Best Free Stock Photo Sites
You’ve just wrote an epic post for your site, but you need a “killer” photo that will enhance and exemplify the “viral-ness” of your post. But where do you find a terrific photo that you can use – for free?
There are many places to find‘royalty free images’ for your blog post. In case you’ve never heard the phrase ‘royalty free image’ before, let’s review: a royalty free image is simply an image that you’re allowed to use for free. It’s not copyrighted, nor do you have to purchase it from the owner. Royalty free images are covered by the Creative Commons CC0 License, which means the work has been released as public domain with no strings attached. Super helpful for those of us who are busy writing and don’t have time to go take – and then edit – that perfect photo for our blog!
But why do you need a photo with your post anyway? This is because photos make your post better. Like it or not, a great image is paramount to the amount of‘share-ability’that your post has. It seems counter-intuitive, you’d think that writing the most epic blog post ever was enough. But people surfing the web like pictures; they love pictures. Images entice people, people are readers; therefore, if you want traffic – including images on your blog is a critical component to your success as a serious blogger.
It used to be difficult to find free photos. Prior to the creation of the Creative Commons License images found on the internet were either copyrighted or they were housed in a repository where you could purchase the image from the owner for a fee.
With the current rush to create blogs about everything from cupcakes to puppies to oranges the need for readily available images has surged. In true ‘supply and demand’ response, the CC0 license has now made it possible to find a multitude of images available for free.
So how do you actually find royalty free images? There are many places you can look. Here are some to explore:
It is a professionally designed site with thousands of free images available. They specialize in pictures of people and in business pictures. However, they also have a large array of what one would call ‘Hallmark holiday photos’, meaning Valentine’s Day, Columbus Day, Graduation, etc.
You’ve probably already heard of Flickr. But how do you use it to get free pics? Browse categories and select a photo you like, then if the owner has a link entitled ‘request to license’ you can click there and contact them and ask their permission to use it. Many say Yes.
Pixabay is also a repository for images found in the public domain. You are allowed to use any image freely from their website, without any attribution to the original owner required. Now that’s easy!
PublicDomainPictures.net is yet another repository for free public domain photos. You can use anything found on their site for free.
You may wonder why photographers would offer their work on any of these sites for free, especially the higher quality photos. Many do so to gain popularity or name recognition. Some do so in a continuing effort to improve their photographic and editing skills. Ultimately it isn’t as important why people have chosen to include their beautiful photos on these sites as much as it is that you can now find a plethora of images available to use for free on your epic blog post. Now we’re talking!
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