Image Sourcing for Dummies!

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Because as members of the creative community y'all should have some respect for artists and credit them properly!

"found on google/photobucket/deviantart/tumblr/flikr" is not sourcing; . Sourcing is not saying where you found something, but rather who the creator is. If you can link to a website, great! But even getting the artist's name or username is usually sufficient. With that, people can perform a simple search to find the artist, themselves. This makes sure that the artist gets the recognition they deserve for the piece, and also directs traffic to their portfolio if they have one, giving them some extra page hits and chances for sales.
  1. Use a reverse image search like google or Tineye.
    Make sure you are searching the original image, or as close to it as you can get, and not one that's been edited (ie; had a black and white filter applied or had something photoshopped in like a background, item, or face). If it is an edited pic you want to use you'll need to do two searches; the original and the edited.

  2. If you cant find the original upload through this, examine the image for watermarks or artist signature. Try searching for the artist with this information. Sometimes images have a date on them which can narrow your search

  3. Ask around; find a community relevant to the photo you are hunting down, and ask if anyone knows who made it. If your photo is all over the internet, very popular, etc, you can usually get an answer, or at the very least a good lead, pretty quickly
If you have exhausted these options and still have no idea who the creator of the picture you want to use is, I personally recommend choosing a different pic. If you really can't do that, then at least disclaim that you are not the artist, and are unable to track down who is. Extend an open invitation for anyone who can identify the source to let you know.

Although I really really recommend simply appending a "credit to X" where the picture is posted, art credit does not have to blemish your post with a text caption; you can simply save the credit information somewhere on your computer so that you can provide the source if asked. I like to save images as the source name; ie: Person_by_Jane_Doe.jpg, this way anyone who saves the image from where I posted it gets the source, and it's easy for me to find if I need to remember it later.

There you have it! Now you're equipped to paste pictures in your profiles, roleplays, and anywhere else you like in an ethical manner which supports artists! Aren't you proud of yourself?

Do you have any tips & tricks for hunting down an image source? Post 'em below!
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