blog talk: crediting photos


This is different than what I normally post and I will not be posting this sort of thing ever again but I feel so strongly about the issue of online photo usage, I felt compelled to share. Since blogging is part of my job and I often get inquiries about how a person can get a job blogging or what the "rules" are about blogging, I thought I would post my ideas about crediting photos on blogs. I don't claim to be a legal expert, these are my personal opinions. I am also a photo stylist, so part of my job is to create pretty pictures with photographers. People pay us to create images and that is how we earn our living. In this post, I've added images I've styled with Portland photographer, Lisa Warninger


It is so exciting how quickly word can spread about a photographer or artist with just a few blog posts. This is why it's so disheartening when their work is not credited. Maybe it's because I know how much effort goes into making an image, but when I see a blog without proper credits to photos, I consider it theft and I discontinue reading the blog. Not properly crediting photos is incredibly disrespectful to the photographers and the people who created the images. I've seen it on small blogs and big ones too. It doesn't matter whether you blog for fun or for your job, everyone has the responsibility to credit the images they use. I know most people aren't trying to be mean or disrespectful but just aren't aware. Blogging is still so new! Here are some clarifications in case anyone is confused about how to credit photos:

Always credit the original source. What does original source mean?

The photographer and/or the publication it was created for. Always, always try to find the photographer but if you can't find the photographer use the original publication who paid for the image to be created (i.e. House Beautiful, The New York Times, Food and Wine)

If it's a product, credit the shop. (i.e. J.Crew, Steven Alan, Built by Wendy)

If you don't have an original source and can't find it, then don't use the image.

These are NOT original sources:

Another blog (unless the image was specifically created by that blog author or for that blog i.e. The Sartorialist)



Google images

Flickr (credit the actual Flickr account)

We Heart It



Let's say you saw a pretty J.Crew photo on Frolic and wanted to put it on your own blog. If you first saw it on Frolic!, you'd want to credit it like this:

Image: J.Crew via Frolic!

If Frolic! found the image through Cup of Jo. You would credit like this:

Image: J.Crew via Frolic! via Cup of Jo.

A few more personal opinions on the matter:

If you want to use an image as a blog banner or widget on your blog, ask permission from the original source and leave a credit on your blog.

It's especially nice if you can credit the original source in the text of your post and at the bottom of the post, rather than just using their images like stock photography with a tiny credit at the bottom.

It's nice to make the credit very clear, rather than crediting it in the tiniest font at the bottom of the post. You might as well not have a credit in my opinion.

Always use links! Not just text!

If the photo source asks that you seek permission to use the photos before posting them, always respect this and email them before using the photo.They almost always say yes!

If you have thoughts, questions or your own ideas on this subject, leave them in the comments! I don't mean to be on my high horse, I just figured I would share since I couldn't find all this information when I first started blogging. Thanks! Back to regularly scheduled programing! 

Photos: 1. Lisa Warninger for Elizabeth Dye. Set, Chelsea Fuss. Model, Anna Adams. Wardrobe, Elizabeth Dye. Hair: Madeline Roosevelt. 2,3. Photos, Lisa Warninger for Tokketok. Styling, Chelsea Fuss. 4-6, Photos, Lisa Warninger for Project Wedding, Styling Chelsea Fuss. Wardrobe, Elizabeth Dye. Hair, Madeline Roosevelt. Model (last photo) Hannah Osborn.