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Stop Labeling Your Photos "Source: Pinterest"!

Brittany Witt Maker Monologues

You see it on Instagram, Facebook, Flicker, Tumblr, EVERYWHERE! People seeing a pretty photo that would totally match the aesthetic they're going for on there social feed but one problem. Who's photo is it? "Oh, I'll just source it as Pinterest. That's what everyone else does."

I'm not exempt from this degrading act either. Just a few weeks ago I was scrolling Instagram and seen a lovely photo that I wanted to re-post so freaking badly! I seen that the person sourced it as "Pinterest." Then my dilemma hit, I know how I would feel if someone found one of my photos on the internet and didn't know who I was and sourced it as Pinterest.

Victory BloomsMegan Dunlap of Victory Blooms, VictoryBlooms.com

But I did it anyway. I am 100% guilty. The worst part is, a guy who was following me knew the artist and corrected me along with tagging the artist! I was humiliated to say the least. I quickly fixed the tag and apologized. The worst part is I've shared this artists' work before, so if I had just spent a little amount of time researching I would have found out the owner of this art and this could've all been avoided.

I can assure you that will never, ever happen again. But you still see those annoying, inaccurate source tags on these beautiful works of art. As if Pinterest is this guy who is multi-talented and can take all these pretty photos, draw like Michelangelo and knit a sweater better than your grandma. Hate to break it to you, Pinterest is not some talented guy and it's not responsible for all the images you see on Pinterest (or Google for that matter).

Soft Pastel Palette Nina Klein"Soft Pastel Palette" by artist Nina Klein

So, ranting isn't helpful at all nor does it solve the issue. Therefore I'm going to give you some tips on how to cite images you find on the internet so artists everywhere can get credit for their work (and hopefully help the issue that some artists are afraid of sharing their work for this reason alone).

  1. When you find an image you like on the internet, look around the web page it's on, sometimes the credited artist will be underneath italicized, or even on the image itself.
  2. Some artwork will have a title. You can often Google search the title and find the artist's name.
  3. Do a reverse Google Image search: http://images.google.com/ click the camera icon and upload the photo. You may have to do a long search before finding the original source. If you're not having luck, click "Any size" and usually the largest image is the original.
  4. You can also use Tineye to do an image search.
  5. Check the bottom of the website for a copyright "Site Development by [site author] all layout & photos © [website name] unless otherwise noted."
  6. If all else fails, the original source could've pulled the image down. In that case, leave it alone. Whatever you do, do not source someone who is not the owner of the image.
Rhodochrosite with Quartz and Chalcopyrite Pink CrystalRhodochrosite with Quartz and Chalcopyrite - Fabre Minerals, FabreMinerals.com

    Let's say you found your source, yay! Make sure you cite your image correctly when you post it to your social media or blog.

    If you're posting on social media make sure to tag the owner if applicable. If not, make sure to spell out their full name. Most of the time this is enough to credit the artist. But you can go a step further and add the title and date of the image or artwork, if known, and include the gallery or museum the artwork is being held at, if applicable.

    May there be less credit given to Pinterest and more credit given to original artists!

    Are you guilty of crediting Pinterest (or other)? Do you have a fool-proof way to source original artists? Post a comment below and tell us about it! 

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