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How to Use Flickr Photos in Your Blog

As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, holds true when blogging. Including photos in your blog posts will enhance your content by making it more appealing. This usually results in a lower bounce rate, as well as a stronger level of visitor engagement. But there are a few things you should know about using Flickr photos in your blog.

Flickr is one of the world’s largest depositories of images. Regardless of your post’s content, chances are you can find a relevant image for it here. While many Flickr images are copyright-protected — meaning the author holds ALL rights — others have limited protection. Flickr’s Creative Commons has tens of millions of images that bloggers can use for free. However, there are subtle nuances between the different categories that shouldn’t be ignored.

Flickr Creative Commons Categories:

  • Attribution — bloggers can use the image for personal or commercial purposes, and make derivatives of it, but only if they credit the author.
  • Noncommercial — bloggers can use the image for personal, but not commercial, purposes as long as they credit the author.
  • No Derivative — bloggers can copy and use the image for all purposes, but the image must be preserved in its original format.
  • Share Alike — bloggers can use the image under the same exact license that governs its work
  • Public domain — there are no copyright restrictions attached to public domain images.

Ideally, the best category from which to acquire images is public domain. Any Flickr images marked as public domain do not require attribution, and they can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. If you are unable to find a particular image under public domain, the next best category is arguably attribution. You can still use the image on your blog, even if it’s a revenue-generating blog, but you must credit the author.

How To Credit Flickr Author

Unless you are using a public domain image, you’ll need to credit the original photographer/author. Flickr doesn’t provide specific instructions on how to this, instead saying it’s up to the photographer.

This is up to the rightful owner of the images to decide, which on Flickr means the photographer. While we cannot represent the photographers’ preference for how to attribute their photos, we do recommend checking the copyright law for how to attribute properly, which generally could includes displaying the photographer’s name and link to the photo’s page on Flickr,” wrote Flickr.

So, how should you credit the author? Look at the image’s description to see if the author has included attribution instructions. Some authors may ask you to link back to their homepage when using their photos. Others may request that you simply link to their Flickr account. If there are no instructions here, though, something along the lines of “Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco” by tvol is licensed under CC BY 2.0″ should work.

What’s your preferred method for crediting the author of a Flickr photo? Let us know in the comments section below!