Using images in your blog is a great way to enhance your content, but of course it’s important that you use the right picture for your post. So where do you find the perfect picture for your blog post?
This post was first published in 2012 and I’ve updated it with some handy new places to find awesome images.
You could be tempted to just grab something from a Google image search, but please don’t.
Whoever owns the copyright to the picture won’t be happy that you’re using it without permission.
Best case scenario, you’ll receive an email asking you to remove the image from your site. And worst case, you could face legal action for copyright violation.
There are much better, and safer, ways to find a picture for your post. Here are 14 great options for where to find the perfect picture for your blog post:
Any links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links, which means if you buy through them I might get a small commission (that will probably be spent on pretty fonts). This is at no extra cost to you and I only share products and services that I use and love.
I love Unsplash! They have a huge library of stock images that don’t actually look like stock images.
You’ll find no business people with cheesy grins or the clichéd handshake photo. Instead, the people look like real people, just like you and me. And they’re behaving in normal ways rather than posing awkwardly for the camera.
And the best part is that they’re completely free.
All images on Pixabay are copyright free, even for commercial use – yay! There are over a million photos, illustrations and videos, so you’re sure to find something that works.
Pexels is also awesome. They source images from several places, including Unsplash and Pixabay. So if you don’t find the right image there, hop over to Pexels to see what else is on offer.
Sign up to Death to Stock’s mailing list and every month they’ll email you a photo pack. Each pack follows a theme, which is great if you need several images that feel related to each other.
And if you become premium member you can access the whole library, plus videos and other resources.
If you want stock photos with a strong feminine style, Ivory Mix is the place to go. Sign up and you get instant access to 300+ photos, plus other resources, like worksheets and checklists.
FreeImages (formerly sxc.hu) is a great site, full of royalty free stock photos. The images fall under levels of licensing, ranging from pictures that are completely free to use, to pictures that require permission from the photographer before you can use them.
Many flickr users have applied Creative Commons licenses to their images, so you can use them as long as you follow the terms of the license. Again, there are different levels of license, so check the conditions before you use an image – sometimes you need the photographer’s permission to use an image. The most common condition is attribution – wherever you use the image, you need to place a credit to the photographer alongside it.
Similar to flickr, many of DeviantArt’s users apply Creative Commons licenses to their work, so it’s worth checking through the site’s stock photos and resources sections. As with the images on flickr, make sure you know the conditions of the license before using an image.
If you can find a small budget to use for photos for your blog, PhotoDune is ideal. The site has a huge variety of images available, and more being added all the time. The images are really affordable as well – prices start from $2 for a small image.
There are over 940k quality photos on Creative Market, at very reasonable prices. Again, these aren’t your typical stock photos, so they’re well worth a look.
Plus on the rest of the site you’ll find lots of other resources, like templates for your social media images, fonts and much more.
And don’t forget to sign up to their newsletter and every week you’ll get lovely products to download for free ????
Dreamstime*, BigStock and iStock
If you can afford to spend a bit more on your pictures, you could try these three sites. The prices can work out higher than PhotoDune, but as the sites have been around longer, in some categories you’ll find a larger selection of images.
If these licenses confuse you, or you just want a truly unique image for your post you could create one yourself! Grab your camera and take your own photos, or if you can draw, why not create illustrations to go with your blog posts.
You might also like: How to use Canva to create awesome blog images
Always check the licenses
Wherever you decide to source your images, always check the terms of the licenses carefully to make sure you know how you can use the images, as breaking the terms of a license can be costly if you’re caught.
Unless you’re creating your own images, you might need to credit the creators of the pictures you use. With some licenses, this is a requirement. A simple credit, such as “Photo: PhotoDune”, which links to the page where you found the image, or the photographer’s profile, is usually fine.
Where do you find images for your blog; do you have a favourite site? If you’ve got any tips please feel free to leave them in the comments.
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