Images are an excellent addition to any website or blog post. They are key to successful social media – posting images on your social networks helps your posts get shared and liked more.
However, not all images on the internet are okay to use (in fact most are not).
There are laws that allow people to claim rights to their images. Using any image that you find on the internet can get you in big trouble and leave you with a hefty fine!
Image Copyright Laws
We live in a world where images are so easy to find with just a click of a button but we can’t use any image that shows up in search results since there is a cost for ownership of most images. It’s important to be aware of copyright laws in your country to ensure you don’t get fined for using content that you don’t have the right to use.
In Canada, any image taken by any device (camera, smartphone, etc.) is subject to copyright. This means that if someone takes a photo, it is their photo and anyone else that would like to use it has to seek permission from the photographer. The photographer is not required to register their work to have it copyrighted – when the photo is saved (onto a smartphone or camera roll) it is automatically subject to copyright and protected under copyright laws. Therefore, it is essential that we learn to keep these laws in mind because if you get caught using an image that belongs to someone else, you could be fined!
How To Find Great Free Images
There are many ways to find images that are free and can enhance your content.
1. Create your own images: Grab your camera or even your smartphone to capture some images! This allows you to be in full control of what the image will loook like and leaves tons of room for customization. Also, having your own images ensures that the content is original and authentic.
2. Find royalty-free images on Google: When you search on Google, make sure you’ve clicked the “labelled for reuse” button! This allows you to reuse the image. See below:
3. Use Creative Commons to search multiple platforms to find free images: This site allows you to search for images easily and helps you find free images from various platforms. Check out this blog post on Creative Commons for more information.
4. Find royalty-free images online: Using sites such as allthefreestock.com allows you to search for various free images, videos, music and icons that are royalty-free.
5. Tools such as Canva: Canva allows you to edit your images and it basically works as an easy-to-use graphic design platform. It also has a massive repository of free images along with fairly inexpensive images (approximately $1 for a high-quality image).
6. Buy images: There are sites that allow you to purchase high-quality images. Sites such as iStock allow you to buy images for as little as $12 per image. You can also get a subscription for $40 per month that gets you 10 images per month.
7. Hire a photographer – sometimes only the highest quality images will do. Hire someone who knows how to set up and take the perfect pictures to showcase your brand.
If you’re ever in doubt, you can always check where that image appears online through TinEye. You simply upload your image or paste a URL of the image and this tool does a reverse search to find out where that image appears online.