How to Create and Organize Photos for Your Online Articles
When online writers first realize the power of knowing how to create, organize, and use photographs it is usually long after they have started producing articles.
Usually this lack of knowledge results in illegal use of substandard photographs and a great deal of disorganization that can cause many hours of unnecessary work.
Therefore, the sooner you learn about how to manage your photographs, the better.
Should You Use Your Own Photographs?
Once a you learn that images add interest and depth to your articles, you have to decide whether to use your own or those of others.
- If you are a very good photographer and have the right type of equipment, creating your own images will allow you to produce article specific photos and avoid copyright issues.
- If you are not skilled in this area, you will have to use photos other people have produced.
Using Images Created by Other People
If you can't create your own photographs, then you will either need to buy them or find out where you can get them for free.
- If you purchase photos, you generally cannot alter them.
- If you use free photos and do so properly, you save money and can often edit them.
Since writing online rarely produces large amounts of income, most writers choose photos they can use at no charge.
One would think that the quality of these images would be poor, but the truth is that many of them are excellent.
Always Accredit Photos, Even Your Own
No matter where you get your photos, you always must make sure to credit the artists who created them. Otherwise, you could run into legal problems.
Some writers think that if they use their own images no accreditation is necessary, but this is not the truth. By letting the world know that you are the photographer, you protect your rights in the event that someone decides to use your work without your permission.
Since each site sets its own parameters for accreditation, always make sure to read their rules before using their photos.
You also need to make sure that you understand the rules for using photos on the site for which you write.
Using Free Photos
Free photos that are in the public domain are those that appear on sites where artists have given permission to the public to use them.
However, even public domain photos may have licensing prohibitions, so you should always read the licensing requirements for each photo before using them, especially those you find on Google Images. The video will show you how to use images from this site, so be sure to watch it.
A photo may be in the public domain, but the subject in the photo may want to control how his or her photo is used. Thus, he or she may require a writer to request a "release" for the use of their photo. The same is true when real estate or brand names appear in photos.
Therefore, while a writer may have permission from the artist to use a photo, he may not have permission from the person, place, or "thing" in the photo.
Usually a quick email or phone call will result in a release, but even that takes time. Also, it is important to make sure that the person giving the permission has the authority to do so.
I found a great private photo put out by an RV Park website that I wanted to use. The first person I spoke with there gave me permission to use it, but when I asked her if she had the authority to do so, she admitted that she did not. The issue here was that she didn't know whether the photographer had sold his rights to the park owner or was just allowing him to use the photo for a fee.
As it turned out, the park owner indeed did purchase the rights and was authorized to allow me to use the photo. However, he made the stipulation that I refer to the facility as an "RV Park" and not a "campground" when I accredited the photo.
To save work and worry, writers can avoid most of these pitfalls by using two public domain websites that I have found extremely user friendly: Morguefile.com and Pixabay.com.
Both sites allow photo alteration and are very flexible with their guidelines.
There are other public domain sites also, but limiting the ones you use to just a few makes it easier to avoid licensing and use problems.
How to Organize and Save the Images You Use
Some writing sites save photos for you, but others do not.
Even if they do, it's a good idea to build a file of those you have already edited so that you can quickly access and use them.
To do this,
- find a photo,
- do a basic edit,
- place it in a folder that is named by topic and
- place the folder in a file named for the website where you found the photo.
For example, every photo I have that came from Morguefile.com is placed inside of topic folder that is located within another one named "Morguefile."
Each folder named for a website is then placed in a master file called "Article Photos."
Organizing images this way makes it easy to find and properly accredit them.
There are several good, free editing programs online these days, but the one I have found easiest to use is called Picmonkey.com.
The free version of this photo editing program gives you endless ways to enhance and change your photos, and once you practice a bit, you will find that you are creating beautiful, article appropriate pictures that will attract readers.
Every photo used in this article was edited with it.
You can use this program whether you create your own images or use those from the public domain.
Good Photos Help to Create Stellar Articles
It has been proven time and again that adding clear, crisp, and appropriate photos to your articles enhances them, makes them interesting and attracts readership.
It may take some time to learn how to find, organize, and use photographs for your online articles, but once you get started, you will find this a worthwhile and satisfying task.
A picture is still worth a thousand words, so why not learn how to manage photos and use them to enhance the articles you write online?
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© 2016 Dreamworker
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