How to reverse image search

OK, I realise I’ve been away from the blog for a while and now I am back and writing about a completely different topic than you are used to seeing here.  But stick with me…because today I am tackling an issue that I feel quite strongly about – namely, crediting the source of an image – and rather than simply rant about why it is wrong, I want to offer a solution (because quite honestly, it’s not that hard).  And let me just say from the outset – Pinterest is never the source.  Writing #inspo #pinterest #sourcenotknown or any other meaningless tag does not constitute a credit.  Not even close.

But let’s start with why you shouldn’t use an image without a proper credit.

How to reverse image search

It’s pretty simple really…it’s because you have no right to it.  When an image is created it is owned by the photographer (or sometimes the client who paid for it) and just as you wouldn’t presume to walk into someone’s house and take one of their items without asking, you shouldn’t consider the images you see online as there for the taking either.  At best it is impolite and at worst is a copyright infringement.

So why do so many people do it?  There seem to be a few reasons…I think often people don’t understand that the image is owned by someone, they see everyone else doing it, they don’t think it’s a big deal or they don’t think anyone will find out.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the images we see on blogs, pinterest or instagram are all owned by the person who created them and the least we can do is credit that person for the work that they produced (permission to use the image would also be ideal) and some kind words about how much you love their work wouldn’t go astray either!

So if you want to do the right thing and rise above the masses who repost imagery without credit I am going to share with you the best way to find the source (and therefore be able to credit) the image.

How to reverse image search

Reverse Image Search

Go to google and type in ‘Reverse Image Search’ and you will get these two websites –  Tineye or CTRLQ.com – and both work in the same way.

Let’s say you are on Pinterest and really love an image and would like to repost it to your instagram account.  The first thing you do is click on the image to get to the website that pinned it and sometimes that will be the source of the image – but not always.

If it’s not, then simply upload the image (you can take a simple screen shot) and drop it into Tineye or CTRLQ.com who will search the web and within seconds you will have a list of websites that have used the image.  One of these websites listed will likely be the originator of the image – in my experience you will usually find the source of the image in the top 5 website listings but in some cases you might need to go to page 2 or 3 of the google search.

Persevere if you really want to use that particular image – and if you can’t find the original source, maybe choose a similar image from Pinterest where you can…because let’s face it, there are a million beautiful images to choose from!

I have tested out these sites and it is amazing what you will find – it is the perfect tool for finding the source and discovering the people behind some great original content.  But it can also be disappointing when you discover (as I did) that one of the instagram accounts you follow has been using images as their own when they weren’t – not just that they had been relying on the standard #inspo #pinterest to lazily cover off on the fact it wasn’t theirs – but they were actually claiming credit for images that weren’t theirs – several times.  When I found out I felt deceived as I had liked and commented on those images believing them to belong to the account holder (deceiving your followers is not a great idea – not to mention that it is a blatant copyright infringement and against Instagram’s Terms of Use which could get your account shut down).

How to reverse image search

And so finally, here is my other simple solution..

If the image that you want to repost is on instagram – just ask.  I can not tell you how lovely it is to receive a DM on instagram that says ‘I loved this image, would it be OK if I reposted it?’  I will never say no.  When so few people show courtesy on reposting these days, this kind of polite request goes a tremendously long way – it may even get you a new follower.

So join me in being a good digital citizen – curating images can be a wonderful contribution to your feed, just pass on the credit and feel good about doing the right thing.  To encourage everyone I am starting a new hashtag #ipostandcredit.  Whenever you use an image that isn’t yours, pop this hashtag in your comment to show you are committed to crediting the source of the images you use and I will highlight an account each month on my own feed who is doing a beautiful job of curating and crediting.

Lastly, I want to share with you a very insightful blog post from Art & Anthem who recently wrote a piece titled:

Regramming on Instagram: How it can affect the perception of your brand

It is a well thought out article that really gets to the heart of why it’s important to not overly-rely on reposting and curating images.

And phew…! with this post I am back to blogging.  I am filing this article under Home at the moment as I don’t have a category that it fits under (I know..I went a bit left field with this one today!)  Don’t worry, I’ll be back next week with more interior or food inspiration!  Wishing you all a happy week ahead.

Lottie 2

P.S. Over at The Assembly Hall I am teaching an Instagram for Business workshop in August.  We will get to grips with all things hashtags, pods, posts, planning and more on best practices too.  So if you are wanting to get on top of your instagram game for your business then come and join me for a morning.  Sign up on the website.

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