Not that this is a confession or anything, but…
You may have noticed that since returning from my blogging break at the beginning of the year, some of the images now featured on My Bellyful are credited to other people. I realise that using free images isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I thought I’d write a quick post about why I’ve started incorporating them on my blog.
When I first started blogging back in September 2014, I only ever posted images that I’d taken myself. I have a photography degree (not that I’m boasting…ahem!) so it was important for me to be able to showcase my photography skills as well as my writing.
Back then, taking a good photo often took as long as the actual writing (apart from being a bit of a perfectionist, my photo editing software is installed on a very, very old laptop which takes an extraordinarily long time to load!), but I enjoyed the photographic element of the blog and I was proud that all the work contained on it (apart from guest posts) was my own.
Since returning to the blogoshpere in January, however, my personal circumstances have changed and my time is now extremely limited. Subsequently, I’ve found that I can’t always write the posts that I want to write and take the images to run alongside them (also, buying props has become really expensive and I’m slowly running out of people to use as models!) and so I’ve taken to using free stock photography.
Every image is credited, whether it’s a usage requirement or not. That’s a particularly important factor for me when using other people’s images and I’ve recently rummaged back through my content to make sure that all photography that isn’t my own is stated as such. I know that working for free can be hard and the very least these photographers deserve is a bit of credit for their time, energy and skills.
Now, I don’t want you thinking that I’ve just become super lazy (although potentially there is a degree of truth in that!) and so I want to stress that not all images featured on My Bellyful are now free ones. I make sure that I dust off my camera and start up my old laptop (usually a good hour before I want to use it!) for my regular Monthly Musings segment and I’m hoping that, in time, my blog will once again feature images that are solely my own.
Until then, sites such as Pexels and Unsplash are really doing me a favour – not only do they save me endless amounts of time, they also feature some truly outstanding photos that I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to take myself!
What do you think? Do you use free photography on your blog or is it important for you to take all your images yourself? Let me know in the comments below!
Please note: Using free photography databases should not be confused with simply stealing someone else’s photos. I would never knowingly post another person’s work on my blog without their permission to do so and neither should you.