If you are like me and want to start a blog, you will soon find that you need a constant supply of pictures and photos to use for your blog posts. I read somewhere (sorry, can’t remember which webpage now!) that you should aim to have around three pictures on each blog post. The more pictures you have, the better. Although it can be a struggle to find relevant pictures for your post (I mean, I often don’t succeed in finding three!), there are some websites that I use regularly to find professional-looking pictures.
The websites that I ABSOLUTELY ADORE (I have labelled ADORE in brackets) because they not only provide high quality and a professional selection of photos but also make it SO EASY to use because the photos provided are all under the Creative Commons Public Domain License, which means that you can use it anyway you want (within legal and ethical limits of course), whether commercially or personally and you don’t have to provide an attribution or link back to the photographer or the website.
This website is my favorite because:
- There is a decent selection of photos;
- The photos are often professional-looking and BEST OF ALL;
- You don’t have to give any credit to the photographer AND;
- You can modify the pictures as you wish, even for commercial purposes!
What a gold find!
Pexels is a new discovery for me but having tested searching and downloading a few photos- it is AWESOME! I especially love the way they draft their usage policy. It’s in simple, non-legalese language. Basically, you can do anything that you want with the photo, whether for personal or commercial use with no attributions required. The only restriction is not to use the photo in such a way that any people in the photo would be depicted in an objectionable way. I guess that means, don’t use these on your porn site!
Check them out- it’s a great resource!
Gosh! Ever since I started doing research for this article, I keep finding new free pic resources! This is another new one for me that I also love. Again, great selection of photos- in fact, I find these pictures are particularly different from some of the other websites. You know how sometimes you see the same model showing up in slightly different poses on different websites? Well, these photos seem to be relatively unique. Enjoy!
Unsplash is fantastic in that it also only provides photos with the Creative Commons Public Domain license. However, it’s search function and photo display is a little more tricky to use.
Some of its featured photos are truly amazing but if you have a particular concept of photo that you want, the photo can be a little harder to find.
Gratistography deserves a BIG mention even if only for the kinds of unique photos it carries. All photos are by Ryan McGuire and from his photos, you can tell that he has a creative sense of humor and an out-of-the-box style of photography.
In the beginning, I was slightly put off but after looking at some of his work, I realized that his photos are actually very eye-catching and definitely useful for making your website stand out.
You have got to check out his work. Oh and a big plus- he has generously put his photos out for commercial or personal use. Attribution is not required but he prefers it.
SplitShire is also out-of-the-box. For what I am trying to do, I probably won’t be able to use many of the styles of photos but they are definitely unique and less “business-oriented.” Nevertheless the photos are extremely high quality and if you are looking for something arty or more abstract, this is your place to be.
Again, very generously, the photos can be used commercially or personally without need for attribution.
The photos in Life of Pix are a mixture between artistic and conventional. The photos are donated by an advertising agency in Montreal and its network of photographers.
Again high quality photos (some very impressive architectural ones) with free use for commercial and personal without need for attribution. But less “business-oriented” photos for online passive income work and less search-friendly.
Picjumbo allows you to use their photos for commercial and personal use without need for attribution but you cannot redistribute those photos nor sell them. The search function is not completely user-friendly either but the selection of photos that they have is amazing. Definitely worth checking out.
Free Images has a decent amount of professional looking photos. You are allowed to modify the photos but you cannot use the photos as a standalone or in a product for resale where the primary value is in the photo itself. I guess that means that you can’t use the photos in a product like a photo calendar or greeting card for sale.
But it’s definitely allowed for websites and blogs. According to the website, you don’t need to include an attribution where the photo is being used commercially but in editorial content, you should. I guess that means that you should try and credit the photos in a blog but you don’t have to if you are using it in an ebook where the photo is only used as an illustration.
I used this website a lot before I found Pixabay (see above). What I like about FreeDigitalPhotos.net is their selection of quality images. However, unlike Pixabay, you have to give credit back to the photographer and you cannot modify the images.
morgueFile is also very good. In the Free Photos category, just like Pixabay, you don’t have to give attribution to the photographer for the work and it’s free for you to use as you wish. However, I find the photos here contain less of a professional-feel to them and often I find it difficult to find the photos I want.
Photl has some good quality photos too but there are several restrictions about it that can make it annoying. For one, you are required to register and be logged into your account before you can make any downloads. The next annoying thing is that you are only allowed a maximum of 20Mb worth of download in a day. The third annoying thing is that you are limited in the size of the photo that you choose, that is, you get to download sizes of the photos in small and medium but you have to pay for any size larger than 1920 x 1280 px. This probably won’t affect you if you only intend to use the photos online. But the final most annoying thing about Photl is that you can only use the photos for non-commercial purposes and you must provide attribution of the photos back to Photl. I am assuming that if you were going to monetize your online business, you won’t be able to use their photos without paying for the license. However, if you are providing a free blog, Photl may suit you fine. On top of this, Photl also has an affiliate program where you can earn money from anyone who makes a purchase through them.
There are many other free photos sites out there. The more annoying ones have a long list of restrictions on what you can and cannot do with the photo. I am sure that there are still some other great photo resources but I haven’t yet had time to check them all out yet.
If you can’t find the photo that you want from a free site (as I have experienced before), then consider these two paid sites. I have purchased photos from both these sites before and I like the selection of photos that they provide. I also think that their cost is comparatively reasonable. Not only that, but with these two websites, you have the opportunity to create passive income for yourself because they have affiliate programs.
I chose Shutterstock because I liked their selection of human pictures. Dreamstime [see paragraph (b) below] is also extremely popular but sometimes I see the same stock images being used by different businesses and websites over and over again and after a while, it gets boring. Plus, the photo loses its authenticity if you can immediately recognize the photo from another business website. This is the reason that I chose Shutterstock. It is popular, but not as crazy popular as Dreamstime.
If you think you are going to regularly need to purchase photos, then Shutterstock has a monthly payment plan that allows you to download a number of pictures from its site. Otherwise, you can buy credit for a limited amount of photos.
As I mentioned in paragraph (a) above, Dreamstime is extremely popular.
When I was starting out in the coaching business, I would see its images being used by multiple businesses.
Dreamstime has a great selection of human interest photographs. I myself, have also purchased a monthly plan for photos from this website before. Sometimes when you don’t have time to waste looking for good photos, the easiest and perhaps best use of your time is to cough up some money to get access to high, quality images.
So these are my two recommended, great-for-value online photo websites. Not only do they have great selections but you don’t have to worry about royalty. On top of that, you have the opportunity to be an affiliate for them (as I am now!)
Give me a shout out if you have used other sites successfully without trouble so that we can all share!