A New Source of Images

I try really hard to make sure I’m using images that are either rights free, creative commons or my own on this blog and in social media. So I go to wiki, or flickr, or sometimes look via google.

But there’s a new source available – Getty Images. They’re now allowing their images to be used online for free provided they’re embedded in an approved way. In their words

You can embed a Getty Images photo on a website, social media site or blog for free and without having to buy a license, as long as the photo is not used for commercial purposes (meaning in an advertisement or in any way intended to sell a product, raise money, or promote or endorse something).

I’m thrilled. Getty have some historic images, masses of photojournalism, cool vector drawings, and some very fine creative photography.

There are a few of downsides to consider when using this collection;

  • conditions of use mean that you’re not supposed to change the size of the image
  • you can’t crop or edit the image in any way – it’s less flexible for use than many images available under creative commons licences
  • the Getty footer will remain on each image (I see this as a fair exchange for using the image)
  • Getty could also change their conditions of use at any time, leaving you with an empty hole in your blog post (I assume the risk of this is small)
  • Not all images are available under this scheme, those that are have the embed icons next to them. Most of the ones I looked at were available apart from some historical images.

How can you use these images? Three steps;

1 Each image that is available for free use now has an embed code under it – click on that

EmbedGettyStep12 Copy the embed code, it’s the whole text highlighted in blue below. (If you click to share on twitter or Tumblr you’re taken directly to those sites. Twitter shares a link, with currently no preview. Tumblr shares the image on your tumblr page but not in the stream)

EmbedGettyStep2 3 Paste this code into your blog post, at first it will look like this;

EmbedGettyStep3aBut WordPress doesn’t accept iframes (there is a real risk around iframes), but will allow third party content to be displayed from trusted parties, so converts it to this. Don’t worry, it’s still just correctly embedded content.
EmbedGettyStep3bThat’s it – when you publish your blog post the image will appear in the blog post, with the Getty Images credit below it and the same share buttons you saw when you chose the image. (See the image below for an example).

With more than 80 million photos in their archive there’s a lot to choose from. No wonder I feel like the kid in the candy store!


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