Those of you who write blogs using WordPress now have a new tool to help you find quality photos to illustrate your words: the Photo Dropper. The Photo Dropper allows you to find Creative Commons-licensed photos on flickr and add them to your blog. You find images by doing keyword searches, and after you have selected the shots, the Photo Dropper even adds proper attribution links. It’s easy, it’s free, and you never have to leave the WordPress dashboard while you are working.
That said, we should add a few caveats. First, be sure you understand the various types of licensing before you begin. Some images cannot legally be altered. Others can be used only for noncommercial sites. The various types of licensing are clearly explained in an article on skelliewag.org.
Bloggers must also understand some basic principles about model releases and copyright infringement. Just because a photographer allows you to use a photograph does not mean that you can freely use that image without regard to its content. If a picture shows a recognizable person, you may need a model release to use that picture on your blog. If a picture shows a corporate logo or mascot, you may need permission from the company to use that image as well. An article posted on thephotographybiz.com explains why you need to understand what is involved in order to protect yourself.
These warnings are not meant to dissuade you from using the Photo Dropper. This is a nifty tool. The warnings are merely designed to be a heads-up of sorts. They are reminders that even though this tool can save you time finding pictures, it cannot do everything for you. You might still need to get model releases, permission, or else find different images.