A picture paints a thousand words, or so the old adage goes. Images can tell a story in a quick glimpse more than endless paragraphs on a page. This is why all top bloggers utilize images to grab attention and effectively convey their message. We often get asked the question, how to find good royalty free images? What are some of the best places to find royalty-free images for your WordPress site?
When I started blogging, I was using images after searching on Google and then used them directly on my blog without giving any credit to actual owners. Using images directly on my blog seems to be illegal, so I decided to read more about the license of images.
In this article, I will share some of top sources to find royalty free images for your WordPress blog posts, so you can make your content stand out.
Bonus: If you’re looking to create highly engaging images for your blog posts, social media, or ad campaigns, check out Snappa – the easiest graphic design tool you’ll ever use.
Quick Note About Licenses
Many of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
However, some photos may require attribution. We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.
In case you’re unfamiliar with copyright categories, here’s a brief overview of the three main types:
Public Domain–Images in the public domain are works whose copyrights have expired or whose creators have relinquished all rights to the works. These are free for personal or commercial use. There is only one exception to the “free for all use” policy for public domain photos: If you’re using an image of a recognizable person, you may need to get his or her permission to use the photo. Some sites offering such photos will already have obtained a model release, so if in doubt, consult the license agreement that comes with the image.
Royalty Free–When images are offered royalty-free, this simply means that the purchaser pays a fee and can then use the image without paying additional royalties or licensing fees. This also means the purchaser doesn’t have to give attribution. This is the model used by paid stock photo sites.
Creative Commons–Photographers who license their images under Creative Commons (CC) can choose how their images will be used by specifying a particular CC license. For instance, a CC0 license means the owner has relinquished all rights to his or her works, while CC 2.0 requires the user to provide attribution.
CC0 is the most flexible license by far: “CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.”
Please note that the sites listed below are all either public domain or creative commons, and none require attribution. I’ve done my best to specify which license each site uses. However, please do your due diligence before using images from the sites below, particularly if plan to use them for commercial purposes.
High-Quality Free Images : How to Find and Use for Your WordPress Blog
Here are Places For Bloggers to Get FREE Stock Images and use them to tell a different story of every blog post.
Creative Commons 0 (CC0) and Public Domain image sites.
1. Pixabay-A huge database of public domain images
2. New Old Stock-Vintage photos from the public archives
3. Unsplash-10 new high-quality photos released every 10 days. Released under the CC0 license.
4. Foodie’s Feed-High-res food images. Free to use without attribution; however, the may not be resold.
5. Death to the Stock Photo-Free images for commercial use. Delivered monthly to your inbox. You do not have the right to claim these photos as your own.
6. Magdeleine-One free high-res photo every day (and access to a full repository of images). Use the handy filter to find images that are either public domain or require attribution.
7. Public Domain Archive-All images are completely free for personal or commercial use, no link or attribution required. I personally use this for my latest startup Due for some of the amazing whitepaper images that we’re putting together for the big launch.
8. Good Free Photos – Public domain images taken by the owner of the site. Offers some good location-based images.
9. Free Range Stock-Free high-res images, registration required. It is suggested you link back to the site and give credit to the photographer, but it isn’t required. You cannot resell, distribute, or claim ownership of the images.
10. Pickup Image-Searchable database of public domain images.
11. Photogen-Free for personal or commercial use, but not suitable for resale or redistribution.
12. Gratisography-Free collection of amazing images taken by photographer Ryan McGuire. All photos provided under CC0.
13. Skitterphoto-License-free photos, free to use under CC0.
14. Life of Pix–High-quality, public domain images with no copyright restrictions.
15. Pexels-Searchable database of CC0 images.
16. Morgue File-A huge repository of free photos. You’re free to use the images for personal or commercial purposes, but you cannot claim ownership of them.
17. SplitShire-Free photos with no copyright restrictions.
18. 1 Million Free Pictures-Free amateur public domain images. What they sometimes lack in quality they make up for in quantity.
19. pdpics-Public domain images taken by their in-house team of photographers.
20. Flickr: Creative Commons-Access to all Flickr photos sorted by license. This allows you to find images under the public domain, non-commercial license, attribution license, etc. Make sure you select ‘Public Domain’ to find images that don’t require attribution.
As you can see, there’s a growing number of fantastic resources for stock photography. These websites have become a blessing for web designers, bloggers, and creative people. I strongly encourage you to browse through each of these websites and incorporate them into your own designs.