Best Places to Find Free Pictures for Online Use
Do you need multiple images for your online ventures? Do you want to get them on the house too? Great, because I did too, and do use them! It does not make you a cheapskate to want to acquire some free images for your creative venues online. If you have ever seen some of those glossy stock photos online you know it could get expensive depending on how many you’d download.
Not only will you save money you’ll save time too because with a handful of images on hand you can get straight to the business of editing them with your own unique personal touches.
It was a whole different ballgame when I was selling stuff on Ebay back in the day…Pretty much all you have to do is take pictures of the item you are selling…and then go in with close ups and include physical flaws (especially if you were selling something collectible and old, to justify “sold as is” condition.)
But for many other online platforms you need to have images that “prop up” what you are selling, sharing or promoting.
I was in a quandary a few years ago when selling on Fiverr as I needed to find some pictures to use as a backdrop…they had to kind of “fit” the service in particular as well as look appealing. It was confusing because I had to look for “royalty free” and “stock photos” and I was thinking, “Wait, what?” Royalty free and free was hard to get in one package.
What Kind Of Images Can You Use…Or Not?
I don’t suggest anyone stop using stock photos that you have to pay a fee for, some of them are very nice and if you find one that’s perfect and you plan to use it over and over again it’s not a bad idea. It’s usually the first thing people think of as these are photos that are labeled for personal use by someone like yourself. After all,, you can’t take images off the web to use willy-nilly (duh)!
Ergo…you have to look for places where the images’s creators have granted permission for them to be downloaded and used. That can be in the case of “royalty free” or “public domain”. Without steering this post into too much wordy jargon, something from the “public domain” is classified as not having copyrights attached to it.
“Royalty free” pretty much means there isn’t an ownership situation involved. (All this info came from research – I am not a legal professional or anything)
Bottom line: you need to look for photos or images from an online venue that are made for use by people like you, in which the photo takers have given their permission, “Use” can mean publishing, eidting with your own personal touches and modified in some way.
Where and How I Acquire Free Images for My Projects
1.) I Take My Own Pictures
As an amateur shutterbug, nothing beats taking your own pictures, when you have the goods nearby. Nature gives us a wondrous bounty of ideas, all of which could serve as a backdrop for your work.
You can pretty much take a picture of anything in your environment – with one exception – other people….unless they are your friends and family and they most likely will be cool with it, but other than that for legal reasons I would not include pics of strangers.
Sometimes your immediate environment doesn’t have the exact kind of snapshot you need for a particular thing, and that’s where the use of free images online can come in handy! You may be writing about X but nowhere near you is a picture of X that you could use to display. Although you could always create a graphic about it that’s a topic for another post.
Here is where I acquire free images and why I think they are the best!
This post does not contain affiliate links. Enjoy!
I can’t believe I never heard of this place sooner….it’s awesome! This is one repository that will give you everything you need and then some. Image types include photos, vectors and simple illustrations. I’ve found this a dynamite resource for finding good backdrops for my Etsy items. Really makes them stand out and look great!
All I pretty much do is size them down a little, and add my own personal touches.
Not only is the selection great but there is no attribution required either to use images found on Pixabay. You can download multiple sizes as needed, easy peesy. If the main thing you need is background image props this is the place!
This is a big image repository in which people contribute images they have approved to be downloaded and used by others. I always enter simple short keywords to get the best results. Sometimes it’s a shot in the dark to find a subject that is very particular, but no big deal. It;s free, after all (although you may see some mention of paid stock photo sites here and there)
There is one thing you need to keep in mind and that is you must make changes to the images to use them without providing attribution – that includes resizing, adding text or borders, etc.
This is a great way to find images as long as you adhere to the proper procedure of selecting only images approved for “Licensed for reuse and modification” (or some such verbiage) To make this easier you want to tick off the boxes after you enter your object keywords.
There will be a number of platforms from which to retrieve images, mainly I use Flickr but there are a few others. Next you’ll need to attribute the image to its original photographer by linking out to their profile page on Flickr, or whatever platform you found the image on.
Give Creative Commons a try; lots of nice stuff here! I have a Flickr account of my own but don’t think I have “approved”my own photos for use yet.
I was told about this place (it used to have a weird looking url) when trying to find images to use for my Fiverr gig image backgrounds. It seems to have a fair selection of pictures available if you search in very general terms. First you will have to register an account before you can browse the different photos.
You may see some referrals for images that are not free but it will become obvious which are which. You can choose whatever size you need before downloading. I’m unsure about the whole attribution process but I do like to link back to the photographer anyway.
Well that’s the wrap up, those are my favorite five places and ways to obtain images for FREE and I use them over and over again! Don’t waste your time trying to figure out what site will let you download this or that or not; just go to one of the four places above, and don’t forget you can always snap pictures on your own too!