If you are new to blogging (or even if you have been blogging for some time), images matter. In fact, they matter A LOT (read more about How to Make Your Pin to Viral).
The image on your post sets the tone for your article. It should draw the reader in so he or she wants to read more. You want it to be intriguing and captivating.
However, creating the perfect image my post a challenge. This may be because you are not a photographer. It might also be due to time issues, when you can’t take the shot. It could even be a topic you can’t photograph.
This is when stock images can help. A stock image is one which is taken by a professional photographer. He or she allows others to use in different mediums, including blogs.
Before you take the time to find photos, it is important that you understand the legal terms associate with using stock photos – or free images.
Public Domain. When you find images in the public domain, it means that these are works who’s copyrights have expired or who’s creator has relinquished rights to that image. This means you can use them for either personal or commercial use.
The only exception to the free for all use policy is that if the photo is of a recognizable person (i.e. celebrity), you may still need to get that person’s permission to use the photo. There may be a release assigned with the image. If in doubt, make sure you review the license agreement which is included with the image.
Royalty Free. If images are royalty-free, it means that you will purchase the image. It also means that the purchaser will not charge additional licensing or royalty fees for you to use it. This is what you find on paid stock image sites.
Creative Commons. When photographers license their images under Creative Commons (CC), he or she can choose how their images will be used by specifying a particular CC license. There are two difference licenses. One is a CC0 license, which means the owner has relinquished all rights. The other license is a CC 2.0, which requires attribution to the owner be included.
When looking for this type of image, the most flexible to use is the CCo. “CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.”
The sites listed below are either creative commons or public domain. Although they are included in this list, the licensing may have changed since posting. It is important that you exercise due diligence in ensuring you can use them, especially if you are doing so for commercial purposes.
More Than 30 Sites Which Offer Free Images
1. Pixabay. Pixaby is one of the largest sites of public domain images. Attribution is not required for these images.
2. Public Domain Archive. These images are all completely free for use without link or attribution.
3. Magdeline. Each day you will find a free image you can use. They also have a large database of images you can use as well. Attribution is not needed.
4. Picjumbo. Site with high-resolution photos. Attribution is not necessary with the image on this site.
5. New Old Stock. This site has vintage photos originally shared in the public archives. No attribution required.
6. Foodie’s Feed. This site is a foodie’s dream! Nothing but high resolution food images. Attribution is not required.
7. Picography. This site is not searchable, but has beautiful images. Attribution is not required.
8. Unsplash. Find 10 new, high-quality photos every 10 days. Attribution is not necessary.
9. Death to the Stock Photo. This site offers free images – delivered monthly to your inbox. (Important to note that you can not add your watermark or logo to these images). No need to include attribution.
10. Free Range Stock. This site recommends you give credit to the owner, but it is not required.
11. Pickup Image. Database filled with public domain images. Attribution not required.
12. Good Free Photos. These are public domain images. No attribution necessary.
13. GetRefe. This site includes images taken throughout Europe. Attribution is not required.
14. Gratisography. All photos on this site are available under the CCo license. Attribution is not necessary.
15. Photogen. Free photos for commercial or personal use. Attribution is not required.
16. Skitterphoto. Images available for use under the CCo license. Attribution is not needed.
17. Life of Pix. Awesome public domain images. No attribution required.
18. Flickr: Creative Commons. Make sure you only search files under Public Domain so you know you are free to use them without licensing or attribution.
19. Pexels. Database of CC0 images. No attribution needed.
20. FreeImages. Another great resource filled with free images. Attribution not required.
21. IM Creator. This is a smaller site filled with amazing, high quality images. Attribution is required on all images used on this site.
22. StockSnap. Images available under the CCo license. No attribution required.
23. Morgue File. These images can be used for either personal or commercial use (but you can’t claim ownership, so no watermarking). Attribution is not needed.
24. Gratisography. Incredible images which require no attribution at all.
25. SuperFamous. Site filled with high-resolution images. The images on this site require attribution.
26. SplitShire. No copyright restrictions on these photos – which means no attribution needed either.
27. LittleVisuals. Join their email list and get a weekly file with seven high-resolution images. Attribution is not needed.
28. 1 Million Free Pictures. These are all amateur images. They may not be the best quality, but they are free for use. Attribution is not required.
29. pdpics. All public domain images. Attribution is not needed.
30. Negative Space. Photos are released under the CCo license. You can search these images. Attribution is not required.
31. Tookapic Stock. Filter by free photos under the CCo License….which means attribution is not necessary.
32. MMT STock. These are photos provided by Jeffrey Betts. All images released fall under the CCo license and attribution is not necessary.
33. Kaboom Pics. Large variety of high quality images. Attribution is not necessary.
34. Epicantus. High resolution photos for your site. All images fall under the CCo license, which means attribution is not necessary.
35. PicXclicX. Must provide attribution on all images. However, you can pay for them instead and use without attribution. (Update: You will pay $5 for access, but that is a one time fee).
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