Image Sourcing Issues

Searching for good stock photos is time-consuming. You can’t just pick any old picture from a free stock photo website and add an image credit to your blog post. This article, How To Avoid A Lawsuit When Using Free Stock Photos, was sent to me by a client. (Thank you!). It explains why image sourcing takes so long. I encourage you to read the article but if you don’t have time, here’s a synopsis:

  • Free stock photo sites have restrictions on using images for business blogs, i.e. you can’t.
  • Many amateur photographers don’t take the time (or don’t know that they should) obtain permission to use people (model release) or private property (property release) in their photos.
  • Free stock photo sites do not check to see if photographers have obtained the rights. They expect the end-user (you!) to connect with the photographer and ask for proof of model and property releases.
  • Some photos contain trademarked items and intellectual property. Legally a photographer cannot share an image if they do not own the rights to the “stuff” in the picture. It is best to stay away from free photos with identifiable trademarks (e.g. Ford logo on a car) and intellectual property (recognizable books on shelves and posters on walls).
  • Some accounts on free photo sites are not photographers but “curators.” Curators find images (free or not) around the internet, put them on free photo sites, and desperately hope you “buy them a coffee” for what you download. For example, I found the image above on Pixabay, posted by the user “Free-Photos,” which is a curator account. I found the same image on pxhere, Wikimedia, and several different Flickr accounts. The original work is from Unsplash. To use this image, download it from Unsplash and credit Dustin Lee.

If you are someone who uses a lot of photos and graphics, I encourage you to get an account at Rawpixel, iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, or Adobe Stock. Prices can be as low as $2 per image – which is much cheaper than my hourly rate for sourcing images – and there is much less worry about lawsuits.

Contact me for more info on how we can work together to ensure you have great, low-cost images.


monthly calendar showing admin Mondays

It’s hard to work from home. Housework distracts me from my job, and my job distracts me from my housework. It became a vicious circle of distraction and procrastination. Then, a few years ago, I followed the advice of my friend Julie Bestry of Best Results Organizing and created Admin Monday. During Admin Monday, I clean the entire house, do all the family financial admin tasks and all my business admin tasks. That leaves me six days free to work for my clients with very few distractions.


piles of baskets and bins on floor

Like just about everyone else, I started my new year organizing and re-organizing my house. Lo and behold all my clutter was… organizing supplies! After moving from house to house to house, my collection of baskets, bins, and totes grew and grew. With two kids moving out soon, I’m keeping some of it. The rest is being shared through my neighbourhood Buy Nothing Facebook Group.


dog wearing winter coat sitting beside snowbank

We certainly had to keep our balance here in Ottawa over the winter. We had bouts of freezing rain, several thaw-freeze cycles, and lots and lots of snow. The roads are slippery, and the sidewalks are slipperier. You’ll also notice that we need large front lawns to store all the snow from our driveways.

Intro Blog Post

Welcome to my blog. I write about productivity and organization in business systems. I also add a bit about balance. I hope you enjoy.


Back in 2009, productivity took a big hit. Smartphones such as the iPhone 3GS and Blackberry 8520 were becoming more affordable. Everyone was getting connected on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter through smartphone apps. Fast-forward 10 years, and now we’re looking for apps to block out all social media notifications to get work done.


books about organizing and hoarding

In 2009 the A&E television show Hoarders debuted. It was the first time most people learned that hoarding is a disorder. Books such as Buried in Treasures and Unclutter Your Life in One Week were flying off the shelves. While the notoriety of the TV shows may have passed, we have a deeper understanding and compassion for those who have hoarding disorder and excessive clutter issues.


jack frost cocktail

Holidays are an important time to recharge by enjoying time with friends and family. Perhaps you’d like to try a Jack Frost cocktail. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic version, try blending blue raspberry syrup (the kind used for snow cones) with coconut ice-cream.