A little while ago I wrote an email to my followers explaining why they needed to understand what images they could use for their Pinterest pins. It caused a BIG reaction, with lots of confusion and lots of questions as a result. It’s prompted me to write this post, giving everyone more information and explaining things in a little more detail. If you want to make sure you’re following the law and won’t end up with a lawsuit hanging over your head, read on and follow this advice.

The Background:

If you know anything about Pinterest, you’ll likely know that the best images to use are those that are high quality, high res and inspirational. You need images that resonate with pinners, those that are going to stand out on the feed and entice people to click through to find out more about the content behind the image. They need to be portrait in orientation and for the most part, include no faces. But where do you find these images?

Sourcing your Images:

The best kind of images to use are those that you’ve taken yourself. If you’re a business owner it’s likely that you have product imagery for your stock, hopefully in a lifestyle setting as these always perform best. If you’re a blogger, it’s easy to take pictures for your blog posts, and you don’t even need a camera as mobile phones can take great photos if you know how to use them. A little editing and you’ve got the ideal photo for Pinterest.

What to Avoid:

This is the important bit. You must never take an image from Pinterest and use it as your own. EVER. You should never copy that image and put it on your blog post. And you should never take that image and use it as a pin to promote that post. Absolutely don’t do this, it’s against copyright law and you risk being taken to court and sued. I know you probably see other bloggers doing it. Maybe even big, successful bloggers. they take images and use them as examples in their post, they might even credit the owner of the image, or Pinterest themselves. But that doesn’t mean it’s ok. They’re either ignorant of the rule, or more likely are just risking it. Admittedly, that’s completely your call, and your risk to take of course but I speak from experience when I say, it’s probably not worth the risk.

If you do get a cease and desist letter, take the image down immediately. Apologise. And then hope it doesn’t get taken any further. You can have a lawsuit against you and be fined for using an image where you don’t the copyright. Do you want that hanging over you? The worry and the stress of it all, isn’t worth it. Not when you can find so many amazing images online FOR FREE.

How to Find the BEST Images:

There are lots of places you can access amazing images suitable for Pinterest that are copyright free. What does this mean? Well it means that you’re free to use them to promote your business or your blog. You can use them to make a pin, adding text and your website name if you want to. There are few restrictions. It’s always worth checking if there’s a creative commons licence though, just to be sure there aren’t any restrictions at all, and that you don’t need to credit the image or the photographer in any way. If that is the case, these images are perfect for businesses who want a generic, lifestyle image to represent their webpage or set of pages to help sell their products. After all this is exactly what we’re after from Pinterest, right?

Download my list of websites for copyright free, Pinterest friendly images from the resource hub. Grab the list of 10 sites perfect for Pinterest images, free for you to use in your promotions. Just leave your email address to be able to download the sheet, and gain access to the Resource Hub with lots of other great Pinterest resources too. Click the image below. 

Are you using copyright free images in your pinning?

If you’ve got any questions, leave a comment below, and don’t forget to pin this post for later:

Why you should NEVER steal any images off Pinterest and use them on your own sites to promote your own content. It's illegal and you can get sued. There's a great FREE guide included here too, on all the websites offering Pinterest friendly, copyright free images you are free to use.

Jen x