Credit all the things.

Ok you guys. Time for a little lesson on crediting sources.

In school it was made very, very clear how important it is to credit sources that are not yours. A quote? Credit it. A photo? Credit it. Even factual information that was used to inspire your own composition? Credit it. In college, you could get into a lot of trouble for not crediting someone else's work.

So I figured it was just common sense, something everyone knew. If you present work that is not yours, you credit the person who created it.

But more and more I have been seeing my own photos, and fellow bloggers photos floating around blogs, and especially Tumblr, completely uncredited.

I'm not sure if people just don't know it's what you're supposed to do, or if they just don't know how.

So if you're confused, here's a good way to credit someones work. Example:

Disneyland via Vixen Vintage

That's it. "Disneyland" links to the post which it came from, "Vixen Vintage" links to the homepage.

Here's how to make the text link to a webpage:

If there is an HTML option, click it. Blogger has it, as does Tumblr. 

Follow the directions in this tutorial (The bit titled "HTML Link Syntax" and the "Example" below). 


With the photo above, lets say you want to post it on Tumblr. Instead of crediting as Via Vixen Vintage, you'll want to credit the original source as well:

Bird dress from Twila Jean, found via Vixen Vintage

This mainly credits Twila Jean, as it originally came from her site, and is her photo, but as you found it here, it's polite to also credit where you first found it. But it's not essential. 

I've seen a lot of photos that people post from their personal inspiration folders, but don't remember the source. Please don't do this. 

If you can't recall the source, don't post it publicly. 

Even when asking "where is this from, I forgot?" can lead to someone taking the photo, publishing it elsewhere, and never going back to see if the original source was found. 

It can be so easy to just take a photo from the internet, they're all over the place after all! Especially on Tumblr, where you re-publish the photo with the click of a button.

But please credit all work from it's original source, or do your best to do so. 

This website, like many other bloggers, artists, and crafters is my way of life. This is my source of income, and it's insulting to see my work thought of as someone else's. 

Please credit all sources. It's so very easy!  

{Later edit}
I have been informed the phrase "___ all the things" originated from the painfully hilarious blog Hyperbole and a Half. And here I thought it was something everyone just said on Pinterest! Now we know. 


Carlin said...


The one I see most often is when people put quotes as their status, or lines from songs, but don't say where they're from. Sometimes they'll put little quotation marks around them, but not say who originally said it. Or, you know just put as their status without any indication that it wasn't their own words.

Which leads to the even more obnoxious practice of people "putting their status in quotes" -- me. Just about the most pretentious facebook trend I've ever seen and... ugh.

Yes. People don't need a Works Cited page, but don't STEAL stuff.

Unknown said...

Hello! I have just stumbled upon your blog an am absolutely outstanded that I haven't been following you before. Your blog is simply lovely and I've spent more than an hour reading through your posts. I do agree; especially when it comes to photography or a graphic, someone deserves the effort they've put into their work.

Paris of The Vintage Look

Missy said...

Oh dear, I hope I attributed this morning the source okay in my Tumblog to Twila Jean. I just use a "post to Tumblr" applette on my iPhone which links the picture to the source and adds a "via" plus a link. I wrote a little blurb too about how there's a great story so that people click through and see the blog. Did I attribute correctly? http://hotsteno.tumblr.com/post/14922520408/love-the-mustard-colored-coat-with-the-rabbit-fur

Thanks! Love your blog. :) Missy

Anonymous said...

This is a good reminder! Pinterest in particular seems to've thrown some people into new confusion: if you find something neat via Pinterest, you still track back to its source, not to your board! :)

Solanah said...

Melissa, yep, that's correct! As long as the post has her info in it, you're good, the example I posted is just one way to do it :)


Frances said...

If I'm not mistaken, you can actually do a google image search with the image in question... so there should be no excuse for not finding the source for that photo in your inspiration folder!
(Also a good way to see where your photos have wandered off to, and whether or not they were credited)

kate gabrielle said...

I wish everyone on the internet would read this post! I think like 50% of the things I reblog on tumblr, I only reblog to add a credit link :( And lately on pinterest I keep seeing pictures where the source link goes to weheartit.com, which is basically just as bad as having no source link at all.

Larissa T. said...

Thanks for writing this Solanah,

Sara said...

And if you happen to forget your source, you can reverse image search at tineye.com to try to figure out where it came from. So handy!

SANNE said...

You're right, I'm glad you wrote it, although it shouldn't be necessary. I always quote where I got an idea, and never show other photos than my own.

I've thought about putting a watermark on all my photos, which will reveal it's original source. Perhaps you should do so too.

Happy New Year. :)

Emma Wilkinson said...

This is forgotten too often. A great reminder.

Vic said...

*slow golf clap*


LandGirl1980 said...

Could not agree more!

And - as an aside - I have just found Twlia Jean's blog. I think I may have been living under a rock for some time!

Anonymous said...

Yes! I think I'll use this post as a reference next time this needs to be explained to somebody - crediting is so crucial!


Andreza Fialho said...

Follow me on twitter ;)

Hosanna said...

Excellent info. Solonah, have you thought of creating a watermark for your photos? I've seen a lot of bloggers doing that, not just professional photographers. I know a watermark doesn't include a link but as least your name would be on your work.
Love reading your blog, dear!

Welcome to DeluxeVille said...

In a perfect internet world this is how people would behave but in reality this correct source crediting activity doesn't always happen.

So, I would say....If you're using your blog as a source of making money or you find this type of image stealing behavior annoying, you should really be protecting yourself by placing a watermark on all of your personal images and work.


Stephanie Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing. I was not aware that you were supposed to credit both the post it came from as well as the home page. I'll work on that!

Brittany_Va-VoomVintage said...

I often save images to my computer for later use. I title the image with the credits so I never forget where it came from!

Marie said...

a librarian would be proud of this little lesson (I am one)

Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

Kitten von Kat said...

I completely agree, well done for taking up this subject! What I tend to do when adding to my inspiration folder is to add the website name to the filename; if I wanna use one of your images for inspiration I'll save it as "vixenvintage-blogspot-com originalfilename.jpg" so that I'll know where it was from. Thanks for bringin this up!

Charlotte said...

Thanks Sara, I'm making a note of tineye.com to find photo sources!

xx Charlotte
Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

Bearika said...

I think that this post is timely and informative! Definitely saving it and linking to it whenever I have to explain to someone else how harmful stealing images can be, especially when it's so easy to credit a source.

I do have to point out the irony in your title though- the "X all the things" meme originated with Allie Brosh, of http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

She's said in the past that she understands that it's become a meme and she doesn't mind if people use it, but she does appreciate being credited. Though I think that point was also specifically aimed at people using her pictures as well, I don't know where she'd draw the line at just text.

Something to think about.

Solanah said...

Bearika, I was unaware it originated from her work (which I'm a fan of). I chose the title because it's something I saw on pinterest frequently as "pin all the things" and figured it would get the point across as sites that easily let users "re pin" or "re-blog" are the worst offenders when it comes to images being posted without credit, or getting lost in the shuffle.

So it seems the irony isn't that I titled it that way without credit, as I was not aware there was a single source, but that it has become so popular and made so many rounds in so many contexts, few people know what you have informed me of. Something to think about.


Laura said...

I can understand your frustration here... but this is a blog, not an academic paper! I feel a "bibliography" is unexpected and unnecessary on personal blogs. I wrote waaaaay too many citation papers in college to want to spend any of my pinterest/blog/random internet time doing so. But I'm sure it's annoying for you to see others post your pictures!

Solanah said...

Really? You don't think the photos I take and post here for the public to see at no charge is worth crediting? It's really not that difficult to say "This is from Vixen Vintage", and since you are so very experienced it should be simple for you.

Michele said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I like to try and learn something new everyday and your lesson was very helpful. Thank you for your insight and sharing your expertise.


Dus of Cuddly Cacti said...

Way to go for bringing this issue up! It just seems like common sense to credit someone for their hard work of a blog or picture. I'd say, if you like it something enough to reblog it, you can take the two seconds more to credit the person, esp since it's so simple, unlike college essays. That said you did remind me to check if the person I re-blog on tumblr originally sourced it, which I just figure they would but see now is def not the case, so thank you! Keep the fantastic work on your blog, I always enjoy it : )


Chellzapoppin' said...

Good post VV. I try to do this as much as possible. Where I come unstuck is when I write my 'Etsy picks for the week' on Swing Fashionista. I actually WANT people to click on the photos of the items I have featured and try to and generate more interest in those items for my fellow sellers of vintage on Etsy...to spread the word, so to speak.

I usually have about 20 pics and I always link them to their original source (the Etsy store) and I hope that is enough. I'm only trying to lead people TO those items and promote them because I think they are great :) I've had nothing but lovely emails from people thanking me for featuring an item or two on SF, as it brings people to their shop.

I hope THIS kind of crediting is also seen to be ok. About the items I write, "All items are linked back to their original Etsy source.' For regular articles I credit the the sources.

elventryst said...

Hi Solanah,

Great and informative post. I wanted to share with you a little website I found that does a "reverse image search." You upload a picture or give it's web address, and the site finds where else the image has appeared on the net. This could be useful for you (albeit tedious) to find out who's using your photos, but I actually think a better use of the program is that bloggers who want to post pictures without sources can use it to track down the original source. It helps solve that quandary where the blogger has a photo they've saved to use, but can't remember where they got it,

The free service is also useful for finding higher resolution or better quality photos (for instance, if you were looking at art work or something like that).

The website is called TinEye and the website is tineye.com It's definitely worth checking out and is a useful tool in your battle against not crediting properly on the internet.

God bless you, girl! I love your blog!