If you don’t want to end up on the receiving end of a rather hostile email from a company accusing you of stealing images, you had better be smart about where you find them.
Free image libraries don’t give you the same variety as royalty-free paid images and you’ll have to spend some additional time searching for the right one but they are fine if you’re on a tight budget.
Here’s my favourite list of best free images resources – believe me, I’ve tried several and these are the only ones I’d use.
Getty’s image service doesn’t let you download images, but rather to embed them onto your website. This does have the disadvantage that you can’t manipulate them but if an image is all you want, then it’s a good solution. It comes with a link back to the image on the Getty website.
Unsplash is one of my favourite free image websites. Subscribe and you’ll receive 10 images every 10 days. The images are beautifully shot, although they have a certain style and may not be useful for every blog owner.
Death to the Stock Photo
Run by two self-taught photographers, subscribe and you can receive free images each month. The last ones were all to do with Desk images which are perfect if you’re writing about productivity, work environments etc. Each photos is beautiful and there is a wide variety of them. This doesn’t allow you to access the past photos – for that, there’s a Premium service which costs $10 a month and includes exclusive photos to your membership.
A repository of free images with an easy search function. Some of the images look a little ‘homemade’ but the upside is that there are a lot to choose from covering almost every category you need.
An easy search function and high quality images. Most of the images look professionally short and there’s a wide range.
Flickr is a photo sharing website that contains portfolios of professional photographers as well as the everyday enthusiast. Some of them are truly beautiful. Each user has the right to set different content rules and some of these are licensed to Getty. For those that aren’t, you can contact the owner directly and ask their permission.
For help with the Flickr photo using ‘rules’, click here.
And the best option of course? Take them yourself.
For a start, taking photos yourself means anything you snap belongs wholly to you and secondly it’ll be unique. You can also take perfectly good images with your iPhone and there’s a wide range of photo editing apps available for free or low cost.