I’ve been wanting to start a series for a long time on the questions that I frequently get asked on blogging basics (hence my creative name – Blog Basics!)

I’m kicking off today with a subject I know is confusing for so many, but with this nifty graphic, should become a lot clearer.

The above image is by Pia Jane Bijkerk, Yvette Van Boven and Erin Loechner and explains the way through most sticky crediting situations. Over the years of writing Polka Dot Bride my crediting process has become more and more vigilant as I’ve read of more and more of photographers becoming unhappy with the way bloggers use their images.

Here are five things I’ve worked out for my own processes:

– Pinterest.com, Tumble and Weheartit.com do not count as credits. You’re crediting the website you found it on, but missing the original artist. I always check back through the scours to make sure I find the original photographer or creator of the image. If I can’t find the original photographer I leave it out.

– If it’s via another blogger, I  add that in too (because sometimes when you’ve worked hard on a layout or a piece and you see it pop up on another blog without any credit to where they found it, it can be a little awkward!) So my credit might read “Image by …. via …. blog).

– Read copyright notices on websites carefully, some photographers have written notes to allow bloggers to use their images freely as long as appropriate credit is given, others note that you should contact first.

-If using Flickr, do a search for images which have “Creative Commons” permissions. Wylio is a great online tool I found via Bloggers Domain which allows you to find images that are marked as creative commons and will even help you re-size them for your blog post. (But make sure you link back to the photographer!)

– If in doubt, email the photographer before you use their images. Photographers are often more than happy to allow you to use their shots with permission.

For additional reading, check out this post on Design*Sponge on Photo Usage and this on on Frolic! about crediting photographs.

Image by Pia Jane Bijkerk, Yvette Van Boven and Erin Loechner.