Kim Avery Coaching

Finding Free Images for Your Blog

by | 8 comments

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that clothes make the man. I think that images make the blog, and finding free images to use can be challenging. Just because you find an image on the web does not mean that you can use it legally.

Of course, if you have a budget for such things, you can get some amazing images for as low as $1 on some of the stock photography sites. Some of the better known ones are iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, and BigStockPhoto.

But we’re after free images, and there are several places that are right under our noses, so to speak, that you might not have thought of.

Google Images

Google Images has some amazing photographs, but a regular search leaves you wondering whether or not you can use the images. However, Google provides a solution to that. Do a Google Image search, and then up at the top right, click the little gear icon and choose Advanced Search. On the Advanced Search page, at the very bottom in the Usage Rights dropdown, you will find an option for “free to use, even commercially.” Choose that, and click the Advanced Search button.

All the images you find are now available for you to use on your blog, though you may have to make an attribution, giving credit to the photographer. You will usually find the license information on the page where the image lives.

The sunflower above is free to use with attribution, and I can either put the information under the image or at the bottom of the post. In this case, I’m putting it at the bottom of the post.

 Wikipedia

Another surprising source for finding free images for your blog is Wikipedia. Often when you do a regular Google search, Wikipedia will come up on the first page. And many times, the article will have some dynamite images.

Speaking of dynamite, here’s an image of dynamite that is free to use with attribution from Wikipedia.

Another trick to finding free images on Wikipedia, if you don’t find one you like on the first page, is to click on the different countries listed in the sidebar. People from different parts of the world will often upload different images to illustrate the article.

Again, just click on an image you find interesting and see if it is available to use.

US Government

If you are a citizen of the United States, your government provides you with a treasure trove of images, from the National Park Service to NASA, from the USGS to the Library of Congress. You can’t even begin to imagine the incredible images that are available.

To start your search go to http://USA.gov and type “images” or a subject in the search bar at the top, and then enjoy the adventure. Who knows… maybe you’ll find a pot of gold!!

Where are your favorite places for finding free images for your blog? Share with us in the comments!

8 Comments

  1. Matthew Reed

    Another source I’ve found helpful is http://photopin.com/ It is an easily searchable listing of free for blogger photos covered under flikr’s creative common’s licence. It gives you multiple options for download size and html formatted attribution code.
    I can’t emphasize enough that if you are using google images to go through the steps that Susan writes about to make sure that you are only using open license photographs. My wife is a photographer and in the photog community there is a growing backlash by photographers who are finding their images used without permission. They are beginning to file suits against blogs accordingly.

    Reply
    • Susan Fleming

      Can’t wait to check out photopin.com — thank you so much for that addition, Matthew!

      And thank you for the added encouragement to our readers to be very careful about photo use and attribution. We should, as representatives of Jesus in our spheres of influence, maintain the utmost integrity and not buy into “everybody does it.”

      Reply
  2. Matthew Reed

    Another source I’ve found helpful is http://photopin.com/ It is an easily searchable listing of free for blogger photos covered under flikr’s creative common’s licence. It gives you multiple options for download size and html formatted attribution code.
    I can’t emphasize enough that if you are using google images to go through the steps that Susan writes about to make sure that you are only using open license photographs. My wife is a photographer and in the photog community there is a growing backlash by photographers who are finding their images used without permission. They are beginning to file suits against blogs accordingly.

    Reply
    • Susan Fleming

      Can’t wait to check out photopin.com — thank you so much for that addition, Matthew!

      And thank you for the added encouragement to our readers to be very careful about photo use and attribution. We should, as representatives of Jesus in our spheres of influence, maintain the utmost integrity and not buy into “everybody does it.”

      Reply
  3. Bryan

    I learned something about the advanced Google options. Thanks!

    There are some great free photos for blogging, etc. on Photo Pin.
    http://photopin.com

    Reply
    • Susan Fleming

      I hadn’t seen PhotoPin before. Thanks for sharing that. It looks very easy to use, too!

      Reply
  4. Bryan

    I learned something about the advanced Google options. Thanks!

    There are some great free photos for blogging, etc. on Photo Pin.
    http://photopin.com

    Reply
    • Susan Fleming

      I hadn’t seen PhotoPin before. Thanks for sharing that. It looks very easy to use, too!

      Reply

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