How to Credit Photo Sources

Why Should I Credit a Photo Source?

By crediting a photo, you mark the authorship of an image. This shows your respect for the author and their work.

Some countries have strict copyright laws and also enforce them. With a reliable photo credit line, you legally protect yourself if the source is required to use an image.

Creatives with a source credit make a strong statement of their authorship and show others how to cite their work.

How to credit photos

✔ Identify the image source from the author or platform.
✔ Upload the image to the WordPress Media Library.
✔ Copy the photo credit line into the “Image Source” field.
✔ Display the source as an overlay or in a photo credit caption.

Photo Credit Examples

Image Source Control allows you to display photo sources in various positions.

Overlay on the image. You can choose from seven positions displayed on top of the image.

Photo credit example with credit line at the top left on the image.

Photo caption. A photo credit caption below the image with the option to customize it.

Photo credits line below the image

List below posts. A list of all images used on the page. Either below all pages or with a custom position.

A photo credits list example.

Photo credit directory. A global directory of all image sources on a dedicated page. With optional columns like image, usage, and source.

A dedicated list with all photo credits.
© MH Themes

Time-saver for my team

When the number of articles on our blog grew, I noticed my team running into trouble managing copyright info for images that we used from external sources.

With Image Source Control, we’ve found a legally reliable and convenient tool for this task. In particular, batch editing and easy linking to the owner’s site really help my team with their work. It’s obvious the ISC devs know what editors need.

Florian Daugalies, MH Themes

Manage Photo Credit Captions

Image Source Control offers various options for entering and managing image sources in your WordPress dashboard.

Directly in the Block Editor. Enter image sources in the Media Library or the options of image blocks.

The photo credits fields showing in the WordPress block editor

Batch processing. Change the photo credits for multiple images directly in the overview of your media library.

Photo credits editing in bulk in the WordPress media library

Who Should Credit Photo Sources?

Publishers. On larger websites, it’s easy to lose track of the origin of images. Whether they are agency photos or images from your regular authors; it’s advisable to store the photo sources in a central location, even if they are not displayed in the frontend.

Websites with external images. If you’re using external images to design your website, whether they are agency photos, images from directories, or external authors, prevent legal complaints from creatives who only offer their work with a photo source credit.

Photographers. Show visitors of your portfolio through photo source credits that you are the author of the works and how they could correctly credit the origin of your images.

© Wikimedia Austria

A Crucial Contribution to the World of Free Knowledge!

Until now, manually entering correct credits has been a significant challenge that often failed to work flawlessly. Given that most images from commons.wikimedia.org typically require three or more links for proper licensing (image, author, license), there was no plugin far and wide to simplify this process.

Thanks to Thomas’s dedication and effort, a tool is now available that allows this information – including any number of links – to be maintained much more straightforwardly directly on a WordPress website. He quickly responded to our request and adjusted his (also GDPR compliant!) plugin to meet our requirements in no time. Beyond fulfilling the legal obligation of correct licensing, he solves a long-standing issue for us and supports all those who generally care about acknowledging the (voluntary) work of others.

Thank you, Thomas and Image Source Control, for this crucial contribution to the world of free knowledge!

The Team from Wikimedia Austria

Information as You Need It

Choose from a variety of information when indicating photo sources:

  • With or without preceding text, e.g., “Author.”
  • One or more authors, optionally, each with their own link.
  • Notes and reference to the license.

From a simple statement…

Author: Joe Bloggs

… to a complex combination of various details and links.

Author: Joe BloggsWikimedia | CC BY 4.0 International

Save Time with Standard Sources

With the options for standard sources, you can automatically assign credits to many images at once. Just tell Image Source Control which details to use as a photo credit line when no source has been entered for an image.

Author Name. Suitable for all websites where the authors are also the creators of the images.

Custom Text. Use your name or your agency’s name as a recurring photo source.

IPTC Metadata. Automatically display metadata entered by many photographers in their images.

Exclude from Lists. Are most images yours? Exclude images without source credits from all directories.

Did You Know?

WordPress writes the content of the image option “Caption” directly into the post content. If you change the caption later in the media library, the old caption in the posts is not adjusted.

WordPress also does not check whether the image caption is displayed at all.

Image Source Control solves both problems with central management of photo credits.

Fine-Tuning Desired?

✔ Choose which pictures Image Source Control should recognize. Whether they are images in the content, all visible images, or even background images.

✔ You can select the columns in the global photo credit directory and decide on the size of the preview image.

✔ Seven positions are available to indicate the source as an overlay over the image.

✔ Developers can easily define their own CSS styles or extend functions via WordPress hooks.

3000 EUR for a Forgotten Photo Source

Portrait of Thomas Maier, founder and CEO of Image Source Control

In 2012, I received a letter from a law firm specialized in missing image sources. On my private blog, I had failed to mention the author of an image from a photo database.

The penalty: 3000 EUR plus the attorney’s fee of the opposing side.

For other images from this platform, I had mentioned the author. However, during the last revision of the post, I must have overlooked this, or I accidentally deleted the image caption. Unfortunately, WordPress gives no indication when this happens.

Luckily, my lawyer was able to avert the major damage—for a fee—as it was a non-commercial blog. For my professional and client projects, I have since used Image Source Control to ensure that image sources are entered and displayed.

Thomas Maier, developer of Image Source Control

Why You Want a WordPress Plugin for Photo Credits

Photo Credits in WordPress CaptionsPhoto Credits in
Image Source Control
Editing in the Media Library
Editing in the Block Editor
Updating all photo credits lines upon change×
Overview of missing photo sources×
Warning for missing photo sources×
Captions for automatically embedded images, e.g., galleries×
Captions for background images×
Batch processing for photo credits×
Displaying the photo source as an overlay over the image×
Lists with used photo sources below posts or on a dedicated page×

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a photo credit?

The photo credit often includes the creator, such as an author, artist, or photographer. Some images are licensed so that, alternatively or additionally, another entity, like a platform or publisher, must be credited as the photo source.

How to show the correct photo credit line

Image copyright holders decide themselves under what conditions they release their works for use. If you download an image from a platform, they usually provide the details and terms of use. Here it is often stated where a photo credit line must appear, whether directly on the image or collectively for several images in a photo source index. Users of Image Source Control with images from individual authors often have direct agreements with them regarding the type of source credit.
You should never use images without having clarified the usage rights beforehand.

How do I cite Wikipedia as a source?

Wikipedia or Wikimedia have transparent rules regarding photo credits. Learn more at How to credit images from Wikimedia Commons?

Can I credit photo sources in WordPress without a plugin?

You can define a photo caption when embedding images in your posts. This appears below the image. However, WordPress does not warn you if you use different source credits for the same image or if the credit is accidentally deleted.

I have questions about Image Source Control

You can find answers to common questions in the general FAQ and in the pricing FAQ section. For pre-sale questions and email support for customers, you can also use our support form.

Image Sources

  • Logo MH Themes: MH Themes
  • Logo Wikimedia AT: Wikimedia Austria