Reverse Image Search – A How To Guide

As a stock photographer, it’s always fascinating to see where my images end up. It is also annoying when dishonest people try to sell photos they’ve stolen off of websites or downloaded from free wallpaper galleries. Whether you are looking for your own images “in the wild” or wanting to confirm a copyright violation so you can report it, knowing how to do a reverse image search is imperative.

I usually use TinEye when looking to see if photos are available on other stock photography sites to prove ownership. I use Google when trying to find my own images in use online. A good website for finding the source of foreign pictures is Yandex. There are other reverse image search engines, but I’ll focus on TinEye and Google. Each give different results, which is why using several sites can be important, especially before reporting copyright violations.

Reverse search using TinEye

Right click on the photo you want to look for and choose “View Image” from the menu.

You will see a screen with just the image on it.

Highlight the image’s URL and copy that link.

Open another tab and go to TinEye.com.

Paste the image’s URL that you copied into the search bar and hit “Enter.”

Results will look like this.

Sometimes I need to check the “found in stock” box to see what other stock sites an image is for sale on.

Click on the link for each site to see its listing there.

This part takes extra diligence if you are looking to report someone for copyright violation! Not everyone sells their images under the same name on each site. You should always compare galleries to see if they contain some of the same photos. For example, I sell under MargJohnsonVA but my Instagram account is BeachLoversLane and my Flickr accounts are CaymanDesigns and MyLanternHill. A different name DOESN’T mean a photo was stolen.

Always confirm an image is really a copyright violation before flagging it.

Reverse Search using Google

Repeat the first three steps above and then open a tab for Google Images.

Click on the camera icon to switch to the Search By Image option.

Paste the photos URL link and hit enter.

Google will sometimes show you other stock websites an image is on, but it most useful for finding what websites have purchased and are using your photos.

It’s always thrilling to my images being used on a well-known website like U.S. News and World Report!

I hope you have found this tutorial helpful!

Check back for more information on why some legitimate images get flagged by the Twenty20 autobot system as “stolen” or copyright violations when they aren’t. Have any topics you want me to cover? Email me at MargJohnsonVA@gmail.com