Did you know that a picture creates a feeling 60.000 times faster than text? With a nice image we can improve our chances to get the reader to continue reading…
Where do you go to find images for your blog and business? Many people just google for an image and use the first great image they find. That is however risky, since the vast majority of images are copyright protected.
However, if you know where to look there are many awesome image sources that let you use their amazing images completely free!
Free images – always consider these legal issues
Even though the image is free to use, there are some simple rules that you always have to follow regardless of which source you use.
In some cases you have to add some kind of photo credit, either as a link back or as a reference to the photographer. This is of course always polite to do anyway.
Some stock photo sources let you use the smaller images for free, but charge you a small fee for the larger pictures. In some cases you are allowed to modify the image the way you want, in others you aren’t. Don’t worry – most of the time the rules are easy to follow and obvious when you start downloading the image. To be on the safe side it’s recommended to read through the license terms before downloading an image.
Model release and Private property
In case you want to use a photo of an identifiable person you are likely to need a “model release” – i.e. the model must approve the use. This applies also to photos that are free to use according to the photographer and copyright terms. If you are unsure, check with the photographer.
To avoid model release altogether you can either use stock photos or use an image where the person cannot be identified (cartoon, blurry or a silhouette).
Another thing to consider is whether the pictures show “private property” – then you should consider one extra time, would you want your house to be associated with what you write? The use of images of people and property are particularly sensitive when it comes to commercial use. More info here.
7 image sources that let you use the images for free
Now to some of my favorite sources. Which source I use depends on the purpose. Look around and see if you find something you like.
All sorts of beautiful pictures – such as nature and people. All images are at least 800 x 600 pixels.
The images are free to use in any creative way. Morguefile wants you to give credit to the photographer when possible.
This is really a favorite! There are beautiful photos and illustrations. You can download the pictures in different resolutions. The parrot above is from Pixabay.
Free Digital Photos
This is a stock photo supplier. I use Free Digital Photos when I want to find more specific photos or illustrations for example, business, health, etc.
The images are available to download in different resolutions. All lower resolution images are free and are often big enough for use on a web page or a blog. If you want to use the image for print you need to purchase the higher resolution image.
Free Digital Photos wants you to credit the source and photographer and they send you an email with instructions how to do it.
Here you can find free images, textures and backgrounds. They appreciate a link back to their site and say it “would be good karma!” if you do so.
Every 10 days Unsplash lets you download 10 new photos to do whatever you like with. Here you will find evocative pictures from all over the world.
You may freely use many illustrations, icons and photos from Freepik. The requirement is that you add a link somewhere on your site that links back to Freepik. Here is the link to the picture I use: Designed by Freepik.
Photopin helps bloggers and other creative people to find nice photos. The images are retrieved from the Creative Commons conditions (different levels of free usage, Creative Commons CC0 is all free). You can download various sizes of the images and when downloading they will let you know how to set the image source.
The images are inspired by nature – beautiful views, winding roads, running water, trees, flowers – from all seasons. The images are high resolution, i.e. they can be used for printing (if you use them online, you need to resize them). The photos can be used freely if you add a link to freebigpictures.com’s site. One nice thing for those of you that are interested in photography – you will receive information on how the pictures are taken.
A bonus – Canva
Canva is an image processing program that is relatively new. There you can make great invitations, cover images for social media and much, much more. In Canva there are also a lot of free images to use.
These are some of my favorite image sources – Now it’s your turn – Which are your favorites?