Recently a writer challenged me on my occasional lack of photo credits. Here’s what she said in her email:
“I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and really appreciate your thought-provoking posts – not to mention ensuing discussions from all the food bloggers!
One thing that has always struck me as odd, however, is that I notice that you don’t always give the source credit for the photos you use on your blog. I write for [websites], and making sure to give proper photo credit is a huge deal for us.
Whether we take the photos ourselves, find them on Creative Commons, borrow them from personal blogs, or even just lift them from Amazon.com, we make sure to give credit, link back to the original, and of course, ask permission when necessary. I’ve also been burned before when I forgot to give credit and received an irate e-mail from the photographer!
Since so much of your blog is about exploring and protecting bloggers rights, I just find it surprising that you don’t give credit for all your photos. Is there a reason for this? Do you give the credit somewhere else on your site that might not be obvious?
Again, thank you for your insightful posts and for providing a forum for all this excellent discussion. I really don’t mean any disrespect by bringing this up, but have found it genuinely puzzling and wanted to hear your perspective.”
Yep, she got me. I don’t always use a photo credit. But I have my reasons. Here they are:
1. I take the photo. My blog is personal, about me, and features my photography occasionally. Web sites are a group project and most often the photography comes from outside the group. Therefore it deserves credit. Actually all photos on a website should have a credit, unless they fall into the exceptions below.
2. The photo is a publicity headshot meant to be used by media. I sometimes write about people in the public eye, and I use their headshot from their website. If no photo credit appears on their website, I don’t use it on mine.
3. I use a stock photo house. I really don’t want to put its name as a photo credit. Must I?
And I certainly would not give credit to Amazon.
What do you think of her strategy? Do all photos other than yours need a credit, or can you leave them off under certain circumstances?