Here at Pebble we get asked about images all the time and understandably so, you may think your website is hidden away from prying eyes but make no mistake there are people and technology around that will enable people to catch you using images you have no right to do, getting caught can cost you as well. We heard of a customer recently being hit with a bill for using unauthorised images that set them back £700 per image, and they had over 20 of them placed around their website.
There is a general misconception that if it is on Google it means it is free to download and use but let us stop you right there! You have to appreciate that Google go around indexing websites including assets (images) that appear on them, this is not their bad, they generally do not discrminiate on indexing and unless you tell them specifically not to index an image they will (it is in their interests to). The important thing to remember is that you shouldn't be using Google as your own personal image repository.
So, enough said on downloading images from the internet to use yourself. We have to look at ways of getting decent, quality images you can use that will keep you on the right side of photographers and the copyright law.
1. Take your own photographs
This is somehting we try and get our customers to do, especially if they are a little nichy. You then own the copyright to use them how you see fit. It doesn't cost a lot of money to buy yourself a decent camera these days.
2. Buy Your Images
There are lots of websites you can buy images from, including Shutterstock, Getty etc. These can be expensive though, you can pay up to £500 per image but the quality is extremely high and they often have the widest range of images available and professionaly taken.
3. Download Free Images
Websites like freeimages.com allow you to download and use images for your own use, more often than not you will add a credit to the photo but this can save you shelling out on photos, these websites have a huge range in their library.
4. Download From Google (The legal way)
If you head over to Google, click on images, enter your search, you can then click on "Search Tools" > "Usage Rights" > "Labelled For Reuse".
This will then filter your image results again. You should, just to satisfy yourself, go ahead and visit the website to make sure the copyright looks good, it could be there are some small restrictions.
Our final tip is not to use famous people in photographs, it may seem great to have a nice photo of Taylor Swift on your website but unless they have specifically endorsed your company or product this is a serious no no, you should avoid this like the plague as it is highly likely you will receive a letter from their solicitor asking for money.
Of course, if you have a web design hand crafted from Pebble then images are not a concern for you, we provide these as part of the build and deliver these to you to use for other marketing purposes, this is the same for Ecommerce websites and Mobile Apps we develop for our customers.
Ultimately, you should consider that taking photographs and producing images takes hard work and dedication so you are not only stealing the images from the photographer but also the person who commissioned them and to take them is the same as stealing from someone and this is