copyright owner and/or creator of the work and the site that has made it available. Always be sure to check the Terms of Use.
Getty Images: In my opinion, this is one of the most fantastic developments in royal blogger history. Getty is one of the top news photography agencies in the world. As such it generates thousands of fresh images each day. If photographers are covering a royal that day, Getty is likely to have images. Now you can embed Getty images for non-commercial purposes on your blog or social media accounts free of charge. The only drawbacks is that not all of their images are available for embedding, some photos may become unavailable later leaving an "image not found" message on your page (could be an issue for those who get a lot of traffic on older posts but less of an issue for bloggers who are more current with news and fashion coverage), and you cannot change the size of the image unless you buy a license for it. Access the Getty embed tool.

Some of the Royal Houses now allow bloggers to use images from their sites. However there are restrictions and requirements. For instance, on the Swedish site, you cannot simply grab any photo on the site, but you can use photos from the Press area of the site. They also provide a helpful email address for you to contact if you have questions. However, the British Monarchy web site states that they don't own the copyright of most of their photos, so they can't be used by "media" without prior permission, for which they provide links. They also have a variety of downloadable images for "private use." Follow the links below to view details about image usage from the royal houses:

Swedish Royal House
Norwegian Royal House 
Monagesque Princely House
Luxembourg Royal House
Dutch Royal House
Danish Royal House
British Royal House

Wikimedia Commons: As part of a broader family of web sites, including Wikipedia, that allow public access to upload and edit content, Wikimedia Commons provides access to images that are available for free use by anyone as long as the user complies with the terms of that image's author. Many of their images are also available under public copyright laws. They are available under Creative Commons or Share-Alike licensing. Each image has information available about any restrictions for its use and any required attribution. This site can be useful for finding images of historic royals and locations. (I use it quite a bit for Princess Palace.) It is definitely not useful for news or fashion bloggers. Finally, since this site operates as a wiki, I would offer a "user beware" warning: content can be uploaded by non-copyright holders alleging that they have the right to grant access to the image and information may not be wholly accurate. View What is Wikimedia Commons?

Thanks to the following bloggers for sharing their insights: