Adding photographs to your website is a great way to make it more vivid, colorful and attractive. It’s also a good way to boost your marketing efforts and optimize your site’s visibility in SEO rankings. Just make sure the images you use don’t get you into legal trouble.
Decide Where to Get Your Photographs
You’ve probably seen blogs or sites with pictures of famous buildings, famous people, beautiful scenery and more. What you may not realize is that those sites might be using those photos illegally. Those users haven’t’ been caught yet, but why take the risk?
Legally, using images without getting the right permission, paying a fee or crediting the photographer can land you in serious trouble. If you’re caught, you could face a lawsuit, criminal charges and fines of up to $150,000.
Understand Rights, Permission and Licensing
Here are some terms you should be familiar with.
Attribution: Any photograph that requires attribution requires you to name the photographer. You can simply put a line in small print under the photo that says, for instance, “Photo Credit: James Hanson Photography” or “Photo Credit: AP News.”
Copyright: This means only the person who own the rights can use a certain image. In most cases, the right belongs to the photographer and not the subject of the photo. You can only use these images with the owner’s written permission. In most cases, that also means paying a fee.
Licensing: Having a license means you’ve received permission for one-time use of the image.
Royalty: If you use a photograph that’s under a royalty license, you must pay each time you use it.
Avoid Problems By Using Photographs That Don’t Need a License or Royalty
If you want to avoid any legal troubles over your photos, choose images that are legal to use.
Don’t worry, you’ll still have many places to find beautiful images without worrying about payments, attribution or licensing. Here are some ideas.
Use Your Own Photographs
Obviously, using your own photographs is 100% legal. If you enjoy photography, this is a great way to put your hobby to good use.
Use Photographs That Are Free to Use
There are many sites where you can find images that are free to use any way you like. You’ll have a wide selection to choose from without any legal concerns.
Pixabay: This site has thousands of beautiful photographs. They’re free and require no attribution. You can credit the photographer if you want to, but it’s not necessary.
Unsplash: Like Pixabay, this site offers free photographs that are free to use in any way you like. You can select images from specific categories or do a search using your terms.
Picjumbo: This site specializes in photographs and illustrations that fit a specific need, for instance, if you need a picture of a man running down a street or an office worker.
IMFree: These photographs are free to use in any way you like, but you must credit the photographer. It’s a huge collection of great-looking photographs and images.
LifeofPix: This is another big site filled with professional-quality photographs that are all free of restrictions.
Pay for Stock Photos
If you want to get top-quality photographs or photographs of celebrities, movie stills and the like, you should use a service that allows you to pay for them. These operate on a subscription or per-use basis. The best known are:
Getty Images: You have probably seen Getty’s world-famous images in magazines, books and newspapers everywhere. This site has everything you might need from every subject and every historical era. Yes, it’s expensive. On the other hand, you’ll have the ability to legally use all the pictures in their lineup.
iStockPhoto: This is an inexpensive alternative to Getty. The images are top quality and highly professional. The variety is not as wide as you’ll get with Getty, but the pricing is lower.
Technical Stuff: How to Upload Photos
You’ve found your perfect photo, and you’ve checked that there are no problems with permission, attribution or licensing. Now, how do you drop them into your site?
Use Your Site Designer
If you’re designing your own site, you probably use the site designer to add content or change the layout. You’ll also use it to add photographs and images.
- Save the image to your computer. When you save it, use the “save as…” function to give it a new filename. Give it a name you’ll easily remember. Save it to a file labeled “pictures” or “photographs.”
- Open your site designer and choose the “edit” function.
- Click on the area where you want to place your photo. Depending on the site designer you use, there might be an “insert image” icon that looks like a tiny camera.
- Click on “browse” to search for your document. When you see it scroll past, select it by clicking on it. Use your mouse to move it into position or resize it.
- Now that the picture is on your page, right-click your mouse to decide how you want your text to flow around your picture.
Use Alt Text With Photos to Increase Your SEO Ranking
When you add photographs, take an extra step to increase your site’s visibility to index crawlers. You do this by adding an “alt text” tag to them.
What is alt text? If you’ve ever clicked on a site and seen a spot where a picture was supposed to be with some small text, you’ve seen alt text. The term is a contraction of “alternative text.” It’s a text description of the image that was originally developed to allow blind users of a website to understand what the image is.
It’s separate from a caption. Alt text only shows up if your picture doesn’t. It allows your site to pop up in index searches if a user enters a similar set of keywords to the ones you use.
Istiak Rayhan at RoadtoBlogging offers some excellent, easy tips for adding these important tags to your photographs and images.
Getting the Picture
Adding photographs to your site is a great idea, and it’s easy to do. Follow these tips and get ready to show off your beautiful new images and photographs.
Contact IntoClicks today – your website is in good hands. We know what we’re doing.