Blogging with Photography and Copyright in Mind

By: Julia Fain; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

When I was a young blogger I wrote a lot of "round-up" style blog posts. Everything from favorite holiday kraft paper ideas to mid century living room concepts. I thought little of copyright law and shared the link to the original in small print with the word "via." As I have written more of my original content and grown as a blogger, I recognize the importance of doing things the right way and the respect it shows to other bloggers who have worked hard to create their original content. But that can be a tricky thing to learn as a new blogger!

Below are seven tips and further resources for thinking about proper use of photography, along with links to articles and sites with more information. 

seven tips and resources for thinking about proper use of photography
  1. When in doubt, create original content. It takes a little time to stage things, set up lighting, and design props. But in the end you have your own content you can publicize and pin to your heart's content!
  2. Consider including a small watermark on your original blog imagery, especially on your "pinnable" vertical photographs. 
  3. Disclose somewhere on your site that your content is your own with a copyright. More on the prevention of content theft here.
  4. In regard to Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr: remember that platforms are not a source! If you repost an image, for example to Instagram, be sure to credit and tag the creator of the image. When in doubt, ask! 
  5. If you decide to do a round-up- style post on your website, reach out to the blogger by email and ask if you can highlight their image on your blog with a proper link. 
  6. Another option for blog photography is use of stock photography. Color and Death to the Stock Photo are two examples of stock photography sources for lifestyle bloggers. If you use their photo on your site, disclose the source somewhere within the blog post.
  7. Read up on Intellectual Property. Not only will it help you with your own site, but also give you insight into how to interact with others.

Go Deeper: More Resources