Saturday, August 30, 2014

Using Getty Images On Your Genealogy Blog

Genealogy blogger love to share their research discoveries, tips and tools with each other. computer monitor2 In most cases, our research successes come from many hours, days, weeks or even years of concentrated research effort.   When we finally find our long lost ancestor or family member, we rejoice and want to share our success with the world.

Most amateur genealogists aren’t wealthy.  We don’t make money from our work.  We do the research out of love of family as well as a deep desire to find who we are in relation to time, place and those around us.  Much if not all of our free cash goes into the expenses associated with genealogy research.

We are an army of Junior Sherlock Holmesian characters searching for clues, documents, stories and photos that uncover at least some of the truths about our ancestors and their families and lives.  Granted, few of us wear a deerstalker cap, smoke a pipe and carry a magnifying glass while on our quest but our spouses usually have a name for our genealogy “Go-Kits” and research demeanor. 

We write about our research successes on our blogs.  Our logic is that others will benefit from our research and share the happiness associated with our discoveries.   We want our blog posts to be attractive, convey knowledge, excitement and accurate information. 

It isn’t words that tell the story however.  It’s the images that we include with the words. 

In an August 2014 New York Times interview, Jonathan Klein, co-founder and chief executive of Getty Images, noted that “The world’s most-spoken language isn’t Mandarin – it’s pictures.”   Pictures grab our attention and can convey a wealth of information.


Mr. Klein notes that Getty has changed their business model to a degree to allow for the embedded non-commercial use of their images in blogs and other social media sites.  The rules are very clear about how they can be used and for what purposes if you want to use them for free.  The embed code contains documentation of the image source along with links to Getty and other tools. 

When you use the embed code from Getty, it generates traffic to their site.  They are a commercial entity.  They and their photographers and artists derive their income from selling their creations and catalogs for commercial and other uses.  Allowing folks like genealogy bloggers to embed their images in our posts generates a lot of traffic to their site.   Mr. Klein noted in the interview that, “Basically, 99 percent of the traffic on will never buy a picture.” ….  but all of the traffic has significantly increased their sales.  Their new business model has been disruptive but it is translating into successfully achieving their bottom line business goals.

So, genealogy bloggers, how can you legally use the fabulous Getty images in your blog posts to both improve its style and visual impact and thank and support Getty Images for the use of their images?

It is simple. 

  1. Follow the rules completely.   Embed the image.  Getty gives you the code.  NEVER copy an image and include it in your posts.  Embed only.  The embed html code provides the links to Getty and the other social sharing tools they want you to use as part of their licensing agreement.  Read their FAQ, “Working with embedded images” before you do anything.
  2. Find the image you want to use by going to
    1. Mouse over the image that you want to use.
    2. Click on the embed icon on the bottom right. </> getty_embed_icon_arrow
    3. Copy the “Embed this image” code from the popup window.getty_embed_code
    4. Paste it in your blog post by selecting the HTML button or tab.

That’s it.  Add some HTML code if you want to center it, etc., but it is just that easy.

Everyone wins.  You get wonderful images for your non-commercial blog and Getty gets a lot of exposure and links to their site which result in increased sales of their products.

Posted 30 August 2014 by Lee R. Drew on the Lineagekeeper's Genealogy Blog