When designing a web site (or any piece of marketing designed to connect with your customer) it is important to use the right imagery.

Never borrow images for use on your web site

This week we were contacted by a client. We have looked after their web site for over 5 years and it serves them very well. They are a specialist dental practice and in the early days of the site development we arranged a photo shoot to take some specific photos of dental procedures. The photos were taken only to be used on their own web site and any other marketing materials.

A few days ago they contacted me to report that one of the photos was being used on a Facebook advert for dental training courses. Looking up the company I quickly found the offending image. I phoned the company who were a specialist dental marketing company. I’ll repeat this… they are a specialist marketing company. I asked how they obtained the photo… “we just googled for a photo, we do it all the time, it great, why?” I informed them they could not simply use any photo they find. Copyright exists on the vast majority of photographs and they must obtain permission. “oh, we didn’t know that!” I politely asked them to remove  the photo to which they agreed and I followed up with an email to confirm the request.

The photo was being used in several places. They removed it from 2 adverts and left the others in place. I repeated my request and they removed another, and after a third request as they still had not removed all instances I received an obnoxious email stating  “Have you got nothing better to do with your time than to scroll through my timeline. The only person who is likely to every have found it is you. It’s now duly been removed, hope you find something more interesting to occupy your time now”.

All the photos have now been removed.

Stock photography is cheap

I replied that as stock photography is so cheap why do you want to steal other peoples work? You can buy stock photos from online libraries for as low as £0.70. They never replied and the photos have all now been removed.

So when looking for images for your own web site or marketing, its fine to use Google images to get ideas, but never steal them. Go to the stock libraries. There are numerous online stock libraries around:

www.dreamstime.com

www.istockphoto.com

www.fotolia.com

www.123rf.com

Or better still hire a professional photographer to take custom images just for you. We have an in-house photographer as well as recommendations for several others depending on the subject and requirement.