Can you run-down how you guys handle posting your stock photos for each site? I know you use Creative Commons most of the time, but what are your criteria for picking photos? Do you maintain a database of photos that you think might work with future articles, just to cut down on time, or do you search and hope for the best?
I’m super interested, just because your photos ALWAYS seem to match the article perfectly. Like the LinkedIn photo? Relevant AND offbeat, it’s like the photo was taken specifically for Offbeat Home. Which makes me want to read your articles even more, because I am seduced by a pretty picture EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. -Alyssa
First, thank you! My editors work pretty hard to get just the right images to go with our articles, so this is super gratifying to hear. While most of our Offbeat Bride submissions include photos, on Offbeat Families and Offbeat Home & Life, most submitted posts do not. Here’s how we find photos to go with any post Empire-wide that doesn’t have a photo submitted with it:
So before I dive in, I should re-emphasize that photo attribution is hugely important to us. Since we work so closely with so many photographers on Offbeat Bride, we want to make sure that they always feel respected in our posts.
So when finding photos to illustrate a guestpost, here are the steps we take:
- We search our own Flickr photo pools. Each of the websites has a Flickr photo pool where people can submit their photos. We’re very clear on each pool page that when photos are submitted to the pools, people are granting us permission to use the shots with attribution on our sites. Searching the pools is difficult, sadly, because most people don’t tag their photos and leave them with titles like IMG4772. If we can’t find a good photo from our pools then…
- We use a plugin called Flickr – Pick a Pic to find a Creative Commons photo. We have our search settings to be only show photos that are licensed for commercial use (because yes: ad-supported blogs are commercial), and we’re fastidious about attributing every CC photo we use.
- Very occasionally, we’ll contact someone out of the blue to ask for permission. If I stumble across an absolutely perfect image that’s not licensed for Creative Commons usage, I’ll contact the photographer directly to seek permission to use it.
[related-post align=”right”]For me personally, when I’m searching for images I generally try to…
- Search less for thematic ideas (for instance, “job hunting”) and more for specific objects (“linkedin logo”). This can lead to some tenuous images, but searches for thematic ideas almost always come up empty on Flickr. “Infertility” is going to get you almost nothing, while “egg” or “petri dish” is going to be super awesome.
- Find color, so a lot of my searches include the word “rainbow” (rainbow egg! rainbow coin! rainbow shoe!).
- Aim for non-white people in the photos (because the internet’s default setting for everything is “white people”), unless the post has negative connotations… in which case I’ll often use one of my own photos. (Prime example.)
Each of the site’s editors has their own special search methods that they use to find images… maybe they’ll reveal them in the comments?