Stealing Images | It's Just Not Ok


Bloggers are essentially artists and the fact that we share our intellectual property in an online format does not negate that. Stealing images from a blog for your own purposes is no different to going to an art exhibition, taking a photo of an original piece of work, then printing it on poster paper and selling it. Therefore it amazes me that people still think it's acceptable. Perhaps companies just see us as naive young girls blogging from our bedrooms but we aren't; whether you're a full-time blogger or not, when it comes to copyright: you are a business person! And I think it's time we started standing up and showing people we mean business...


Not Crediting People on Social Media

Whether you're a brand or an individual: credit people, for goodness sakes!!!! As a content-creator it's an awful feeling to see an image you took posted with thousands of likes and no mention of you. Most people are flattered to be re-grammed or to have their content shared; it can be an amazing platform (having my images re-posted by brands like Real Techniques and Nars gave me an amazing boost in my follower count) so if nothing else, allow people the exposure in return for sharing their image. It's often carelessness that leads to people not receiving the proper credit but if you have a platform, a minute to check everything is in order isn't much to ask for. I actually remember reading a passionate article by a photographer who took a picture of Karlie Kloss, which the supermodel then Instagrammed without any credit to her and to add insult to injury, several big-name publications then did the same thing (check that out here). I couldn't imagine how rubbish it would feel to have this happen on such a large scale. I don't think you necessarily need to ask to share someone's content when crediting them, but in the unlikely event that they ask you to take it down for any reason; that is their right and you should oblige.

Crediting 'Pinterest'

This is a real bugbear of mine! Crediting Pinterest on Instagram isn't good enough. If you want to share someone's image then credit the original photographer who owns the copyright to it (not doing so could get you into hot water). If you can't trace the origin of the image (top tip: you can do a reverse image search on Google whereby you upload an image and it will give you websites where it's been posted, which should lead you to the photographer 99% of the time) then don't share it on Instagram.  

Using People's Images to Promote Your Own Post

I've previously had people use images without asking from my blog for their own posts, crediting me but not asking if they could. I just have to make completely clear that I am not talking about people doing 'my favourite blogs' posts and using an image or screenshot from your blog; I'm pretty sure NO ONE would have a problem with that because it's so flattering and amazing to get a mention! I am talking about people writing a post that's nothing to do with you or your blog and using one of your images as a stock photo (e.g. '5 Top Blogging Tips' using a random flat lay you took for a post of your own). My personal feelings are that my photos are in my style and everyone has their own unique way of doing things that's distinctly 'them'. Therefore even if someone took the time to ask (which I totally appreciate), I would politely decline because there are things I want to keep for myself. I don't really want someone browsing their Bloglovin feed and seeing my images used for someone else's content (for one, it's confusing if it's been taken from a recent post you've done). That's just my personal choice though; if you want to ask someone to do this then go for it, but respect their decision if they say no.

Companies Stealing Images

This is essentially what kicked off this entire post; I actually had something different planned for today but I felt too strongly on this topic not to put this out there now. I found out on Twitter that Byrdie UK had lifted an image from my blog without asking me or crediting me for one of their articles. When they were called out, they ignored tweets from myself and others and quickly changed the image in their post. When I emailed them I received no response. This really wound me up because I probably would've just left it there if they'd reached out to me and just sincerely said they were sorry, that it wouldn't happen again and that, as content-creators themselves, they could appreciate why I was upset. However they did none of those things so I decided I needed to get serious about it. Working in insurance and having very recently done the legal element of my professional qualifications; I was pretty confident that I knew my rights so sent them a formal letter with an invoice for the cost of using my photography (plus a penalty for not asking permission in the first place). Bloggers are often worried about 'burning bridges' with offending companies but I think it's them who should be worried given the size and influence of our community. If they make it clear they think we're just silly young girls whose intellectual property doesn't deserve respect then we will show them otherwise and they will not have any respect amongst bloggers.  

Where's the Line?

If you have to ask yourself this then just send an email to the person whose image you want to use and the line is where they say it is. 


Have you ever had your images used without your permission or without proper credit?


Don't forget to follow me on:
You may also like:

90 comments

  1. You're so well spoken about issues like these! We need more posts raising awareness for this xx

    Phoebe & Abida | phoebida.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. I completely agree with you, Jasmine!
    I haven't had my images used without crediting me, or at least I don't know anything about it, but the subject bothers me nonetheless. Whenever I recognise a photo of someone I follow being regrammed by other accounts I always check if it was credited properly.
    I also dislike seeing people posting pretty pictures on Instagram that aren't theirs and not giving proper credit or if they do it's down the lines, after million hashtags so not really visible. x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I do the same when I recognise and image or a style of image - it's great that we all look out for each other in that way :) xx

      Delete
  3. Really good post Jasmine, this topic needed to be discussed and you've articulated it really well. I hope you get the compensation you deserve from the company that used your images without permission. That really would be so annoying, particularly without them giving credit to you. You're right, your images have a unique style and look to them that is associated with your blog. Hope this incident didn't bring down your weekend too much!
    Ambar x | Her Little Loves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ambar <3 I feel like we all have out own unique style when it comes to photos and for my most-read blogs I always recognise the image before I've even scrolled to their name and no one should take that away! xx

      Delete
  4. I'm so sorry that this has happened to you Jasmine. You work so hard on your blog and it must be really disheartening when companies, who should know better, do things like this. Hopefully this post will shine some light on the issue x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this post. Glad you sent them an invoice plus a penalty. Did you take a screenshot as proof?
    I've had a quick glace through their site and it looks like they regularly lift pictures, though it could just be speculation on my part. I cannot stand those types of sites without any original content, in truth.
    Angie
    www.chocolateandlipstick.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily Ellie from Life of Ellie Grace got one as I was running around on house viewings when it all came to light! So I sent them that, we'll see what happens... And yeah I hate it when websites are like that - if you're a legit publication then hire a photographer or teach yourself (like the bloggers whose photos you've stolen do!) xx

      Delete
  6. Definitely agree with you on this one! I hate Instagram accounts that have the majority of their feeds with images taken from Pinterest or Tumblr but claim it as their own. It's so obvious when they do this. It's just fake and disrespectful to the people who have worked hard to take the shot or make the edit x

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right - I find it so frustrating and tbh I just unfollow people who are always posting other people's images and at most crediting 'Pinterest'! xx

      Delete
  7. Absolutely loved this post and I'm so happy you have put it out there! I hope other companies/ bloggers see this too. I've had a similar thing happen to me, good on your for taking it further with Byrdie UK stealing your image, it's actually disgusting considering as you said they are content creators themselves! Just unreal x

    Jodie / jodiemelissa.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I'm sure they wouldn't have such a casual attitude if a blogger copied and pasted one of their articles and made it into a post with no credit! xx

      Delete
  8. I love these kinds of post because people can be so unaware about this whole thing. Anyway, so sorry this happened to you, Jasmine. It's just plain fake and disrespectful.

    Lenne | Lenne Zulkiflly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your support Lenne! I think it's really important for people to consider how they'd feel if it happen to them...xx

      Delete
  9. I agree with what you've said here - it's so annoying when people don't credit others images x

    http://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep - it does my head in even when it's random Pinterest images! xx

      Delete
  10. Such an important topic and really great you've shared your experience, so bad of that company! When I used to work at a company working with bloggers and on social media, I loved sharing bloggers images - they literally did half my job as it meant I had to take less photographs and could rely on regrams!! I always credited though but I remember higher powers than me deciding we should use the photographs for our adverts (without crediting) I was fuming! I really had to fight the bloggers corner. I can't believe people think its ok!

    The Makeup Directory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg I can't believe people think it's ok - I'm glad you put your foot down on that one! xx

      Delete
  11. I completely agree with this, I think it's quite rude and have found that it is always best to ask permission before doing anything when it comes to using other's images etc. Very well said, Jasmine. I know I have used images from Pinterest on Instagram and didn't think of searching Google so I could credit the original photographer, thanks for sharing that! I can't believe I never thought of it xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree - it's just basic manners! xx

      Delete
  12. I agree with this 100% and I've -thankfully- never experienced this for myself! I was never completely aware of the situation until now so I'm glad you are speaking up and standing your ground.

    Fatima x www.fatima-writes.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it really sucks - the only thing we can really do is look out for each other and call it out when we see it! xx

      Delete
  13. I can imagine how frustrating this is! Thankfully it hasn't happened to me yet that I've noticed, but I would be just as angry.

    Beauty From Katie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thing is we only ever find out if someone recognises our photos and tells us :( xx

      Delete
  14. Stealing images is so out of order. I'm pleased that you stood you ground and called them out. I've seen a few bloggers on Instagram have the issue with brands though. I haven't had an experience but once a brand used my picture and didn't credit me in the comments, they just tagged me in the picture. Someone commented on it saying it was my picture and then they amended it - which was fine but, you'd think brands would know better! xx

    LPage Beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I find that really sneaky - like a way of technically crediting someone without making it clear...xx

      Delete
  15. it is 100% not okay to use anyone elses images without their permission! its crazy that people think they'll get away with it!

    http://claresloves.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right! We've gotta make sure they don't ;) xx

      Delete
  16. Ugh I am so sorry that happened to you! I do hope they compensate you for your photo - can't believe they're being so shady about it. But I agree that our photos are like our branding - it's pretty clear when scrolling through IG or BL that a photo belongs to a specific blogger. So it is confusing when a photo pops up on a diff name! Personally I like when people do those "Favorite Bloggers" type posts but still shoot an image of their own as the cover photo.

    This is def a topic that needs to be voiced more in the community. And you're right that companies shouldn't be taking advantage of Bloggers work. Just glad that most companies have credited me and my work, although I do wish they'd tag me in the photo rather than just the caption. You win some you lose some I suppose!

    Cindy | www.cindyhyue.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I tend to do my own banner image then do the screenshots in the body of the post? Why do you prefer being tagged out of interest? I've always found it really sneaky! Like no one would check the tags on a photo in their feed but they'll probably read the caption. I guess both would be good though! Xx

      Delete
  17. Totally agree, well said!! BTW Your photo's always look incredible!!

    Grace x
    http://graciebellblogs.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have never used anyone elses photos, unless it is for a "favourite blogs" post, or a wishlist - so like a picture of a product, which is a big grey area... I just prefer to express myself in my photos, and I don't want to use any one elses. I know your blog by your perfectly perfect flatlays, and I know the sunday girl by her soft lighting and feel of the photos... i hope people look at mine and think "hey thats a MakeErinOver" photo! Well that is my thought process! lol

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree - we all have our own unique style that's as much a part of my content as our writing! xx

      Delete
  19. Completely agree, I think it's awful when people use images and don't at least credit them. Good post!

    Lauren x http://www.huggled.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with what you say. There are fabulous websites with free stock images that are available to everyone without the need to steal other people's images!

    Inma x | sunshineandglow.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah and to be honest images are as much a part of a post as writing so it's a way to express yourself xx

      Delete
  21. I can't believe the cheek of that site to use your photo & then to ignore your mails/tweets! I'm glad you stood your ground! xx

    Beautylymin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah let's see if they provide a decent response now...xx

      Delete
  22. You are absolutely right to have addressed this topic hun after the Byrdie exposure. Seriously, they should know themselves how long each shot takes to set up let alone an individual's creativity. Good for you for standing up to it and showing everyone else that its just not good enough xxx
    Sal | UmmBaby Beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah you'd have thought so wouldn't you? :( xx

      Delete
  23. I would feel horrible if someone stole my pictures, they are not the best but lots and lots of effords were put into them. And for a brand to steal, this is beyond unprofessional. If you can manage to run a brand, blog, page you can manage to put a simple link.

    Victoria|tealleo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree - it's really unprofessional xx

      Delete
  24. I just came across a shop on Not On The Highstreet using one of my images ad their own, the strangest part was it wasn't even an image of their product, it was from a completely different company. The item has been suspended but I will be getting in touch with them personally too. Great post Jasmine! Definitely something that needs to be brought to attention more. X

    Megan | http://www.meganjean.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's absolutely shocking! I hope you get it all sorted! xx

      Delete
  25. What a lovely and well written post. When it comes to stealing images or copying any aspect of a persons blog it's just terrible. it's well understood the headache bloggers go through to get their photos just right and having to rely on good lighting and getting fustrated during bad weather because we are unable to take photos. I've been meaning to do a tag on all my photos as a means of anti-theft but i've quite lazy and i have a feeling it will eventually come and bite me in the but. And I also can't stand how brands / companies do at times treat us like we are just silly goes ramblig on about makeup or just in it for free stuff. I don't understand their logic, if something is silly why steal from it. Clearly they prove themselves wrong because our blog was good enough to steal from they just didn't want to give any credit. I personally love being regrammed espeically by blogs I am a major fan of but once again that's recieving credit. Just Yesterday Physician's formula regrammed a photo of mine and gave me credit and i was so happy.

    Wonderful post jas. x

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I've even heard of people cropping watermarks out of pictures to share them without credit - dodgy, dodgy... xx

      Delete
  26. A couple of years ago another blogger, literally stole my entire blog post and posted it as her own. My words, my images, and worst of all, the swatches on MY HAND! Also, she did it for a product that she was sent for PR purposes. I managed to get hold of the company, and they told her to remove it and apologise to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's shocking! I bet that company never spoke to her again...xx

      Delete
  27. It's happened to me a fews times, once with a top magazine on their website and they completely didn't acknowledge they'd done the wrong thing - it's so frustrating and totally theft!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really shocking and not what you'd expect from a legit publication xx

      Delete
  28. Loved this post, Agree with everything 100% !!! I am a very small blogger and "instagramer" but I always try very hard when posting something. 2 times big brands have reposted my photo, once in the insta feed with credit, it helped me to boost some followers, even though it was only a flatlay of their products. But other time another big brand added photo of my makeup look in their insta-story, but without tagging me anywhere. And that was my photo of my creation, from one hand I was happy that they have noticed me, but from the other - I am their customer who paid money for everything I bought, took a photo of my own idea and work, and no "thank you" or my name anywhere? Imagine that number of people to whom it is happening everyday, maybe they dont even notice that they have been reposted! It is just not fair!

    Anete,
    lapoudreblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so upsetting - I'm really sorry this happened to you :( xx

      Delete
  29. Yes you are 100% correct! I've had a blogger steal my images and even most of my post! She then got a lot of comments and interaction from it (more than I received). It's so unfair I worked hard on that post and photo's, then for someone to go and steal it and get all the credit just riles me!

    corrie | corriearnold.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awful! You should've got the blogging mafia to spam them with comments until they took it down ;) xx

      Delete
  30. Can't believe it happened! The thing I dislike most about blogging is that some people automatically think that to be a blogger is so simple and bloggers are foolish etc.
    It's not true!

    www.mariarttr.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly - and it'll only land them in hot water when they're proven wrong xx

      Delete
  31. Well said! It's shocking that people do this without thinking of the consequences. Fortunately (and only to my knowledge) all brands I've worked with have asked for images off the blog/Instagram/Twitter to use on their sites first.

    www.upyourvlog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or even just thinking about how it makes other people feel :( xx

      Delete
  32. I have one company that keeps using my photo of their product on their Instagram to promote it and for giveaways of the product. I also found out that they are using it as their product image on the website where people can buy it from. I ask them to credit me every time I see them post or use it but the just ignore me and it's very frustrating as it is my work making their product look good! So, I completely understand your frustrations and agree that it is not on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would honestly get some of our followers to head to Instagram to drown them in comments calling them out! xx

      Delete
  33. Im glad u picked up this topic Jasmine. Recently a blogger (who is not in my followers and i don't follow her either but is a friend to many other bloggers I know) used my flatlay without crediting me. I happened to see that in the public pool of photos as it was getting a good response so I wrote a comment saying thanks for sharing but i would have loved more if you had credited me. The lady just removed the photo without saying anything and BLOCKED me.
    I loved the idea of sending a formal letter with invoice and penalty to the brands if they haven't taken permission and haven't credited the photographer!

    Ash | www.mstantrum.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's such poor behaviour, I really hope they've learned their lesson xx

      Delete
  34. I totally agree with everything you said. Blogging is not my full time job, I very rarely get paid, but I put my heart and soul into creating my content. For someone to think they can take it and use it as they please is such a slap in the face!

    Roxie | thebeautifulbluebird.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree with you more Roxie! xx

      Delete
  35. It has happened to me on more than one occasions and no one acknowledge they'd done the wrong thing. I called out one person on IG. I think it's just terrible when your images are used and you're not credited. Great post! x

    Ann-Marie | http://facetocurls.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. It's really sad to see people just want to make money from using your hard work without as much as a credit or an apology. Even when I decide to post a pic I might have found on Google on my blog, I always try to put the exact source link instead of just saying "google". I think all bloggers need to pay extra attention to things you highlighted. Good read. So sorry to hear about your experience but it needed to be said.


    www.travelbeautyblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly - every picture was taken by someone and they deserve the credit! xx

      Delete
  37. I'm lucky that this hasn't ever happened to me yet, but I would be SO annoyed! Good for you for sending an invoice- I'm looking forward to hearing about their response!
    { Katie Actually }

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll definitely update you all if I get one! xx

      Delete
  38. Wow that must have been a really frustrating experience. I've never had any of my images taken without my permission that I know of but god that would kill me! Especially because of all the effort I put into my blog photography.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it's frustrating how we can put so much time and effort into something just to have someone hit 'copy and paste' on us :( xx

      Delete
  39. I 100% agree! I've had this happen and seen it happen far too many times! My pet hate is when they regram your photo and just tag you instead of crediting you in the caption. It happens so much and it is not the same! Great post and I hope you get an apology from Byrdie.

    Emma | Rosy Disposition

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate that too - so sneaky! Byrdie have not yet bothered responding...xx

      Delete
  40. I'm so glad you've written about such an important topic! As far as I know, I've only had my photos 'stolen' on Instagram where it is fairly easy to file a report and the offending image is deleted. I think a lot of people don't realise that content creators are who actually PUT photos on the internet - photos don't just exist on Google in a vacuum!

    Lexie
    nailgirl.net

    ReplyDelete
  41. I did a post on this subject on my blog a while ago ( Blog Photography: Know Your Rights ) if anyone is interested. I found my pictures been used by an ebay seller. They even had the audacity to crop out my logo on the picture. When questioned, they responded they found them on google. I sent them an email and mad ebay aware too.

    Thank you for sharing this post. Its good to highlight these topics so bloggers can be aware of their rights and take the correct action when they find themselves in situations like these.

    Liza | http://www.yaalia.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's infuriating, though I suppose at least with eBay there's an 'authority' you can go to in order to get them removed xx

      Delete
  42. All of this should just be common courtesy! Well done you for standing up for yourself though, hopefully they'll learn their lesson from this. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  43. I loved this post! I've had so many people on instagram use my images. They tag you in the photo but not everyone clicks on the image, I always think credit MUST be given in the caption otherwise it may still go un-noticed. I also had an issue with a PR company using an image, they apologised but I still feel like I was put on the "not to work with " list because I stood up for myself. Great post! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree with that! I've pulled people up on that and they haven't stopped working with me :) xx

      Delete
  44. Great post and well-thought arguments. I've also called out some Instagram accounts posting other peoples content without giving them credit. I never used to care until I started creating content myself and realised how much work actually goes into creating great photos! Keep up the good work!

    LIINALOVESXO

    ReplyDelete
  45. I put a lot of my photos up on to my Pinterest account and found that people were just taking my photos as if they were their own. I wasn't impressed when I went scrolling down my Instagram feed and found a picture of my bedroom on someone else's account as if it was their own! I couldn't agree more with your post, everyone should give credit if they're using a photo that's not there's. Kerrie xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree- no matter how perfect the image you see on Pinterest, it's someone out there's work xx

      Delete

Thank you for your comment - I read every single one!

Though I may not be able to reply to each individual comment, I always check out the blogs of people who leave genuine comments and comment back as much as possible (so please do not spam!)

If you have a question please check back for my reply or tweet me @jasminetalksblg

xx

© Jasmine Talks Beauty. Design by MangoBlogs.