As a Blogger, have you ever used Google Search to find free images for your blog? You download the image you like and Boom! You have an awesome looking Blog.
Don’t do it!
Sourcing images from Google is the same as theft, and you could find yourself being sued by the image owner. True story!
One stolen image is one too many. And the cost of borrowing/stealing one is high. If you can’t afford to pay the penalty that comes with stealing a photo online, then don’t. It’s smarter to just purchase that particular stock photo.
Instead, it is possible to source free images online, but you need to be smart about it.
How does a photographer know if you have used their photo?
Many believe that they can get away with using photos without permission because, well, the Internet is vast, who’s going to find out anyway, right? And to some extent, this could be true. But we are now in 2017 and technology has come a long way. There are ways and means for the copyright holders to monitor and track those who download and use their images. With this technology, stock photo companies can keep an eye out for unlicensed use of their pictures (i.e. thieves).
Just because you think you can get away with something, doesn’t mean you should try!
So the point is, unless you have received explicit (and written) permission from the copyright holder, and can prove it in a court of law, DO NOT source random photos from a google search. It’s not worth the cost or lawsuit.
First and foremost, check the licensing of the image
An image is suitable and safe to use if it has a CC0 Licence. What does this mean? CC0 means Creative Commons Zero. You have the right to use this image. The pictures are completely free to be utilized for any legal purpose. Be sure to check the Licence agreement for each picture you source.
You may be expected to Attribute the owner of the image. Again, check the terms and conditions.
Some of my favorite image sources:
Browse by Popular Photo’s, Popular Searches, and even by Colour. This site even offers free video’s where you can search for what you want by Category.
This site allows you to search by #hashtag as well as Category. Some of the categories include Animals, City & Architecture, Fashion, Food & Drinks and more.
All photo’s on this site were taken by Ryan McGuire (who, by the way, is massively talented in all things artsy). Gratisography offers a Subscription service where you will receive alerts to your inbox of any new images that have been added. Offers a magic search bar and the opportunity to search by subject.
Hundreds of high-resolution images added weekly. Popular searches include business, love, sunsets, people, food and coffee. The sidebar offers a search component where you can find trending topics, and you can also add favorites. Sign up and you will receive a weekly email with the most popular photos for that week.
One of my favorite searches with Picjumbo is the Abstract search which shows some amazing pics. Pic jumbo also offers a Photoshop Plugin for $7.99. Excellent if you use Photoshop.
Not quite as user-friendly as it shows full page images, but still, some decent looking photo’s here that you might like.
Free high-res photo’s for your personal & commercial use. Attribution not required. Use the search bar to easily find what you are looking for.
Offers over 840,000 free stock photo’s, video,’s, vectors and art illustrations. The search bar also provides a drop-down menu to define your media type, the orientation you prefer, category, size, color and more.
Another great website for finding amazing images. You will find over 100,000 high-quality images, with 20,000 exclusive to the site. Images are sorted into categories such as Forest backgrounds, Computer images, Christmas pics and more. There is also an easy to use filtering tool.
There are many others out there, just ensure you check the Licence before downloading or modifying the image.
A picture is worth a thousand words, just don’t make it cost you thousands of dollars in fines!
Disclaimer – Be sure to double check the terms and conditions of each website provided and also for each photo you want. Things change fast in our online world, and what is allowed today may not be allowed tomorrow. Use your due diligence and do your research. I cannot be held responsible for you not doing your homework!