You know that good quality images are important for your blog posts and your website. So, you go to Google and search for something related to your content. You find high quality images that will work perfectly – they combine with your brand in a way that only a true professional could capture.
So, you use the images. That’s okay, right?
Find High Quality Images You Can Legally Use
Not at all! You’ve potentially just stolen someone else’s work. And they can – and most likely will – sue you. Even if you didn’t make any money from your post or you take the image down right away, the owner of the photo can sue you for thousands of dollars. Just look online for stories about bloggers and web owners getting into this type of horror.
That doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune for your great images. I find high quality images for free without having to get in touch with individual photographers. Here are the top eight places that I recommend if you don’t want to take your own!
This is my favorite. It’s simple to use and there’s no need for any attribution. There are a few plugins now available for WordPress so you can quickly grab images straight from the site.
You may need to spend some time looking for something that works for you, but new images are added almost daily. I tend to search by most recently added than by most popular to see what’s new.
The downside is lots of other people will use the images here, so your content won’t exactly look unique. But they images are still good.
This was a place that I would go to all the time in the past. You do need to give attribution, which may be a slight drawback for some. If you want to avoid attribution, you’ll need to buy the image.
I found the site quite clunky. It wasn’t easy to get the attribution for the photographer and some of the terms weren’t exactly clear. I haven’t used the site in a couple of years, so I don’t know if things have changed.
When I wrote at Skyword this was a site that I used a lot. It was one of the best for beauty images for the style pieces that I would write. It’s also highly recommended by a writer that I follow, who has been in the business for decades.
Attribution is required for some of the photos. You’ll need to check each one individually to make sure you follow the rules. But the images are all free to download.
Personally, I’ve not used the site but I’ve heard excellent things about it. It’s one of those on my list for when Pixabay fails – it hasn’t! This may be better for those in the business niche. There are more than 400,000 photos currently on the site and still many more added daily.
You’ll need to check out the licensing agreement of each photo before you use it. There is a complex nature to it, part of the reason I’ve not bothered with it.
This is one that I’ve only heard of recently, but has been around for a while. There are some licensing agreements that you’ll need to stick to, but you don’t need an account to download the images like you do with some of the others. You also don’t need to hand over your email address.
The site is non-profit. This means no ads when you’re browsing the site.
Most people won’t have heard of this. I certainly hadn’t until I started doing some research into other options. This is a place littered with abstract photos. If you want brick walls, chalk boards, and other similar shots then this is the place to go.
Personally, I don’t use this type of art. I’m not sure of the licensing agreement, so you’ll need to check that out if you decide to use the site.
When you want something that is more modern, especially if you’re in Entertainment, then this is one of the sites that you want to check out. Make sure you check the use agreement – there are some that are “All Rights Reserved” and others that will allow you to use on commercial sites. As a blog or business that makes money, you need the commercial use element.
You will need to give some sort of attribution. The photos will tell you what is expected.
#8: Wikimedia Commons
I use this mostly for history images. There are plenty in the public domain or available through Fair Use agreements, meaning no attribution is required. However, there are also plenty of others available under the Creative Commons agreements. Make sure you find images that you can use commercially and give the right attribution.
There are a few limitations to the site. It’s not the greatest for Entertainment images, but there are a few options.
Or You Could Ask the Photographer!
Another option is to get in touch with the photographer of the image. Ask if you can use the image for free with attribution, even a link to the website. This is often the best way to find high quality images that are more unique and work towards your brand.
Don’t demand that a photographer says yes. Like your business, the images are part of the photographer’s business. Money goes out to create the beautiful artwork and some photographers will have rates that need paying, even for standalone stock photography.
Don’t just copy an image and use it on your site. You could get into a lot of trouble. It isn’t hard to find high quality images for free when you know the right places to start.
When you hire me as your wedding blogger or your lifestyle blogger, I know the best places to find good quality images. I can include this as part of the package to make your life a hell of a lot easier.