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Here’s a breakdown of your situation and potential solutions, addressing both legal and technical aspects:

Legal Issues:

  1. Adobe Stock Photos:

    • You have the legal right to use these photos under the terms of your Adobe Stock license.

    • However, most Adobe Stock licenses require you to credit the artist or photographer. This usually involves including the artist’s name and a link to their Adobe Stock portfolio near the image.

  2. Photos from Other Sources:

    • You need to determine the specific copyright terms for each photo.

    • Some sources may require attribution, while others might allow for free use without reference.

    • Always err on the side of caution and attribute if unsure.

  3. Your Own Photos:

    • You automatically hold copyright for your own work.

    • However, attributing your work can still be beneficial for branding and showcasing your skills.

  4. Client Photos:

    • Ensure you have clear written permission from the client to use their photos on your website.

    • This permission should ideally specify how you can credit their work.

Technical Issues:

  1. Copyright Notices:

    • While legal notices can be helpful, placing copyright information solely within them isn’t ideal. Many users may not visit this page.

    • Consider including a dedicated copyright section on your website, readily accessible from all pages.

  2. Image Metadata:

    • Embedding copyright information within the image metadata can serve as additional evidence of ownership.

    • However, it’s not a substitute for a clear and visible copyright notice on your website.

  3. Watermarking (optional):

    • Adding a subtle watermark with your name or website address can deter unauthorized use.

    • Use it cautiously to avoid detracting from the image itself.


  • Develop a clear policy on image usage and attribution. This should outline your approach for different types of photos (Adobe Stock, other sources, own, client).

  • Implement a consistent system for attributing photos. Consider using a plugin like „Image Copyright Info“ or „WP-Copyright“ to automate the process.

  • Create a dedicated copyright page or section on your website. This should clearly state your copyright ownership and usage terms.

  • Combine technical and legal solutions. Embed metadata, consider watermarks (optional), and display clear copyright notices alongside your images.

  • Seek legal advice if necessary. If you have specific concerns or complex copyright situations, consulting a lawyer can provide tailored guidance.

Remember, upholding copyright law and respecting the rights of creators is essential. By taking proactive measures, you can ensure your website is legally compliant and user-friendly.


You’re absolutely right, the lack of a universal standard for image referencing on websites is a complex issue with no easy solution. Your concerns about workflow and discoverability are valid, and finding the optimal balance is crucial.

Here’s a deeper dive into your points and potential approaches:

Standardization and Workflow Challenges:

  • Lack of standard: Unfortunately, there is no single, universally accepted method for referencing image copyrights on websites. This creates challenges for consistency and discoverability.

  • Workflow concerns: Adding dedicated fields or separate pages for image references can indeed add steps to your workflow, especially for frequent updates.

Finding a Balance:

  • Leveraging existing fields: While not ideal, utilizing captions or custom fields as reference points can be a reasonable compromise. Search engines do index this information, and it offers some visibility.

  • Clarity and consistency: Regardless of the chosen method, ensure consistent formatting and clear labelling for reference information. This improves both usability and search engine understanding.

  • Exploring plugins: Consider WordPress plugins like „Image Copyright Info“ or „WP-Copyright“ that automate reference insertion based on metadata embedded in your images.

  • Prioritizing SEO: If maximizing image discoverability is crucial, exploring structured data markup for images might be worthwhile. This requires technical expertise but can enhance how search engines understand your references.

Alternatives to Separate Pages:

  • Lightbox solutions: If you frequently update images, consider lightbox plugins that display copyright information alongside the enlarged image on click. This avoids a separate page while offering accessibility.

  • Dedicated section within existing page: Instead of a separate page, create a dedicated section on an existing page (e.g., About Us) summarizing your image copyright policy and attributing specific sources when necessary.


  • Legal compliance is paramount. While workflow is important, ensuring you fulfill legal requirements for referencing image ownership takes precedence.

  • Seek professional advice if needed. For complex situations or specific legal concerns, consulting a lawyer specializing in intellectual property can provide tailored guidance.

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