Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blogging Tips: Find Free Online Images

How many times have you written a wonderful post only to find that you don't have the right picture(s) to go with it?

We all know that photos add so much value and interest to our blogs, as there isn't a one of us who doesn't like looking at the pictures when we visit each other's blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram, etc.

In a perfect world, we'd all be wonderful photographers and we'd have all the right props to create these wonderful vignettes. And we'd all love taking photos. But perhaps some of us are not so inclined; personally, I'm not a photographer at heart -- I prefer to sit in a beautiful spot and write about it than to go around taking pictures of it. I do take pictures, lots of them nowadays, but it's still not my first joy; I'm just as happy to scout for pics that have been made available online by others.

Some Great Online Sites

There are lots of sites where a person can pay a yearly fee to have access to photos, but what if a person's budget doesn't quite allow for that... where does a person go for free photos and not infringe on anyone's copyright?

Fortunately, there are some lovely sites where people have shared their photographs, images, and graphics, and made them available for people to use for free. I consider this amazing generosity -- I have availed myself of these quite often and am very grateful too. 

Read Their Terms of Use

These sites will outline their Terms of Use as to the way users are allowed to use the photos. For example, some want a link back to their site, others don't ask for it. Giving credit where credit is due is always a 'golden rule' thing to do. Some say you can use the photos for personal use and on your own website, but not for commercial use. Some say if you use the photograph to make something new and original, they don't need attribution acknowledged; others want the source mentioned. So, be sure to read the guidelines -- no one wants to find herself being in breach of copyright laws, or being unneighbourly. And, if you're unsure, a safe thing is to ask permission of the owner.

Some Links

Here is a really good post from by Stacey Roberts: Where to Find Free Images Online. Stacey has put together a great list of online places where she goes for free pics and graphics. Do read through the comments on her post too, as people have added other suggestions and cautions. 

Below I've added the links to a few of my own favourite places I have gone to over the years when I need some pretty vintage graphics. And, if you're looking for actual photos, then check out morguefile (near the bottom of the list) as that site has lots of wonderful photographs.

If you have any favourite sites where you obtain free graphics and pictures, and you'd be willing to share the links, please leave a note in the comment box.

Have fun exploring,

New Links Added: I really like this site. Awesome photos. All images are under the CC0 license meaning they are in public domain and you are free to use them in any way you like.
Digital Inspiration posted a other photo sources with links and descriptions of what each site offers. 


  1. thanks for the suggestions. I use clipart,com and pay their fee about $150/year.

  2. Thanks so much for the links. I love Graphics Fairy but I usually write my posts around the photos I've taken during the week. I take a lot! lol Happy Spring!

  3. Brenda, thanks for your suggestions. I've always seen that you have some great photos and graphics on your blog, so will check these out.

  4. This could be really helpful for me right now -- for some reason I've been unable to download any of my pictures. Sigh . . . I know I'm going to have to invest the time in figuring it out. I'm a writer, too, and not a photographer, but it is true, pictures add so much to our posts. Thanks for all the good info Brenda. xo

  5. PS. Beautiful Readers,

    I just thought of something else that might be helpful to new bloggers. For anyone who downloads photos from these free sites here is how I keep them organized on my computer. In my picture file, I create a folder for each site I use, eg. a folder for The Graphics Fairy, one for, etc. That way I keep them organized and can give proper credit and link backs to the right source when that's required.

    Whenever I see a picture (on a day that I'm searching) that I might be able to use, I download a 'save as image' into the right folder. The sites that ask for a link back, I've either made the picture itself an active link or put the photo source in in the post at the bottom. (I'm currently updating my old posts to make sure that in the past I haven't forgotten to give links if the photos aren't mine.)

    I keep my own photos separate. In the past I never put my blog name or link on the photos, but I see that many bloggers do that now. It's a way to help identify your own photos online. So I'm starting to do that too. It adds another step to creating posts with pictures, but it's a way of identifying your own photos as they are so easily copied and used elsewhere. And we know it happens. So I use either my blog name or my blog url on my own photos now. (I'm going back to old posts to update these things too).

    Like anything else, this blogging journey has been a great learning experience. We learn as we go. And I am going back into my archives to ensure that the photos I used years earlier are duly sourced if needed and to make sure I'm not using something that I have no right to (just because I found it on Google images doesn't make it copyright free).

    Hope that helps... Brenda xox

  6. Dear Brenda - This was a very generous post. You have some lovely links that I will check out. Thank you so much dear for sharing. Hope you have a great week-end.

  7. This is so helpful, Brenda. I have stewed and fretted trying to select a photo for a post when I didn't have the "right" one. I think that I will Pin this post so that I can return to it as a that okay with you?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Cheryl... I'm glad this was helpful... Do feel free to Pin. B :)

  8. You're very kind to share these with us, Brenda! I don't normally use things other than my pictures unless they're a helpful image, but I think it would be so nice to beautify some of my posts with pretty images. Thanks for the sources!

  9. Thank you for so generously sharing these resources with us!!!!!

  10. Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for all these fantastic tips! So nice of you.
    Happy Spring!
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this information! I've often wanted to ask a blogger where they find the pictures that aren't their own but hate to ask in case they wouldn't want to share. You're right, it is sometimes hard to take personal photos for every single post and it's often so difficult to know what the original source was on a Pinterest pic. Again, thank you!

  12. Great tips, Brenda! Thanks for sharing.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo