Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to Find Free Photos for Your Blog

It is Wednesday again and I welcome you to yet another post of the How to Blog Like a Pro series, originally published on Kanelstrand Organic Living.  Read the rest of the posts: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 

Maintaining an impressive blog which attracts many followers inevitably has to do not only with the content but with the illustration as well. We humans, are visual creatures and having that in mind, the smart blogger should take care to provide an additional reason for her readers to keep coming back!

I recently talked about how important eye candy is in creating quality blog posts and in attracting more traffic to your blog. If your photo archive doesn't cover the theme of your latest blog post, you can find photos and illustrations shared freely on the Internet. Believe it or not, a lot of photographers and graphic designers are not driven by money. They want to share their work with the world, under specific conditions, which almost always include being credited for their work.

Below I have listed in alphabetical order 15 sources of quality free photos and images on the Internet. Whatever source you decide to use, ALWAYS credit the artist, link back to them and, when possible, send a link. This is the best and easiest way to thank someone who has been so generous as to offer her creative work to you for free. By taking the time to be courteous and polite you will allow the artist to link back to your site and not only to show potential customers how her work has been used but to direct even more traffic to your blog! 

Creative Commons

Creative Commons helps you search through Google Images, Flickr, etc. to find free photos. It offers you to search according to your need - for commercial purposes or to modify and build on the photo. I often use photos whose modification is allowed and add a little something from me, like change the hue or brightness, or crop the image the way it suits me. But be careful because you should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link of the photo displayed. 


EveryStockPhoto is a search engine for free photos that come from numerous Internet sources and are license-specific, currently searching through more than 10 million of photos. You can view a photo's license by clicking on the license icon, below and left of photos. Membership is free and allows you to rate, tag, collect and comment on photos. 

In Flickr there are always plenty of images available for free use. To search for them, in "Everyone's Uploads" you need to type in your keyword and under "Advanced search" you will have to click on "". Of course, it would be good taste to link back to the original image. I usually do that in the caption of the photo.

FreeDigitalPhotos offers free images for use in corporate and personal projects. Downloading is made easy by instant download and lack of registration requirement.

You need to credit the person who created the image and instructions for publishing credits can be found to the right of every image. If you don't want to do that, you can purchase a license, starting at just $3 per image.

FreePhoto is made up of more than 130 000 images organized in sections and categories.According to  the site, it is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet.

The easy to navigate site offers images that are free for online use, with higher quality versions available for sale. also features exclusive images found nowhere else on the web with new pictures being added every week. It is required that you link back and attribute the images you use. 


You can search the site by keywords in various fields and you can download files in two different ways, as a .jpeg file or as a .zip file. The first option is suitable if you wish to open the image or media file in your browser for viewing, but also for saving it on your hard drive. The zip download is better if the image or media file is very large and you wish to save it on your hard drive. However, this option requires that you have a zip extractor program available.


FromOldBooks is run by Liam Quin, who says he owns a lot of old and antiquarian books with really neat pictures in them. He says: "I thought it was a shame that no one but me could see them, so I started putting them online." 

On his website you will find over 3,000 high-resolution free images scanned from more than 180 different old or rare books, with extracts. The author of the site requires that you let him know if you use any of the pictures by linking back and sending him a link of your post.

ImageBase is a collection of high quality photos of nature, people, cities, and objects taken by David Niblack. The site clearly states that all images are 100 percent free to use. You can use the images on the website for whatever you want, personal, commercial or non-profit use for free. They are licensed under the "Attribution (by)" Creative Commons License.  In short, you are free to distribute and modify the files, commercial or otherwise, as long as you attribute its author (David Niblack).

PDPhoto is a repository for free public domain photos. As the owner of the site puts it: "Unless something is clearly marked as being copyrighted, you can assume it is free to use. But if you intend to use an image you find here for commercial use, please be aware that standards for such use are higher."

If you use pictures from the site, PDPhoto requires you to put the text "Photo courtesy", link back and/or give credit to the author. Anyway, the owner continues: "But you don't have to. Feel free to leave a message in the comment area for the image you're using if it's something you can link to. The pictures are free for you to use and you should feel good about doing so."


Pixel Perfect offers more than 7 000 photos and 3D graphics by 13 000 photographers. You can rate and see how many times an image has been viewed. You can download and use photos as long as you credit the author and keep them for non-commercial use.

Photo Rogue

Photo Rogue is a non-profit web site whose main goal is to increase the amount of free visual media on the Internet. Currently they offer about 700 photos organized in 94 albums

The cool addition to Photo Rogue is that you can even request a picture and volunteer photographers will go out and attempt to take it. It's entirely free, although the owners of the site cannot guarantee that your request will ever be filled.


Here you will find over 25 000 free amazing photos for personal and non-commercial use by various photographers, both professional and amateur.
You can rate photos, see their EXIF, see the date they were taken and much more.


One of the best resources of free images online, launched in 2001 as an alternative for expensive stock photography. The site has developed a lot and currently offers about 400 000 high quality photos from amateur photographers from around the world. The photographers establish the use terms, and most images are available for immediate reuse.


Here you can find free photos categorized by color! Of course, you may not redistribute them to any other websites or offline buyers because they are still the intellectual property of their owners who have given you permission to use them in your designs, art, personal and professional projects, or even as your desktop backgrounds. No signup is required to download photos from the site.


Woophy is a Dutch website offering almost 1 million free photos from around the world for non commercial use. You can search by city, highest-rated photos, country, category keywords, or member to find photos. The categories are animals, culture, landmarks and buildings, nature, objects, and people.

Where do you find your photos and images? Is there any other website you use which you don't see in the list? Share, so we can learn from each other.

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