As artists, we’re a visual bunch.

Adding photos to your blog can be a great way to break up the visual space, give your post some personality, and increase the quality of your brand. Images on your blog can add something beautiful to look at, but they can also be something much more—they can help grow your art business.

While it may seem straightforward, there are a few important aspects to keep in mind when using images on your blog. You can’t just pull any old photo off the web and put it into your post. You want to make sure you are using images legally and in a manner that is maximizing your potential for growth.

We have put together a list of image resources and guidelines to help enhance your art blog posts.

Connect With Your Audience

People are already coming to your articles because they are intrigued by your work. Using the right images on your blog offers the opportunity for your readers to see a different side of your personality.

By using images that give a personal connection to your work, readers are able to get to know you as an artist and person on a deeper level, creating added value to your artwork. Artist Lisa Mcshane, took her readers along for the ride as she set out on a residency at the Petrified Forest National Park.

By including images of the adobe house that she would be staying in and photos of her working outside at the easel, her blog posts make it easier for readers to create an emotional connection to the work that she is creating there.

Lisa McShane took her readers along on her journey to the Petrified Forest National Park by posting images of her trip on her blog.

Teach Your Readers Something

Images are great for showing a behind-the-scenes peek into your process and studio life. Become a resource for your readers in whatever area you feel most knowledgeable or passionate about.

Do you know a ton about printmaking or gouache painting? Show your readers the tools and tricks of the trade through your images like portrait artist Linda Tracey Brandon does on on her blog. They will view you as an authority in your field, which will keep them coming back to see what else you have to say.

By sharing images of her paint palette and the brands of paint she uses to mix perfect skin tone colors, Linda both documents her process and educates her readers.

Linda Tracey Brandon demonstrates how she mixes her paints in a tutorial about skin tone blending on her blog.

Use High-Quality Images of Your Work

This one might seem obvious, but high-quality images can be the difference between a so-so blog post and one that is shared and reposted over and over. Pay attention to lighting, upload quality, and composition to get the most mileage out of your posts.

Contemporary abstract artist Shane Robinson, shows how great photography can work in your favor on his blog. He includes large, crisp, and colorful photos that highlight his work and make you want to stop scrolling to read more.

Shane Robinson uses well-lit and eye-catching images at the the top of his blog posts to showcase his work.

Share the Spotlight

Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield suggests diversifying your content by featuring other artists on your blog. This is a great way to give accolades to fellow artists, build online relationships, and grow your readership.

She cautions, however, that you should always post images with a full credit. And, if there is a question about whether the artist would find the content of your site objectionable, make sure you ask them before publishing.

We suggest notifying the artist before posting any of their images—that way you can give them a heads up that you will be featuring them as well!

Familiarize Yourself With Copyright Laws

With so many images on the web, it may be tempting to hop onto Google or Flickr and take images from there. Don’t! Many images on the web are protected under copyright laws and you face infringement penalties if you use images without permission, or without the right attribution.

Sprout Social goes into further detail about how to attribute your photos in this post.

Most simply: do your research, read the terms of use, give credit where credit is due, and when in doubt, use a different image.

We used this free Creative Commons image in our blog post, “How to Sell Your Work to Interior Designers”, and made sure to provide attribution.

Search for Free Stock Photos

Save your money for precious art supplies and check out these free and uncopyrighted stock photography sites:

Save Time by Building an Image Library

Sign up for Death to the Stock Photo for free monthly stock image packages and keep your own image library. By organizing images into folders by topic, you will be able to draw from a deep well of relevant, free images when you are up against a deadline.

Customize Your Photos with Free Editing Software is a free photo editing website that allows you to put text and overlays on your images. It also has features that allow you to easily resize and export images for the web.

By creating custom graphics for your blog posts, you can easily increase your branding and chance that the images will be shared. As always though, while Canva allows you upload stock photos to use as elements in your design, make sure that you are giving proper credit if the images require attribution.

Read our article “How to Enhance Your Art Marketing With Canva” to learn more about this fantastic website.

Canva makes it easy to create custom graphics using a variety of free templates.

Not sure which blogging platform to use for your art blog? Check out “4 Easy Websites to Make an Art Business Blog for Free”.