The Best Places to Find Free Images for Your Blog

By | August 2, 2018

I’m a Blogger

Image of hands on a notebook keyboardMy name is Shirley Dawson and I’ve been a blogger for over 3 years now.  I decided to begin blogging back in 2014 when I read that many people can earn extra money from blogging about something they are passionate about.  I was over 60 and retired and wanted to add some extra bucks to my monthly income.  So I made the decision to learn all about blogging and affiliate marketing.  One of the big things for a blogger is – of course – writing blogs.  I started reading books, and online articles about how to create a blog post.  I very soon found out that including great images in your blog post was very important.

Images can certainly enhance the content on your sites. Research indicates that good images keep visitors on your site longer. Use your images wisely and follow these guidelines:

  1. Your images should be “light” in file size so they do not cause the page and content to load slowly. Nothing will make a visitor leave quicker than a slow loading page.
  2. Your image should be clean, sharp, and bright.  If there is text in the image, it should be easily read.
  3. Your images should be eye-catching and pertinent to the content of the page they are placed in.
  4. It’s important that the images you put on your sites be legal, as well as eye-catching and enhancing your content.  You certainly never want to get in trouble over image use.

So there’s the big question:

Where do I get images for my blogs legally?

I’ve been looking for places to find royalty free images for a while and I’m going to share some of those sites with you, remember, it is up to you to make sure the images are for sure legal for you to use.

Be sure and read the terms of service and if you see something that says basically – use at your own risk, or under no conditions is this site to be held liable – then do NOT use them.  Avoid those sites.

Some images are noted to be in the  “Public Domain” then you are pretty much safe to use that image. You will see a lot of images having a Creative Commons License attached to it. For images that are truly 100% Free to Use, even commercially, and that you do not have to attribute to anyone, they are noted as CC0 (Creative Commons Zero).

Pixabay.com

At Pixabay you simply create an account and download the free images you like.  Make sure you realize the first roll of any search results probably has images from other sites and if you click on them, you may navigate away from Pixabay and end up at a site like Shutterstock that requires you to pay for the image.   Pixabay provides images that are uploaded by others to share.  All images are released under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes.  You should download the size image you will require. At some point you may want to “donate” some images yourself to their stock.  Or you may give a donation via Paypal to the site.  I’ve done both to pay them back for all the cool images I have downloaded.

Pixabay states the following:

Image of courthouseAll images and videos on Pixabay are released under the Creative Commons CC0. Thus, they may be used freely for almost any purpose – even commercially and in printed format. Attribution (credit given) is appreciated, but not required.

Exceptions:

  • Identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive unless they give their consent.
  • Do not suggest endorsement of products, services, etc. by depicted people or organizations. For example: do not use an image of NASA and place it adjacent to your own product in a way that suggests NASA would recommend the product.

In addition to these regulations, there is more to know:

Model- and Property Release

Imagine, would you like to see your face in a TV spot without being asked for permission? No? Therefore, identifiable people must give their consent for public use of their images.  This is what is meant by the term “Model Release”.

GetStencil.com

image of presentationGetStencil is another cool site for free images, however, the free account is limited to downloading 10 images per month.  I created myself a free account. The upgrade plans cost $9 and $12 each month for 50 and unlimited images. GetStencil is mainly used to share images with your text in Facebook and other social media. You can use them in presentations created with MS Word, Powerpoint and Keynote also.  Various icons and quotes are also available to use, which I love. Stencil offers nice templates you can modify for your own purposes with an upgraded account.   One of the best things about Stencil is that you can create banners and images with text and resize these for sharing on different social media platforms.

Stencil’s FAQ states this:

Are all the images and icons royalty-free?

Yes! In fact, they’re all under a special public domain Creative Commons license called “CC0“. That means you can use these photos however you want. We mean that literally. Personal, commercial, blog posts, posters…anything. Also, there’s no attribution required whatsoever!

 

Unsplash.com

Image of image wallI’ve had an account on Unsplash for years now. Unsplash photos are free for personal and business use. The Unsplash website states:

“Unsplash was formed as the antithesis to the stock media experiences available at the time. Instead of vast libraries, licensed and presented for commercial buyers, we focused on pushing the impact of photography further than ever before by making original,  high-resolution images available for anyone to use for anything.”

And the License:

“All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, non-exclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash.”

Unsplash states:

License

All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.

and this:

Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash, but this license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.

This means that Photos on the Service come with a very, very broad copyright license under the Unsplash License. This is why we say that they are “Free to Use.” Note that the Unsplash License does not include the right to use:

  • Trademarks, logos, or brands that appear in Photos
  • People’s images if they are recognizable in the Photos
  • Works of art or authorship that appear in Photos

If you download photos with any of these depicted in them, you may need the permission of the brand owner of the brand or work of authorship or individual depending on how you use the Photo. Please see our FAQs for more information and, if you still aren’t sure, you should probably talk to a lawyer who knows about these things.

Graphic Design Templates

I will share another link to a cool place to design your graphic images. Canva has free templates you can use to help you design awesome graphic images.

Canva

Canva has a free version that offers:

  • You can have 2 folders to organize designs
  • You can have up to 10 team members for free
  • You are allowed 1GB storage for photos
  • You have access to well over  8,000 templates
  • You are allow to upload your own images or
  • You can purchase from  millions of photos for $1 each

The Absolute Best Option

The three image sites listed about are very good and I’ve used them like many other bloggers. I know there are other sites that bloggers use but these are the ones I have used most.   However I must say that this year I’ve begun to use the best service I have found for images.

Wealthy Affiliate Site Creation Library

Image of screen capture of Site Content tool

This image library is part of the Site Content Creation Module at Wealthy Affiliate Training and Hosting Platform.  As a Premium member at Wealthy Affiliate, I have access to a huge database of over 1 million images.  There are all kinds of images, high resolution, sharp and free to use as Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licensed.  CC0 allows me to use images however I want on my web sites, for personal and commerical purposes without any attribution (giving of credit).

Yes, once again Wealthy Affiliate has come through with marvelous features and new tools.  I love the Site Creation module and its huge library of images I can pick from.  You can read my detailed review of Wealthy Affiliate here on this website.

Comments

I thank you for visiting my website and reading this article.  Please share any comments and questions in the comment field below.  Thank you, – Shirley

Note:  There may be some affiliate links within this post if clicked on and a purchase made will earn me a small commission, with no increase in cost to you.

 

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “The Best Places to Find Free Images for Your Blog

  1. Withaam

    Hey Shirley,

    Awesome article! It really helped me a lot found out about few sites where I can get my pics. I’m still a newbie in online marketing so this was very helpful
    Thank you so much

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawsson Post author

      Withaamtbge, thank you very much for visiting my website and your kind comments. Yes, finding great images for your content writing is a necessity for a blogger. Thanks again for checking out my blog site. -Shirley

      Reply
  2. Logan

    Thanks for the awesome info! I will definitely use these sites for my next blog!

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawsson Post author

      Hi Logan, thank you for visiting my website and for your comment. Images are so important to our site visitors in making our content so much more engaging. Thanks again and best wishes. – Shirley

      Reply
  3. Emonne

    Wow, Great Post! I really like how you take us (the readers) through all of the licensing terms for these different royalty free websites. I also appreciate you providing us with another option where we can get images. Those who are looking for places where they can get images for their websites, will find this to be very helpful. Really nice work.

    Thank you for this!

    Reply
    1. admin

      Thank  you so much for checking out my post and your kind comments. Images are so important to the success of our blog posts. Thanks again. -shirley

      Reply
  4. Furkan

    I never heard of GetStencil.com before. However, after reading I checked it and I liked it. I will definitely give it a shot. However I wonder sometimes, I want to change the brightness of colors. Can I do this if I decide to use pictures from this site?

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawsson Post author

      Furkan, thank you for visiting my website and reading my post. GetStencil has some filters in edit mode you can use to brighten/darken/turn to BW and some other things, so there is some editing offered; however, I tend to use Photoshop to do my editing with although there are cheaper editors out there. Thanks again for your comment. – Shirley

      Reply
  5. Kyoko

    Thank you for great information. I am a happy user of Pixabay. The resolution is great, and new images are always uploaded, so plenty images to choose! One time it was bombarded with nude images (even when I searched “meditation”, nude woman came out!) but it looks like Pixabay worked it out and blocked all such images. I don’t understand why people want to upload nude pictures in the free image stocks… but I am glad PIxabay blocked them.

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawsson Post author

      Kyoko, I have used Pixabay a lot, before my training/hosting platform (Wealthy Affiliate) added free images to its Site Content tool which I now use for almost all of my writing. I have also contributed back to Pixabay both with a financial donation and images. Its a good image site with lots of choices. Thanks for your comment and have a great day – Shirley

      Reply

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