When I first started blogging back in 2010 (6 years ago...eeek!) I used to shamelessly copy and paste images from We Heart It, which was kind of the OG of the visual world before Pinterest came along. I had no idea about copy-write (in fact, I couldn't even really spell that word properly) never mind understand the legal ramifications of using someone else's work without giving them full credit.
ON THAT NOTE, I feel as if it's time I wrote a little 'spelling disclosure' for you all. I am TERRIBLE at proof reading my own work, which is rather shocking to admit as I majored in English at University. English literature is completely different to studying linguistics I always tell people in defense of my writing. The irony is not lost on me that as a blogger, I am a writer & publisher, and writers should always have impeccable spelling if they want to be taken seriously. BUT I'm going to justify myself and say that as a creative, my brain is swirling with ideas and words and I just get so darn excited to put finger to keyboard and get all of my ideas out onto the page that I neglect the grammar and spelling checks that should follow. I just wanted to let you all know, that despite my best efforts to spell check (and use ALL the grammar apps and programs out there) I do still tend to make the odd spelling error (or five) in my blog posts. Please don't judge me too harshly, I am actually thinking about turning my mistakes into a little game, something like 'spot the spelling eggs' and give spot prizes to my readers who comment below with the correct number of errors in each post. What do you think of this idea? I have loads of ideas (as usual) of fun prizes I could give away in return for a bit of a spelling 'easter egg hunt'.
And now back to the actual point of this blog post!
It wasn't until 2012 when I came across an article from a blogger who had been sued for a HUGE amount of money after using someones photograph on her blog. The blogger had actually given the photographer credit in her blog post, but she hadn't asked him for permission to re-post his image and so she ended up going to court and was found guilty of intellectual property theft! Can you imagine being charged with a criminal offense for using an image on your blog? Madness!
I was terrified after reading that blog post and promptly set out to learn how to take my own photographs so as not to have to worry about image copy-right ever again! I ended up falling in love with photography, and have since gone onto to freelance and now go under the title 'professional photographer'. I understand that not everyone has the time, or the desire, to pursue photography full time, especially if their interests lie somewhere else, in writing for example or making or drawing or painting. This is where stock photographs come in and this is where I wave a little (pink) flag that says I've got you covered and have FREE STOCK PHOTOGRAPHS JUST FOR YOU!
My favourite style of photography is still-life (ie things that don't move), and this year I have found a real passion for creating and styling images for my blog.
After seeing that styled stock photography has become a whole niche in itself over the last few months, I have realised that my love for creating these images can be turned into a business (click here to read more about my journey from blogger to business owner if you too are interested in turning your blog into a business and want to read more about my journey).
Speaking of my journey #FromBlog2Biz, if you are a frequent visitor here to the blog (first of all, yay & thank you for your support!) you may have noticed a bit of a change in this posts graphics. My whole website and the CityGirlSearching brand is currently undergoing a massive overhaul and re-rband, and I can't wait to share with you the new site and all the new service offerings I have just for you...that's all coming soon folks!
My re-brand has prompted a LOT of thinking and brainstorming. I am so excited to share with you the first of my ideas and that is the creation of the CGScreative Resource Library...in case you were wondering, the CGS comes from the name of this blog; CityGirlSearching.
The CGScreative resource library is a FREE online space filled with blogging worksheets, business resources & helpful printables.
It's also filled with what has made my library famous; my stock imagery.
Here's a little sneak peek into what's inside:
The CGScreative resource library is a pretty space for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs. It's designed to be a place that helps you grow your blog or business and a place to visit to feel inspired.
And now I'm sure you're probably wondering how you can gain access. To keep the library exclusive (and to make sure that only serious creatives have access) you only need pop your email in the little space below.
By popping your email address above you'll be joining the CGScreative mailing list. From there I'll be sending you the password for the resource library will allow you to log in. You'll be able to download any and all of the resources and you can rest easy with regards to image copy-right as my photographs are licensed under a creative commons license. This means you can use the photos for all non-commercial purposes i.e you can use them for anything related to your blog or business that you are not intending to sell. Feel free to crop the photos, add text to them or layer them with other images and graphics to create the perfect visuals for your site.
I add new items to the library every month, so the content always stays fresh. I hope you find these resources useful to you in your blogging or business journey and I look forward to seeing how you use them.
If you do enjoy them, post a photo on Instagram of your experience with these resources and use the hashtag #CGScreative. I would love to share your images on my social media accounts (with your permission of course!) for extra exposure to your blog or business.
Happy blogging friends!