If you own a blog and you frequently browse Instagram, chances are, you probably saw a nice photo that would probably fit really well on your blog or website. May it be a photo of a place, a certain item, or whatever.
But, can you actually legally use a certain person’s Instagram photos on your blog or website?
Without getting into the deep lawyer stuff, 99% of the time, no.
Why? To put it really simply, you simply don’t own the photos of other people on Instagram. And unless a certain Instagrammer permitted you to use his/her photos on your blog or website, you are not allowed to use it.
Using a person’s digital content without permission also falls under plagiarism, and plagiarism in most countries is a major offense. You wouldn’t want to pay fines or potentially get jail time over a lousy photo, right?
So, what can I do instead?
Use websites that provides stock photos instead.
There are great online platforms that provides stock photos for people to freely use on their blogs and websites. Why not use those instead? Most of the photos are in High Definition(HD) too, which is a huge plus.
Our personal picks:
Which one of these is the best? Well, obviously, the paid/premium platform will almost always be the superior platform. If you’re already earning good amounts of money from your blog or website, it might be a good idea to pay for Shutterstock as they have a huge variety of stock photos to choose from.
Especially if you’re just new to blogging, the free platforms
Really want a certain Instagram photo? Simply ask for permission!
If for whatever reason this certain Instagram photo you saw is so good that you can’t find a decent alternative on other websites, simply go ask for permission.
You can simply send a quick message to the person like so: “Hi! I’m Jeff, do you mind if I use this photo of yours?”
And if the photo owner agrees, then you’re golden! Though make sure to make it 100% clear on what you’re going to use the person’s photos for.
On the other hand, if the photo owner doesn’t want you to use his/her photo, you can offer him/her an amount of money, if you’re really that desperate.
Depending on how big the following of that Instagrammer is, start offering a small amount of money, and just slowly bid upwards probably until the photo owner finds it worth it to permit you to use the photo in exchange for the money.
In the end, if the photo owner still declines, well, you’re out of luck.
Seriously though, unless really really necessary, just use stock photos. They’re good enough in our opinion.
And if you’re thinking of using that person’s Instagram photo without his/her permission, as you think he/she wouldn’t find out anyway, stop. Trust us when we say that it’s not worth it to go on a dispute over a photo. Imagine being fined for using a single photo? It’s simply not worth it.
Chances are, a photo wouldn’t make or break a certain blog post anyway. So go focus on creating great content instead!