This week we’re focusing on photo freebies. If you have a blog or a website you know that images can make all the difference in the world. The same goes for graphic designers, desktop publishers, etc. While there are pictures everywhere online, not all the images you see are available or even legal to use.
To keep things as honest as possible, start out with a photo that gives you the rights to use it as you intend. For instance, you might not be selling an certain image, but using it on your monetized blog still qualifies as a commercial use. After you’ve got the right image, give a quick photo credit whenever possible, such as “Photograph by John Doe”.
Below are great places to start getting free images that are acceptable for personal OR commercial use. To give you a comparison of the sites, we have searched for two separate terms at each one and included the results
Stock.XCHNG: Over 250.000 photos by more than 25.000 photographers. Wow! If you want, you can join in the madness by submitting your own photos as well.
Their Standard Restrictions grant you rights to use the image at no charge in digital format (i.e. websites, multimedia presentations, broadcast film and video, cell phones ), printed format (i.e. promotional materials, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, CD/DVD covers, etc. ), as part of a corporate identity (i.e. business cards, letterhead, etc. ), or to “decorate your home, your office or any public place”. Curious about what you can’t do? The Restrictions state “You may not use the Image:
- For pornographic, unlawful or other immoral purposes, for spreading hate or discrimination, or to defame or victimise other people, societies, cultures.
- To endorse products and services if it depicts a person.
- In a way that can give a bad name to SXC or the person(s) depicted on the Image.
- As part of a trademark, service mark or logo.
- Selling and redistribution of the image (individually or along with other images) is strictly forbidden. Do not share the image with others.
A search for ‘lime’ generated 193 results.
A search for ‘dollar’ generate 174 results.
Morgue File: The term “morgue file” is popular in the newspaper business to describe the file that holds past issues flats. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. This is the world wide web’s morguefile.
All images are really free and they can be used in commercial projects without permission or credit from the photographer. Selling prints, selling the images directly or claiming the photo is yours is prohibited. Note: You are responsible for the content of the photos you use. It is very much the same as if you had taken the photograph yourself, you must still obtain proper permission for identifiable property or people depicted in the photos (if any).
The images are not public domain. All images are still property of their respective owner.
A search for ‘lime’ generated 72 results.
A search for ‘dollar’ generate 74 results.
Creative Commons: The Licensing People: Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. To go directly to the licensing portion of the Creative Commons site and learn exactly what rights each license gives you, click here
Creative Commons also has a list of repositories of Creative Commons licensed works, and not just images. The Content Curators Page gives options for sites that offer freely available images, audio, video, content, and more.
Flickr: Use the Advanced Search!: Most people looking for images online have heard of or used Flickr. There are millions of photos available, and it can definitely become overwhelming. If you follow the link above to the advanced search page, at the bottom there is the option to search only Creative Commons Licensed images. Select the option to find content you can use commercially to narrow the search somewhat. The only real drawback to Flickr is that anything goes, so while there might be a thousand results returned, don’t expect all of them to be great quality or right on target. For instance, our search for lime returned a multitude of lime colored objects such as tee-shirts and hair.
1,356 photos matching ‘lime’, licensed under the Creative Commons for commercial work.
2,126 photos matching ‘dollar’, licensed under the Creative Commons for commercial work.