The Best Practices in Ensuring Your Website’s Photos are Legal
Article by John Yee
Graphics Design by Jericho Ramos
Over the years, the use of websites has gone mainstream in terms of online marketing and branding. This resulted in a higher demand for strong imagery and enticing copy to work together to attract audience attention. Along with this practice, however, is the increasing relevance and concerns surrounding intellectual property.
Intellectual Property in a Nutshell
Usually referred to as the creations of the mind, intellectual property comprises copyrights, trademarks, and patents that pertain to any creative or original work by a group or a person. It typically involves inventions, designs, names and images used in commerce.
In this digital age, intellectual property holds a much greater significance as people continue to disseminate their works of art online. In fact, just a few months ago, Daryl Aiden Yow — a famous Singaporean photographer — faced public ridicule after being caught using stock photography for his Instagram photos and claiming it as his own work. This fiasco not only caused let-downs from several brands tied to him, but a copyright case from few stock agencies as well.
Ensuring the Legal Use of Images Online
May it be for your website or other digital marketing agenda, it is in the strong desire to impress and achieve a stellar work that some users tend to overlook the responsibility of acquiring photos online. While it is easy to find images on one hand, ensuring its proper use is always imperative on the other. Even more so if you’re able to benefit or generate money from these photos.
In this article, we discuss three best practices you should consider in making sure that you’re legally using the photos for your online work, specifically when it comes to web design.
1. Take your own photos
Snapping your own photos is the most straightforward approach in ensuring the legality of your images online. If you have the ability and the capacity to take the necessary photos for your website, then you already have a guaranteed intellectual property.
In doing this approach, you can resort to your average camera equipment for you to have the photo you want for your site. All thanks to the latest improvements in technology and post-production techniques, you can already generate photos suitable for online viewing.
However, having average-looking images may still not be able to pass certain digital creative standards. There may be occasions wherein a photo becomes pixelated or blurry especially when it’s scaled up for, say, a landing page. So for this instance, it would be wise to hire a skilled photographer who can meet your professional demands.
Nowadays, there are already existing creative agencies and creative web design services capable of reducing the cost of standard professional photography — by exclusively creating cost effective visual content that’s based on your personal brief. You can know more about them by clicking here.
2. Be sure about your Creative Commons licence
In most cases wherein finding a good and free photo becomes challenging, a good alternative can be the Creative Commons licence. This pertains to a public copyright licence that allows free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work under generous and standardised terms.
A popular tactic among photographers, the Creative Commons licence typically gives a person the capacity to use a photo for as long as they will credit the owner for its work. Flickr and Pixabay are two popular websites that distribute visual contents under this licence.
Generally, Creative Commons licences are categorised into commercial use and non-commercial use. These categories eventually determine how you should credit and modify an image. And since the photographer gets to set the rules for images under the licence, it is highly important for you to understand the terms you have agreed on to ensure the legality of the photos you’ve acquired.
3. Acquire royalty-free images from trusted stock agencies
If the abovementioned points don’t seem to work in your favour, then acquiring royalty-free images through stock banks subscription is the best way to go. Stock photography poses plenty of benefits that make it a popular choice for many people. And among those is the abundance of high quality images that you can freely choose according to your niche. With this, you always have the capability to maintain your brand identity even without custom photography.
With stock photos, you basically have the rights to use them in the most common ways possible. It’s like having a professional photographer on your team, without the expense of time and money of hiring an actual one.
When it comes to web design, the use of stock photography is a decent way to send a message along with your copy. This approach becomes even more effective if done by a professional web designer as they can cherry-pick the best stock image to create a more engaging design.
For some, however, the popular use of stock images also carries a disadvantage since anyone else can use the photograph you’ve already used. As such, it’s advisable to hire a web design agency that doesn’t reuse stock images for different websites and clients. This is where Verz Design comes into play.
Professional, Tailored & Hassle-Free
Professional web design agencies like Verz Design always apply the best practices for using images when building a website. Aside from ensuring safe and legal methods, we also practise the use of two stock banks for our clients. This guarantees a wider selection of professional quality photos in order to meet our customers’ specific demands. In fact, we are upgrading to a more superior set of photo banks by having Shutterstock and iStock as our primary sources of professional images starting 1st October 2018.
Due to common malpractice stemming from the use of online photos, intellectual property has already become a crucial and challenging topic to many website owners and designers alike. We recommend that considering the legal use of images should be the one of the first things in mind when building your website.
Bypass the legal hassle. With Verz Design, we guarantee you exclusive pristine photos that stay only with you for life!
Call us at 6841 1680 or send us an email at [email protected] for a free consultation.