For The Love of Pete People, Give CREDIT Where Credit is Due!

Imagine you work really hard on a project for your boss or client and someone comes along and takes credit for all your hard work. How would you feel?

Pardon the expression…but pissed is probably a pretty good description, wouldn’t you say?

Well, that’s exactly how a photographer or blogger feels if you take their image and use it in any way without properly crediting them.

Here’s an example of a image used without any credit

As you can see there is no link underneath {here} and there’s no link when you click on the image either. This is BAD…really, really bad!

I wasn’t planning on writing this post today, however while researching image credits yesterday for the feature I had lined up, I kept running into dead ends because so many people neglected to credit them properly that ultimately the proper owner was lost. So finally I decided enough is ENOUGH.

I use Google Image search as described here by Design Love Fest to track down original sources for images I use when I don’t know where they came from. It does take some work sometimes to find the rightful owner, but that’s ethical blogging. If any of us use an image that’s not our own we owe it to the rightful owner to give them proper credit.

The fact is, many of us bloggers use images that are not our own. But there is a right way of doing it and a wrong way. And in most cases, the right way will actually bring the original owner of the image more traffic, so it’s a win win situation. In fact, I often get emails or Tweets from image owners thanking me for crediting them because I’m driving traffic back to their site.

Unfortunately, compared to the number of blogs out there, there aren’t a lot of others who seem to do the right thing. Why is that? I’m constantly asking this question. Maybe it’s because they don’t know any better? Maybe it’s because they want to make it appear as if the images they’re using are theirs? Maybe it’s because they’re just lazy? I don’t know. Whatever it is…it’s flippin’ irritating with a capital “I”.

And it’s not just the brand new blogs either. Oh no…there are plenty of bloggers who’ve been around for quite a while who don’t properly credit. And let me tell you, YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!!

Here’s an example of an image used with poor crediting

Using “Source” or “Credit” is like an insult to the person the image belongs to

Rachel, owner of The Pink Peonies, took time to put together the style for this shoot. She went out and shot it and then spent some time behind her computer in post production to bring you this gorgeous image and the others that went along with the original post. If you take this image and don’t give her proper credit, that’s just as bad as lifting a cashmere sweater from Barney’s.

Typically I do everything I can to write in a positive manner for my readers because I want this to be a happy place to find inspiration. So my apologies to you for this out of character rant. But this awful practice of basically “stealing images” has really got me upset. Whether you know it or not, it’s not okay to take someone else’s picture and pass it off as your own. It’s not okay not to give credit where credit is due and it’s definitely not okay just to write “source” or “credit” under or next to an image with a link to where you found it.

Here’s an example of a proper image credit

Image via Wendy’s Lookbook

As you can see, both the image itself and the wording “Image via Wendy’s Lookbook” sources back to the actual post where I found this image. That’s proper crediting.

We should be plugging the photographer or blogger, (in some cases both), who originally featured an image. In my opinion, if we don’t mention the source by FULL NAME in the body of our post content as well as underneath, above or next to the image and link to the image source when someone clicks on the image, then we haven’t done a proper job in crediting.

A lot of the problem has to do with the rampant use of images throughout Pinterest, Tumblr and We Heart It…to name a few. But there’s a way to change it, we can make it better.

It starts with you, it starts with me, it starts with us.

Don’t be part of the problem, be the solution!

Credit properly and pass this message along :-)

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