Bloggers usually accompany their posts or websites in general with images. Why? It usually looks prettier to have something visual to go with the text, and it’s easier to link to a post or website if you have an image. The perfect example for this is all the guides, recipes and tutorials you may find on Pinterest. The majority of them have images that help identify the type of content you may be looking at when you click the link.
Sometimes, you may not have the time to take photographs that can be related to the content you’re publishing. This is where royalty free, creative commons and public domain images come in handy.
What is royalty-free?
Royalty-free refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales. ((Source: Wikipedia))
What is Creative Commons?
The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Their tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of their tools and their users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law. ((Source: CC Licenses))
What is Public Domain?
The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. ((Source: Public Domain Dedication License))
This list consists of websites I’ve used to get free images for my websites. I decided to compile this so others can benefit from these services as well.
Note: Before using any photos from the websites listed below, please review their terms of service and licenses. There are some websites that may require you to credit them, ask the author’s permission directly, among other requests.
- Death to the Stock Photo: If you sign up, you will receive a set of free high-resolution lifestyle photos (usually 10) every month. As they specify on their website, you can do whatever you please with them.
- everystockphoto: This is a search engine for free photos. They include various sources (including Flickr) and they specify the type of license the picture has.
- FreePhotosBank: Another free stock photo gallery.
- morgueFile: They offer free high resolution stock photos for any kind of use. It can be for either corporate or public use.
- PhotoDune: This website is a part of the Envato network and they offer a free license to one item on each of their websites every month.
- stockvault: This is a stock photo sharing website where you can find over 40,000 free photos you can use for non-commercial purposes.
- stock.xchng: This is a very popular stock photo gallery, it has over 400,000 photographs.
- Unsplash: They offer 10 new high-resolution photos every 10 days. You can subscribe on their website so you receive the photos via email each time they’re added. They have a “do whatever you want” (Public Domain) license.
I’m sure there are more resources that offer free images, but these are the ones I know and have used. I hope this list can be useful!