Adding photos and graphics to your blog posts captures the attention of your audience and keeps them engaged. This may be because visuals are transmitted to the brain faster than words. It must be true what they say about a picture being worth 1,000 words.
Without images, all you have is a block of text, and that’s boring, am I right? It may be okay if you’re reading a novel, or a textbook. (Come to think of it, maybe that’s why textbooks are so boring.
But when you’re reading on the internet, you need something to break up the text.
A Word of Caution
Just because an image is online does not mean you can use it on your website. There are copyrights involved. If you use images that you find by doing a search in Google, you may find yourself dealing with attorneys, or even run the risk of your website being shut down. You may be able to get away with it for awhile, but is it really worth the risk? I don’t think so, especially when there are so many places that offer free or low-cost images that you can use legally.
So where can you find photos that don’t cost a fortune? Believe it or not, there are several websites that offer beautiful images that fall under the Public Domain licence that you’re free to use any way you want.
Some sites that I’ve come across have very few images to choose from, and that are a bit cheesy. When I choose a stock photo website, one of my criteria is that there is a lot of selection.
I also want to find a website that has a Creative Commons license. Many sites require that you give the artist credit, so be sure to read what the rules are before using the images.
Royalty Free Images
These are images you can use without having to pay royalties (ongoing fees to the copyright owner). Some royalty-free images cost you nothing to use, for others you have to pay something.
Creative Commons License
Many photographers license their work under a Creative Commons license. Basically, it’s an alternative to traditional copyright registration. A Creative Commons license will let you use the image in certain circumstances. It tells you how to credit the owner of the work properly, whether you can use it for commercial purposes or not, and whether you can modify it.
My Favorite Sources for Photos
I like to keep things simple and straightforward. So instead of throwing out tens of sites to find photos, I’m only going to give you my favorites.
I consistently find free photos for my blog posts on one of these sites. I purchase plenty of images as well, but we’re only talking about free here.
This is my current go-to for free photos. They have hundreds of thousands of free stock photos and every day new high resolution photos get added.
All photos are hand-picked from photos uploaded by their users or sourced from free image websites. Ppublished pictures are high-quality and licensed under the Pexels license.
- All photos on Pexels are free to use.
- Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the photographer or Pexels is not necessary but always appreciated.
- You can modify the photos. Be creative and edit the photos as you like.
Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes. They have over 1.6 million high quality stock images and videos.
All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.
If you are a Trello user, which I am, you will notice that their source of background images is Unsplash.
Viktor Hanacek is 26-year-old photographer, online entrepreneur and life enjoyer living in the Czech Republic. In 2013 he created the stock photo site called picjumbo with free pictures that are today used by millions of bloggers, designers and marketers all around the world.
I get email notification when Barnimages has new photos. This keeps them top of mind and I found a several that I tuck away for later use. You are allowed to use any of the free images published in Barnimages collections for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
You may use content:
- in digital format on websites, blog posts, social media, advertisements, film and television productions, web and mobile applications
- in printed materials such as magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, product packaging
- for decorative use in your home, office or any public place
- or personal use
As you can see, there are several fantastic resources for stock photography. These websites have become a blessing for designers, marketers and bloggers who don’t want cheesy photos.
I have only listed the sites that I have used, but there are others out there. If you discover other sites, be sure to read the License information so that you comply with their rules.
Let me know if you have any favorites.