While this may be a refresher course for some this may be news to others. You cannot use any image you find on Google images for any blog or article unless you have research that picture and have authorization to use it. So how do you know you can use it? Well, the best way to know is to just not use it at all and find other sources for pictures and images for your blogs, articles and website.Otherwise, you need to track down where the image originated and this may be difficult to do.
So where can I find images to use in my blog posts or articles?
The last thing you want to have is a cease and desist order or a bill from Getty images or Image rights saying you have used their image without attribution or licensing. To avoid this you need to look for images that either are free of copy rights or royalties, allow attribution or credit to the photographer, or you simply pay for an image service or per photo.
Flickr.com - Here's the thing though and here me out... ASK ASK ASK!! Flickr is a great resource for great images but you MUST ask for permission before using. I have to tell you that I have only been asked once to pay which I declined. All other times people are happy to have you use their images with attribution or credit. They usually want to see the post where it's displayed too. BUT YOU MUST ASK!
Wiki Commons has thousands of images, many of which you can use without any attribution or copyright permission. But they have several rules and instructions depending on the image. What you want to look for if you choose to use this image source, (any can be a great place if you want specific localized images)
This is about the only one that you're pretty much guaranteed you won't have any issues with non-attribution or copyright rules. While the licensing and rules may change it's still not a bad idea to post where you got the image for any future questions.
Another licensing will be creative Commons -attribution share alike 3.0 which will look like this.
This means that some rights are still reserved and follows under a copyleft type of license. You must attribute or credit the photographer exactly as stated. Here is an example of this permission. Even under this licensing it's not a bad idea to simply e-mail the photographer and ask for their permission. I've come across one of these that the photographer didn't even know their image was on a page with this licensing.
Another licensing is the GNU free documentation license. This gives you the right to copy and redistribute the work or sell commercially even, but the original source code must be available to the works recipient. This is probably a better choice rather than just simply the Creative Commons attribution and it's always smart to leave credit where credit is due.
These are the most common forms that you'll find on Wiki Commons but each image will have its specific distribution and user rules. Be sure to follow them to the letter.
But what if you don't want to fiddle with all of that?
You can simply purchase photos from several reputable image sources or find public domain sources. I use iClipArt.com which offers an extremely reasonable annual fee and gives you access to thousands of images. But for even more high-quality, localized images I use PhotoDune.com which charges you $1-$5 per image depending on the size. Yes this may seem like a lot, but if you're doing some high-quality articles or website work you may want to spend one or two dollars to get the image you really want.
There there are others out there and everyone has their favorites but of course nothing beats taking the photo yourself. While you may not be able to get the exact image that you want, remember, don't just copy and paste from Google images. It could cost you much more than a simple e-mail asking for permission.