For the most part, I don’t deal with digital images. I do words.
Not to say I’m unable to work with images on a computer. I can, and often do, find, resize, edit (ok, mess around in MS Paint with) and upload pictures for various blogs and websites.
Still, I’m no expert. I’m ashamed to say how long it took me to learn about finding images licensed for reuse and that sort of thing.
A couple weeks ago, I learned one more detail about online images – “labeled for reuse” isn’t always enough to free up the file.
You may have seen my article about remembering yoga a while back. I posted it with a generic, labeled-for-reuse photo I found through Google images. However, within a week, it was gone, and replaced with a graphic about “No Hotlinking.” Confused but accepting, I found another free image. Days later, the same thing happened. I dug a little deeper, and realized the replacement image was from a stock photo site that didn’t want my money, but for me to download the picture and host it myself for the protection of their servers.
Obviously, I don’t want to steal the images of other creative workers. I do want to have a good relationship with those I respect online. Further, I don’t want my blog to look like it’s run by an amateur (despite being, in many ways, an amateur). This means a little bit (just a tiny bit) of extra work on my part.
When you find free images, check to make sure they’re free for download, hotlinking or however you want to use them. Don’t want that learning curve to show itself unexpectedly, do we?