3 Tips for Using Stock Photos Legally

High-quality images are essential for any website to be successful. The proof is in the statistics. People are 2.3 times more likely to engage with a Facebook post that includes a photo and retain up to 65% of the information they view with an image for at least three days. If you aren’t a professional photographer, you may turn to the internet to find worthy pictures. It’s important to ensure you use those images legally.

1. Avoid Using Images Found on Google

Google indexes other pictures according to Fair Use guidelines, but it doesn’t own the copyright to them and can’t grant you permission to use them. To use a picture found on Google, you’d need to contact the creator and ask permission. This is true even if there is no copyright symbol. Depending on the creator of the image, using one without permission could even land you in a legal battle.

2. Understand the Differences in Licensing

The best idea is to find stock images that fall under photo licensing Houston TX. However, it’s important to understand the differences in various licensing agreements. For example, a seat license only allows a few people to use a picture legally, while an editorial license only allows for the picture to be used to illustrate a point. If you intend to use photographs to sell something, you’ll need pictures that fall under the commercial use license. Most stock photo websites provide royalty-free options, which means you pay for the item once and can use it as many times as you’d like.

3. Follow Ethical Guidelines

Adhering to ethical guidelines for stock image use not only ensures you remain in good standing among creators but also protects you from legal worries. Only use pictures you purchase and download from reputable stock photo websites, and only after you carefully read the use guidelines. If using the pictures for an editorial, always attribute the photography by providing the title, author, source, and license. Even if you aren’t legally obligated to do so, it is good practice. If you do notice you’re using a photo in violation, correct the problem immediately.

When choosing stock photos for your website, remember to keep them up to date. Avoid old, outdated photography trends. Look for modern photography using models with modern styles, and update your images as needed if they are on a static page. Above all else, keep it ethical.