Finding and using images in commission writer articles

Canon Camera

Properly crediting photographers for their work is very important. Image: rawheadrex/Flickr/CC BY-SA

All articles submitted to the Personal Money Store Commissioned Writer program must include a photograph or illustration that is licensed for commercial use. Most often, the easiest way to find commercially licensed photographs is to search the Flickr photo-sharing site or Wikimedia Commons. These photographs must be correctly credited, and the HTML should be included at the top of the text of your article. Here is how to find, credit, and insert the photographs into your article.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a system photographers can use to license their work for use by others. Flickr, Wikimedia and other photo hosting sites online make photo sharing easy by using images that are uploaded onto their websites and licensed under Creative Commons. It is important that you understand all six types of licenses Creative Commons supports, how to determine which type of license a photo carries, and how to properly credit the author; using Creative Commons licensed photographs incorrectly violates copyright laws. There are three Creative Commons Licenses that allow for commercial use and that can be used in commission articles.

  • Attribution: This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak and build upon an image, even commercially, as long as they credit the original creation.
  • Attribution Share Alike: This license lets others remix, tweak and build upon a work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
  • Attribution No Derivatives: This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the photographer.

How to find and use commercially licensed photos

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Images” in the top left corner of the homepage
  3. Click “advance image search” next to the Google search bar
  4. In the first box, type in a keyword term related to the type of photo you would like to use (for example, “money” or “hiking boots”)
  5. In the Usage Rights section, drop down and select “labeled for commercial reuse” and click “search”
  6. Once you find an image you would like to use, click on it to open the image in its original page
  7. Paste this code into your article, above all the text:
    [ caption align=”alignright” caption=”CAPTION HERE” ]<a rel=”nofollow” href=”IMAGE URL”><img title=”IMAGE TITLE” src=”IMAGE LOCATION” alt=”IMAGE ALTERNATE TEXT”/></a>[ /caption ]
  8. At the top of window with the image open, highlight the URL and copy the information. Highlight IMAGE URL and paste the URL, keeping the quotation marks.
  9. Right-click on the image you have found (if you are in Flickr, choose “Medium 500” then right-click the resulting image) and click “copy image location.” Highlight IMAGE LOCATION and replace it with the copied location. It should end in .jpg or .gif. If it ends in .html or .php, you will need to try again.
  10. Fill in the IMAGE TITLE and IMAGE ALTERNATE TEXT with a phrase that describes the image (for example “A pair of large hiking boots.”)
  11. Finally, where the code says “CAPTION HERE”, replace the text with a single-sentence caption for the image. This should describe the photo and its relation to your article (for example “Hiking is a popular low-cost hobby”). At the end of the caption, include the proper crediting information — see below.

Crediting images found on Flickr

We prefer you accredit the photo source as follows, unless specifically stated otherwise by the author: [author name]/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Where to find the photo license on Flickr

Use this Flickr photo page as an example:

On the image page, click on “some rights reserved” located in the side box on the right. The photo conditions listed are Attribution and Share Alike. Using the Creative Commons Licenses, you know that the symbol for these conditions is “cc by-sa.”

Crediting images found on Wikimedia Commons

If you would like to use images on Wikimedia Commons, please make it a priority to thoroughly read the media directory terms of use to meet all free license requirements.

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