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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Don't Get Busted by the Photo Police: #atozchallenge advice

Hi friends (waving), PammyPam here!  If you're like me, you love love love to have photos on your blog.  Especially those big, bright, and beautiful (see what I did there) photos that are pin worth (as in Pinterest)! The problem is, how do you find these photos?

To be sure, there are many places on the internet that offer photos.  You can use pay services or copyright free sites, as well.  These are great ideas but you MUST remember to correctly cite the owner of the pics or you could end up with a visit from the photo police.  But what if you don't have the time or the notion to find just the right pic for your blog?

Do what I do, my friends, and take your own photos.

Yep, take your own photos.

If you have a camera enabled phone or even a small digital camera, you can become your own photographer! There are many benefits to using your own photos:
  • They are free (no costs to join)
  • They are yours to use again and again
  • You control how they are used 
  • Did I mention they're free?
  • You can get exactly the shot you want
See? You can't lose with taking you're own photos.  I blog about books and there is nothing easier than going to my bookshelf, pulling out a book and staging it exactly the way I want it.  Maybe I want a shot of a dog reading a book? Easy, just go grab the dog, some doggie treats, and BAM. Done. Or perhaps I want that all to common Pinterest pic of a stack of books with a tea cup on top? Simple; snag the books I want, set them on the table with a tea cup, get down level with the books and POOF! Instant pic. See?

Once you've taken your photos, upload them to a photo editing site to create them to your liking ( I like picmonkey).  BE SURE TO WATERMARK THEM WITH YOUR BLOG NAME.  Save the photos and VOILA!  Not only do you have customized photos for your blog post, now you don't have to worry about the photo police coming to get you! 

Here's a tip: My A to Z Challenge always includes book titles; I start taking photos of books early to ensure I find a book for each letter of the alphabet. I do this process in steps. 
  • Keep a list of the letters you need pics for
  • Take the photos. 
  • Upload them to a photo editing site and edit (make a collage!)
  • Save new photo with the title of the book
  • Upload to blog
  • Write blog post
Don't try to do all of the steps in one sitting. You'll go batty.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun and to keep you from getting busted by the photo police; if you make it too difficult you might not keep up with it.  Slow and steady wins the race here, folks.

Where do you find your photos?



  1. You offer a very good point. It would be devastating to most bloggers if they got sued. Great idea using your own photos.

  2. This is a great reminder of being careful where you get photos to use. I have several friends who take great photos, and have given me free liberty to use them. Some want to be credited, and some don't.

    I also like to make my own, too. Never thought of putting a watermark on them. Usually I just put the link to my FB page, or in this case my blog. But I think a watermark is much better. Can't be cropped out.

  3. Hmmm...I have always taken my own, but haven't watermarked them...more to do, more to do!

  4. What few I post I take or create myself. Otherwise, it's all book covers, movie posters, and album covers. And those guys want to publicity.

  5. I shoot 95% of all the photos on my blog...I do try to remember to say 'internet image' if I've snagged it off google. I have not done the watermark thing this point, with tens of thousands of photos, it'd be awfully time consuming. And that's how one of my photos ended up on a website without credit being made to me and I was pretty pissed off. As it turns out, it was a high school classmate's website and he'd googled 'Sandwich at Christmas' and my blog came up and he nipped the photo off it. He didn't know it was me b/c I was still using my married name. I've had friends watermark their pics only to find them cropped out by someone else.

  6. I do both, depending on the topic or blog post. Sometimes, I let a good photo be the inspiration for a post. My crochet blog is almost all my own photos. When I'm not using my own photos, I pretty much stick with Wikicommons and give credit and licensing info. These pin just fine and no photo police have ever shown up at my door...or blog for that matter.

  7. I totally forgot about pic monkey! Thanks for the reminder. I just bookmarked the page.

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  8. I'm another who sticks with either book covers or my own photos. I haven't watermarked them, or even indicated I am the photographer, because I'm not really concerned if someone steals my photos. They really aren't good enough to be making anyone money (which would be the only thing that would anger me--someone else making money off my work). But I do need to at least credit them. I do my photo editing on my own computer--I'll see if it's easy to add a watermark, just to be on the safe side.

  9. I always use my own art or photos, I dont like watermarks so I guess folk can reproduce my images. But I dont think I would mind seeing my images in cyberspace from time to time if folk nicked them.....

  10. I see like I'm constantly looking payment inviting things to read close Cccam Server by a heterogeneity of topics, but I get along to include your install develop into my reads every day because you have compelling entries that I look help to.

  11. i'm sure we've all pinched a photo here or there and forgot to credit the person. but after a blogging friend got a call from a big company tell her to cease and dessist; i think we all knew what to do going forward.

  12. Wonderful tips.I usually Photo Pin but I may start using more of my own photos, it really is easier now and definitely much safer.

  13. I prefer to take my own photos. I need to go out on a photo safari (the kind I do around town) and build up a better supply.

  14. I love to take my own photos, and one of my blogs is actually about how my photography inspires my artwork. I remember one lady getting into a debate with a fellow examiner about a photo she used, which it turned out she had permission to use, but the person who argued with her about it did so because she assumed it was not her photo since it was also used on another site. By using your own photos you do not have to worry about this argument taking place. My blog for the A to Z Challenges are:

    I am only listing my blogs because there is no option for linking to our wordpress blog on this blog.

  15. I used to use pictures I found on Facebook. When I read a post about online copyrights, I took them all down. Now I use copyrighted pictures for reviews on my blog, but otherwise I'll probably stick to just making my own pictures.

  16. I just steal Rob Z's drawings, because he's an awesome artist. And also because he never calls the photo police on me.

    Just out of curiosity, what do the photo police do?

  17. This is awesome, Ms. Pammy Pam! I've been working on how to have photos on my blog for Pinterest (my blogging mentor insists this is the next step in my journey) and I didn't know how to do the watermark! Thanks for that. I do take a lot of my own photos, because I write about my life a lot, and I do try to entertain the masses with embarrassing childhood photos of myself...
    Thanks for all the great tips!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  18. This is indeed excellent advice.Intellectual property theft is absolutely rife across the web. There are times when it is tempting to use material without any concern for its source or IP status, but it has to be resisted. There is enough material out there, properly placed in the public domain or covered by creative commons licences, that there should be no need to steal. I heartily recommend as a go-to URL

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  20. If I'm in a real hurry I do a google image search - esp. for quotes etc. copy the original sources url and add it as a 'thanks for the image link' in the caption - so anybody and everybody can see/find the source...

  21. I take most of my own unless it's from another blog or peron's project.

    BTW Green Eggs and Ham was my favorite book, Sam I am.


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