Carly – I can’t get thru the Conde Nast legal jargon and you seem quite knowledgable; How can we use pics from major publications? What are the limits? Can I use a pic from InStyle or Vogue to compare to a pic of one of my outfits? Answer please, oh blog
As far as I know, using photos from Style.com or wherever on your own personal blog is technically not completely ok. But what else are you to do? I (and many websites like mine, including those with much more traffic) simply provide a credit and a linkback for the photo (i.e., photo by Dmitris Kambouris, Style.com). Sometimes when I know the photo is probably a stock photo but I found it on another website who DIDN’T credit it, I’ll just write “img source” and link the word “source” to the website I found it. Considering it’s your own personal blog, you should probably also make a note at the bottom that “all images that are not mine are credited and if someone has a problem with me using them, then please contact me right away and I’ll remove them” sort of thing. If you run a publication of some sort (like an online magazine, for instance), then you have to secure rights to use the photo and pay ( usually a pretty hefty fee). Conde Nast doesn’t really seem to care if you’re crediting where appropriate and just displaying them on your personal blog, though they *may* contact you at some point. In almost 3 years of posting articles and images to the internet, I have never heard from them, but I am not lawyer and I am not fully aware of all the legalities involved. There is an interesting article (and accompanying discussion) relating to this issue on Independent Fashion Blogs here:
It offers some great links to photos you CAN use without worry (i.e., Creative Commons-licensed).
Hope that helps and best of luck!