Points to Ponder When Posting Pictures: Part I

When you're adding an image to your practice's website, whether it's a photo, graphic or illustration, there are several factors that you should take into consideration.

Failing to go over the below points for every single image featured on your website can result in warnings, fines and legal action against you and your practice. So be very careful when it comes to what images you upload, and where you get them from.

Here are four points to consider when posting an image on your website:

  • Rights. For any and all of the photos, pictures and graphics you choose to use on your website, make sure that you have the correct rights to upload and showcase them on your site. Whether you buy the rights to use an image from a stock photo agency and/or post photos that you already own, always make certain that you have the proper rights to an image.
  • Ownership. Do you know exactly who owns the photos that you're using on your practice's site? It's important to do some research and double-check, since even images that are identified as royalty free (and therefore do not require you to pay royalties or license fees to use them) on photo hosting and sharing sites such as Flickr can actually be stolen from another source and incorrectly identified.
  • Permission. Even if you own the rights to an image and have taken it yourself, make sure that you have permission to use it from the subject you have photographed. For example, if you take before and after photos of a patient and would like to display them on your site, you must have explicit permission from that patient to have their face or body shown on your site even if you do not identify them by name in any way. Have the patient sign a consent form before posting the photos and make sure that they understand where the photos will appear on your site.
  • Duration. If you've paid for the use of an image from a stock photo agency, pay close attention to how long you're allowed to have the image up on your site. Some agencies only let you use their images commercially for a limited amount of time, and if you keep them up for longer than your agreement allows, you risk getting hit with fees.

Read part II of our tips for posting photos in this week's blog posts!

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