We are so used to everything being free on the Internet that we rarely think about paying for pictures or visual images. But especially when you use an image for marketing, you need to be careful. Not all images are free and using them could cost you a lawsuit or at least a fee to avoid a lawsuit.

So how to you know what pictures you can use and which ones you can’t? Here a few simple tips:

  • Take your own pictures. Unleash your inner photographer and take pictures you can use on your site. It’s easy to use cropping tools and filters that are built right into your phone or social media platform. To get super fancy, use a tool like Canva to take your pictures to a new level. www.canva.com
  • Pay for your pictures. There are lots of sites that sell photos. Some havesocial media subscription plans which can help you save money if you use a lot of pictures. The pictures are high quality, but paying for pictures can get expensive for small businesses on a budget. www.istock.com
  • Search “Google Images” for free pictures. These photos are not necessarily free. You need to go to “Tools” and then “Usage Rights.” When you choose “Labled for Reuse,” any of these pictures can be used.
  • Use Pixabay (www.pixabay.com). All the pictures on Pixabay are free. You can choose to “buy the artist a cup of coffee” and pay a nominal fee, but it is not required.
  • Join Flickr (www.flickr.com). It’s a community of people sharing pictures at no cost.

The perfect image is out there; however, when choosing it, keep these tips in mind. If you need more help, email me kparis@itsallgeek2me.org.