Blog Chat: Credit Etiquette

So often I see blogs using images without crediting the image owner or source. I also see blogs that are alarmingly similar to others without any reference to where or who they were inspired by. So today I just want to run though a few key tips for good credit etiquette. Because as a photographer I would be very upset if somebody used my image without crediting my name and linking to the blog post they found it on. And this is just my photo policy for images on my blog. My photographs from Southeast Asia are copyrighted and I do not allow anyone to use those. If they did a great big invoice would be sent their way. Now, we could get into the ethics of image use etc. but let’s keep it simple, if an image is not yours, check that you are allowed to use it first. Most Bloggers will have an image use policy, check this. As with Flickr, check the terms of usage for an image. And if in doubt, email the image owner. It’s just polite.

The same goes for content, if you have been inspired by another Blogger’s post, credit them and let them know. Most of the time they will flattered and all that happens is you encourage relationship building.

share the blog love

Credit Etiquette


1. If you use somebody else’s image, first of all get permission. If it is ok to use then make sure you credit their name and link back to the original page/post you found it on.

2. If you have been inspired by somebody else’s blog post, credit them and link back to them.


1. Do not use an image that is not yours, you don’t have permission for, or is protected by copyright.

2. Do not credit the image with just a number. (I see this so often and it is very unfair for the person who produced the image. The photographer/image creator has put a lot of time, money and effort into the image, it would be polite to credit with their name/blog name.)

3. Do not credit with the words ‘here’ ‘image from here’ – again, it’s just rude.

3. Do not link to the homepage for the image owner as this will update and change in future. Link to the post that the image is from.

4. Do not copy somebody else’s words, that’s serious plagiarism right there.

5. Do not copy an idea without crediting your inspiration.


That doesn’t sound too bad does it? So let’s share the blog love and credit our sources properly and refrain from using images that are restricted. It’s a case of treat others how you would like to be treated. And when you work very hard to produce something you don’t want to see it flying around the internet without any credit for your work.

What are your thoughts on credit etiquette?

Have you had any issues with misuse of your work?

Is there anything else you would add to the list?


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  1. I’d add that it’s worth getting to know and using Creative Commons licenses. (see . The different types of CC licenses give other people permission to use your images but not modify, or use and modify, for non-commercial purposes with credit given.

  2. Very useful. It’s good to see it spelt out as so many bad examples out there which if that’s all you see can sleep walk you into bad habits without realizing.

  3. Yes! It drives me nuts when people credit others photos yet don’t actually get permission to use it. I don’t care how well you credit someone, if you don’t have permission to use it it’s still illegal.

    THAT SAID, I do go against my own soapbox sometimes when I post about clothes from stores. Like, I’ll have a picture of something from H&M. I need to stop that, but I love posting clothes that I don’t have.

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