Whether creating a new blog article, a business flyer or just a new social media post, images are essential to the overall visual aspect of your design. Finding these images can be difficult and time consuming. First thoughts tend to send users to Google Images to find what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, due to copyrights, not all images can be used. Avoid wasting time on searching through images you can’t use by checking out one of these outstanding websites.
All morgueFile images contain free usage rights and can be used any way you would like. The only exception is you cannot claim ownership to any of the images you download. Images are at least 800 x 600 pixels. The biggest downfall I have come across is the images contain a variety of resolutions depending upon who uploaded the photo. Thus you will need to make sure the resolution fits your requirements prior to choosing an image. Files can also be downloaded without registering for the website.
One feature I like about Pixabay is it is available in 20 different languages. Images you find can be copied, distributed, modified and/or used for commercial purposes without asking permission or requiring attribution. Plus you can filter your search by either image type and/or orientation. Pixabay also has a great WordPress plugin called Pixabay Images. This allows you to easily install images into your WordPress media library with just one click.
Helpful Information: Creative Commons License has a range of uses. It can allow free usage to users or to only allow use as long as it is for specific purposes or you do not change the image.
Free Images is a popular website with designers. It used to be known as Stock.xchng until it was renamed. Membership is free by registering for the website and features a wide variety of imagery including photos, illustrations and vector images. You can use the images in a multitude of formats including both digital to printed options. However, you cannot use the images for pornographic, unlawful, or other immoral purposes.
Helpful Information: Public Domain contains imagery with copyrights which have expired, forfeited, or is inapplicable. It is important to remember not all images found online are public domain imagery.
Death to the Stock Photo
Death to the Stock Photo is a great source for photography images. It has a license agreement allowing you to do just about anything you want to the photos: edit, reproduce, etc. You are given a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to the use of the photograph. The only downfall I have come across with the Death to the Stock Photo is you cannot search through the archives as a free user. In order to access all past and/or future packs online, you have to purchase their premium package. Free membership provides you with a monthly newsletter featuring a pack of free high-resolution photography. Plus when you sign up, you also get a free image pack.
Helpful Information: Make sure the image you choose has the correct resolution for your project. Print requires a minimum of 300 dpi.
Stock Free Images
Stock Free Images is one of the largest online collections of free images. This website alone features over one million images. This includes both royalty-free illustrations and stock photos. The website is owned and powered by Dreamstime. All images downloaded are under royalty-free license, which allows you to use the image multiple times as long as you give proper image attribution and/or a link back to their website.
Prices on commercial imagery can get expensive. Avoid the use of copyrighted materials and high prices by checking out websites for free image options. Make sure all print projects have the proper resolution of 300 dpi or more. Remember to check out multiple sites. By looking into multiple resources you will have a much broader range of image options.