Blogging has never been easy, apart from the stress you go through coming up with content for your blog you also have to find the right kind of media to use in your blog.
But maybe you don’t go through all of this, maybe you just get your images or any media you use from Google and so far it’s been working so well for you. In fact, if you are careful enough, you might get away with this for a rather long time.
As with all free things, there’s a catch.
Here are the facts;
First, you have to be aware that not all the things on Google images are free to use. In fact, the majority of the images on the internet were taken by either a photographer or designed by a professional graphic designer both who put a considerable amount of effort, time and money on the image.
Second, whenever you use an image, you are committing a felony and can face a lot of trouble for your misconduct.
The fact is, many bloggers and content developers do not want to go through all the hassle that goes into searching for the right images. You don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for the images, and more so you don’t want to pay for the images.
So, here as they say lies the rub, on one hand, you want quality images which are certainly very hard to produce and on another hand you don’t want to pay for them.
Quality images on the internet are hard to find, and if you do find them, you will have to part with a substantial amount to acquire them.
What to do?
One alternative might be using free stock photos; they are relatively easy to search for on the internet. However many of them do still require you to pay for the images and while the price is lower than other sources it will cost you a good amount.
Personally, I think the idea of spending a huge sum on images is unfair; besides, the fact that you are using a person’s image on your blog is promoting their art. Fortunately, there are ways to bypass the copyright laws if you know where to look.
There are three categories used in dealing with copyright issues:
What are Public Domain photos?
With ‘Public Domain’, images are free to use and do not require one to purchase a license.
Anyone can use it for any personal or commercial purpose. The user can also use the image as much as they may like and most importantly, no one can claim any copyright over domain photos.
The only restriction comes in when you have to use the image of someone popular; you have to get permission from them so as to use their image on your blog or website.
What are Royalty Free photos?
Royalty images can save you a lot of money. They, as their name suggest are free of any royalty claims meaning that you do not have to pay for them every time you use them. You pay only once and are free to use as much as you want.
What is a Creative Commons License?
Creative Commons is the best platform for one to get free quality images. You won’t have to pay for anything, and you will also have access to a wide range of quality photos.
The idea behind it is to provide a platform where creators can keep copyrights while also allowing people to modify or improve the product. On the Creative Commons website, they boldly state their aim; “make creative, educational and scientific content more compatible with the full potential of the internet.”
A CCO license for instance completely relinquishes all the rights that a person has over his works; a CC 2.0 license may need you to provide attribution if you are using somebody else’s work.
As a blogger, you are looking for a way to completely avoid the legalities associated with images, and you also don’t want to end up paying for an image that you can get for free.
Creative common’s CCO license is the most flexible among them all. You need not buy, rent or even give attribution to the photographer. You can just post the image on your blog or your website with no worries of litigation.
The internet is like a warehouse full of books, and one can get easily sidetracked by the books in the front completely ignoring the books on the bottom shelf that might contain better content.
Fortunately for you, there are people like me who have traversed the internet and knew quite a bit about stock photos. Here is a list of top websites that provide high-quality photos completely free.
1 – New Old Stock
If you are an old soul like I am, you will love this site. It is home to all things vintage, from the very first black and white photos during the first age of photography to the sizzling 90s. This is a great place for historical writers to get quality images for their article.
They are of high quality and can be freely downloaded, shared or liked. Images are also very well categorized to make it easier for you to find the images you need. This site is sure to give you a perspective of the past that you had never seen before.
From its name you can get a clear idea of their philosophy when it comes to stock photos. When you register you will receive a monthly package of photography that you can use. The photos are also tied with stories telling you about the image. You are however not allowed to claim those images as your own.
3 – Pixabay
Chances are you have already heard about it from someone or used it yourself. It is one of the most popular stock photo sites and by far the easiest to use among its peers. You only have to do a simple search using category, filter options and also color. The images are also completely free, encompassed under the Creative Common Zero license.
4 – Magdeleine
The site is home to a large number of images; some offered under the creative commons zero licenses while others require that you give attribution to the creator. The images are also of high quality and are very well organized with a lot search options like hashtags.
This site is for all the food lovers. It offers a broad range of food photos and images that are free under the Creative Commons Zero License, however when using the images, attribution is required.
6 – Gratisography
Photographer Ryan McGuire offers photos on this site for free. The images are updated weekly, but they are not categorized well, you will thus spend quite a lot of time searching for images.
7 – Life of Pix
Offers high-quality images for free, images can also be shared and require no attribution. The search function is also adamant to make it easier for you to find images.
8 – Morgue File
The site is host to one of the largest collection of images on the internet. Most of the images are free to use with some requiring attribution. Due to a large number of images, searching might be a challenge.
9 – Pexels
The website boasts of having “the best free stock photos in one place”, uploading five images on a daily basis. The images are of high quality and free to use under the creative commons license. Searching is also pretty easy.
10 – Unsplash
Ten new images are uploaded every day, and you can get them in your email by registering. Users can also submit their images all of which are offered free under the Creative Commons Zero License.
11 – Good Free Photos
Having a suitable name, the site offers high-quality photos that are especially useful if you like to travel or to write about travel. The images are also free to use with excellent search options.
12 – CupCake
Jonas Nilsson Lee offers photos on CupCake completely free. However the number of images on the site is still relatively small, and they are also not categorized at all.
13 – Plixs
The website hosts a wide array of photos and also videos. You can also get paid by contributing.
14 – PhotoGen
Offer free to use photos under the creative commons Zero License; images are however not resalable or redistributable.
15 – Stock Vault
With no registration required, the site offers images for free. Images are shared by photographers, students, designers and so on.
Wrapping it Up
As a blogger, finding images for your blog-site has always been a challenge. However with the right tools, one can bypass whatever technical or legal hurdles that lie between you and that perfect image. Sites such as Photogen and Pixabay offer the unique opportunity for you to use images without worries.
There are many other sites where one can find quality images that are free to use. Under the Creative Commons License, one can get a large variety of creative work on the internet.