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How to Build an Article Photo File

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Written by Donna Thacker   

Chances are that if you write articles for the web, you need a reliable photo source to put with the article. You have to be careful of the sources you use. Content sites expect you to credit the proper source for copyright protection. Some people use creative commons photos, but how do you really know those are safe to use? You don’t. The best way to know a photo is safe to use with your articles is to take it yourself. You don’t need to be a professional photographer or have a fancy camera.

Invest in a digital camera. In some instances, your accountant may allow a work deduction for it, so keep the receipt. Buy the best camera you can afford. Most of them come with a program for your computer so it is an easy installation. The camera should come with the cord to hook it from the camera to your computer. Check for all these things to make sure you have everything you need.

Keep the camera handy both at home and when you go out. Anything can be a potential article photograph. Do not photograph people without their permission, as you may need a model release to use the photo. Landscapes, trees, flowers and skies are all fair game! Think about the type articles you write. What kind of photos do you use with them?

Your home can be a great source of photos for your articles. If you write about food, photograph your fruits and vegetables. Does that crock pot full of stew look terrific? Get a picture. Is your table set for dinner and looking great? Grab the camera. Start looking at everything as a possible article photo. You will be amazed at your creativity.

Spend a couple of hours going on a photo adventure. Walk around a park, a hiking trail or a lake or river. It will give you a break from the computer, yet you are still working. Remember that photos are easily deleted, so even if you decide later that you don’t like the picture or have no use for it, take the picture anyway. You may not be able to recreate it later.

Start a file on your computer called “Article Photos.” Upload your photos to this file. Leave them at their original size until you need them. Your photo software will allow you to edit and resize them later. Different content sites will have varying requirements for size. You may also decide to crop the photo and only use a section of it. Work with the photo software and get creative!

Taking your own photos for your content articles is the best way to insure that you absolutely know who the creator is and who the copyright belongs to. Besides it is fun to see your own name as the copyright holder of those great photos!

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