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How to Know if you can Use that Photo

How to Know if You Can Post That Photo  You can find more How to Blogs at are many reasons why a genealogist would want to create their very own genealogy blog. It is a great way to share family stories and research discoveries. One must be careful, however, about the photos and images that you put on your blog. Here are some tips to help you figure out if you can use a certain photo in your blog.

You took that photo yourself.

The photo you are thinking of using is one that you took, yourself, with your smartphone or camera. This is the safest type of photo to use in a blog. It is, undoubtedly, yours. No one else can legally claim that they are the owner of that photo.

In other words, yes, you can post that photo on your blog. The next question is: Should you? The answer depends on what is in the photo. Are there living relatives in the photo? It is a good idea to ask them if they are comfortable with you posting that photo in your blog. Posting it before asking could result in “drama”.

You found that photo by using Google and hitting “Images”.

No, you cannot post that photo. Unfortunately, Google Images doesn’t indicate whether or not the photos have been released under Creative Commons. The photo you want to use could be under copyright. If you use it, without specifically getting permission from the photographer, you could end up in trouble.

There are many bloggers who believe that it is perfectly ok to grab any photo or image they find on the internet and post it on their blog. They are incorrect. Some of them simply don’t understand how to find images that have been released under Creative Commons. Others presume they won’t get caught.

You found that photo on Flickr.

Can you use a photo in your blog that you found on Flickr? The answer is… maybe. Some of the photos on Flickr are released under Creative Commons. Others are not. How can you tell the difference?

Use the “Advanced Search” function on Flickr. Type in a description of what you want to find a photo of. Scroll down to the part that says Creative Commons. Check the box for “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” and the box for “Find content to use commercially”. Click “search” and all of the photos that appear are legal to use in your blog.

It is a good idea to attribute the photo by linking to the page on Flickr where you found it. You also need to post the name of the photographer.

You found that photo on Facebook or Twitter.

Is the photo a family photo that a relative posted on their social media page? If that relative is the photographer of that photo, he or she could give you permission to post it in your blog. In general, you should not pull photos from social media to use in your blog (without permission of the photographer).

Image by Robbie Sproule on Flickr.

Related Articles at

* Copyright Photos

* To Use or Not to Use

* Copyright Laws Genealogical Data



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