a popular pin, via vol25


Let me first say that I love the premise of Pinterest. The way it allows us to so easily share beautiful images with each other – art, quotes, ideas, DIY projects – is pure genius. But as the site grows like crazy, I find people are pinning recklessly, without any consideration for the person who made or photographed the original image they love. I’d hate to see this site, which was developed to celebrate and share creativity, actually become more hurtful than helpful for the creative community.


The image above has been pinned many times, rarely with proper credit. I saw it yesterday in a friend’s Pinterest feed and loved it. But before I re-pinned it, I wanted to make sure it linked to the artist behind it. No such luck. It took me through several blogs – none of which credited the artist – which finally led me to an error page on an abandoned blog. Not cool. It took me a while searching the web to finally discover Jessica from vol25 – an Etsy artist I already loved – had created it. Like so many artists, me included, she’s not sure how to handle situations like this. Do we complain and risk sounding like whiners? Do we report it to Pinterest as a terms violation? Or do we play nice and bite our tongues – again and again?


Pinterest can’t possibly monitor the legality of every pin and re-pin, so it’s up to each artist or creative organization to decide how to handle these situations. But it’s also up to those of us within the Pinterest community to treat the images we pin with love and show some respect to the artists and photographers that created them. Agree? Here are four ways to pin with love:


Be Original

See an image on a blog or site you want to pin? Make sure it credits and links to its original creator. If it doesn’t, do a little research to find out where it came from {search Google images using a description of the picture or the quote within in} and then link from the real source. I know this sounds like a pain, but you’re not only helping the artist – you’re helping yourself. Upon joining Pinterest, you agreed to follow copyright rules, so make sure your pins give credit where credit is due.


Follow That Link!

Do the same thing with any image you love that’s already on Pinterest. Your Pinterest home page is full of pins from the people you follow. If you see one you want to share with your followers, click on the image…and then keep clicking until you arrive at its source page {the place from where it was originally pinned}. If you find it easily, great – go ahead and re-pin. If not, don’t continue to share that pin. You might even want to inform the person who pinned it that it’s not properly credited {I would totally want to know if you find anything like that on my Pinterest page; I know I wasn’t as diligent about this early on}.


Pin the Permalink

If you’re pinning an image from a blog, make sure it links to the post it was part of – not just to the blog’s home page. Let’s say you want to pin this sunrise image. If you’re reading this post on the main/home page of my blog and pin it, the link will take people right back to the home page. That’s a problem weeks or months down the road, because people looking for the source of this image won’t find it on my home page. It will be filled with other blog posts by then. SO – click on the headline of this post to be taken to a page where just this post appears. Now, when you pin the image, it will capture the permalink – the unique URL for that blog post, where the sunrise image resides.


Show and Tell

If you share images elsewhere {via your own blog, a company web site or even on Facebook}, you have the power to give artists and other content creators the credit they deserve. Whenever you share someone else’s image in a blog post, be sure to link with love: include a caption and link the image to the web page where you found it, ensuring that page also gives proper credit to the artist or photographer. I’m especially appalled by so many blogs on Tumblr where it seems nearly impossible to find the source of photos. What is going on over there?? Meanwhile, if you’re going to share an image on Facebook, find out who created it and include their name in your comment section {better yet, a link to his or her site or Facebook page}.


It’s only fair. If you love an image, pin it with love.