When you use royalty-free images from any site, I recommend that you keep an excel record or something similar. If you keep a blog log or another type of record keeping system – add a column for source of image and the image number from that source. When you are contacted by an attorney, the first thing they ask for is a screenshot of the source of the image and the image number from that source. If you have that, they don’t have a case against you.
It Takes a Long Time to Search for an Image without the Right Information
For example, have you ever searched on Canva for an image of a Santa Hat? There are literally thousands and you will be searching for days. However, if you have the image number recorded in your log, you can search by number, take your screen shot of the image on that particular site and include it with the image number to the attorney. Boom! You win – they lose.
Also, two very important things to note about royalty free online images is:
1. Many artist/photographers often post the same image for sale on several sites.
2. Some image site such as Canva Pro source their images from several sites.
What to do if You Don’t Have the Image Number
Now, if you don’t have the image number in your log, here’s a useful tip I discovered. Recently, I had to go through this process for a former blog employer. She was being sued for a few thousand dollars for one image that I used in a blog post. I knew that I only sourced images from Canva for her project, but she was unable to locate the image on Canva after days of searching. So, when she asked for my help, at first, I started searching Canva which was not working.
Using the Google Reverse Image Search to Find the Source of Images
Then, I suddenly remembered about Google Reverse Image search which brought up another image site that had the same image posted and it also gave me the photographers name. I used the name he gave to the image in Dreamstime to search for it in Canva and found it quickly using this method. So, from that I can surmise that if you can find the name on one site, it will probably be the same or close on all other image sites. Having the photographers name also helps confirm it is the same image because the attorney will give you the photographer’s name in the claim they send you.
Advice on Where to Source Great Images
For my graphic art projects such as Editorial, Presentation and WordPress design, I source my images from Canva Pro and Adobe Images. Canva Pro remains at low price of about $14.99 per month and Adobe Images is $49.99 per month for 24 credits per month. Adobe is a high price but it gives you a great source for other types of graphics as well.
TIP: Be aware because some of the artist/photographers who sell their images on Adobe also have them posted on other sites as well. So, sometimes you’re paying more than is necessary. As you become familiar with the sites, you will see what I mean. So, I always search Canva Pro first and Adobe second to keep my operating costs at a minimum.
Image credit is requested but not required on many of these sites. However, read carefully and follow the instructions for each site. 👌
You are welcome to add your favorite sources to this list! Thank you and best wishes for your success.