How to Find Free-to-Use Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to social media marketing, a picture could be worth a thousand likes or comments. Adding an image to your blog post or a social media post can instantly catch the attention of your audience and draw them to your posts. Social media networks are increasingly becoming very photo-centric with the rise of networks like Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.
Why do visitors flock to these websites? It’s because they provide a lot of eye-candy and a welcome change from all the textual content that visitors might generally encounter on other networks. However, when you do add images to your posts, be very careful with image licenses and attribution formats. The last thing you want is to run into a legal hassle for using a copyrighted image, and lose a lot of money that you could have instead put to good use.
Finding free-to-use images
If you are searching for free-to-use images using Google Advanced Image Search, you can actually specify the type of image that you require through Google’s advanced search option. When you type in your search, use the drop down menu on the row entitled, “Usage Rights” to choose the kind of image license you would like to look for.
Types of usage rights:
- Free to use or share: Allows you to copy or redistribute its content if the content remains unchanged.
- Free to use, share, or modify: Allows you to copy, modify, or redistribute in ways specified in the license.
- Commercially: If you want content for commercial use, be sure to select an option that includes the word “commercially.”
However, there is a limitation in the way Google recognizes these licensed images. When you do find the right image, you will want to do some research to make sure that the image is, in fact, free to use. Some images may require you to attribute the source when adding it to your post. Google will not be able to warn you of these requirements, so it’s always better to dig a little deeper yourself.
If you use an image with a usage right “free to use or share” you can use the image and share it with others as long as the image is not modified in any way. However, if the image is under the “free to use, share and modify” right, it allows you to modify the image if necessary. If you wish to use the image for commercial purposes, make sure that you pick an image which contains the word “commercially” in the usage rights.
Picking a copyright free image
If you manage a blog and want to add an image to your posts, start your search by looking up websites that offer free-to-use images. You can also use licensed images, however, these images require appropriate permissions and attributions. There are various websites and stockphoto databases where you will be able to find copyright free images.
Before using any of these images, it’s always wise to double-check the image license so that you can avoid any problems later on.
Websites that offer free-to-use images
Here’s a list of websites that offer free-to-use images.
Life of Pix – This is a website owned by a creative agency, and offers free high-resolution images without any kind of copyright restriction. Every week you will be able to see new images.
Picjumbo – offers high-resolution photos from various categories like weddings, technology, food, people and more. New photos are added to the website on a weekly basis. Images from this website can be used for personal as well as commercial needs.
Pixabay – offers vectors, images as well videos that you can use for free. All the free images that you find on Pixabay are also free of any copyrights and have been filed under Creative Commons CC0.
Freepik – similar to Pixabay, this website also offers vectors, images and icons that can be used for free. You can use the image, however, it is required that you attribute the source of the image in your blog post.
Godot Media Gallery – this gallery by Godot Media allows you to download high-resolution images for free. You can find images from several categories like architecture, business, cityscapes, people and more.
Flickr – On Flickr, you get access to a vast library of images that are categorized under a variety of usage licenses like creative commons, commercial allowed, modifications allowed and more. However, use of these images requires attribution.
StockSnap.io – attractive high-resolution stock photos that are free to use under the Creative Commons CC0 license – no attribution necessary.
Canva – if you are having difficulty finding the right image for your post, you can create one using Canva. Once you are happy with the image that you have created, you can download it and use it on your post.
Free Footage – if you are require video footage for your project or posts, this website will give you a range of free video footage from different categories
Free Video Footage – you can download FREE video footage or audio footage from this website, and it also allows you to use the footage without any attributions.
Apurva Jog is a Content Writer at DrumUp, a social media management tool. She has penned down several articles related to social media management and content marketing. When she is not writing, she is usually catching up with anything that is trending in the social media sphere.
For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Marketing and Social Media.
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About Lisa M. Chapman:
Lisa Chapman helps company leaders define, plan and achieve their goals, both online and offline. After 25+ years as an entrepreneur, she is now a business and marketing consultant, business planning consultant and social media consultant. Online, she works with clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa (at) LisaChapman (dot) com. Her book, The WebPowered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide is available at: