Finding a great photo for your website, newsletter or social media post can be as easy as searching the web, copying and pasting. Before you click and post, consider that the photo you’re copying may have rights reserved and using it can land you in legal hot water.

There are steps you can take to ensure you can use a photo legally. If you’re using a web search like Google images, click on the “Search Tools” button. This will bring up a menu of filtering options, among which is a filter for images “Labeled for reuse.”

Usage Rights

Granted, selecting one of these options may severely limit the selection of images you receive, but isn’t that better than being slapped with a lawsuit?

And remember, before reusing images you’ve found, you should verify that the license is genuine  and check the exact terms of reuse stated in the license. For example, many licenses require you to give credit to the image creator.

Building Your Own Photo Library

Every time you are at a worksite with your members is an opportunity to take photos for your own photo library. Consider getting more than one photo of your members. For example, take vertical and horizontal photos of them smiling and photos of them working. Catalog and organize your photos in a way that works best for you, by workplace, job category, title, etc. Be sure to include all relevant information about the subject. Name, title, workplace, years on the job, etc.

As you build your library, the next time you need a photo of a member for your publication or website, you will have ready-made images that already belong to your organization.