Need Images? Don't "Borrow" Them From Web Sites. Free Images Galore Right Here!

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No matter how you justify "borrowing" graphics, pictures, photographs and other digital images, copying and pasting other peoples' copyrighted creative works is almost always stealing and could get you in hot water ... expensive legal hot water!

There is no need to do it - ever.

I'm going to share my bookmarked free graphic sites collection with you. I checked all the links this morning and these sites are all currently active. They allow you to download, use and modify their images, royalty-free and without attribution (usually) for both personal and commercial purposes.

FAQ #1- Is this collection comprehensive? Aren't there other sites with free photos?
Answer - Yes and yes. These are just my favorite sites and they contain, collectively, millions of images - way, way more than you or I will ever need. I haven't included image sites with small or specialized niche collections. I realize there are many other sites online that could be added to the list. I just haven't needed any others.

FAQ #2 - Are you sure these are legal for my commercial marketing use?
Answer - I always recommend you read each site's image license and terms of use for the image you want to download. Most of these sites apply the same license to all their images so familiarizing yourself with the license terms one time at the outset is often all the "due diligence" you need. Due diligence is always your responsibility.

FAQ #3 - Are you saying I shouldn't use paid stock photo sites?
Answer - No, I'm not saying that at all. In fact, buying an image with an attached license is my preferred way of securing images for my own marketing and products. But many folks on a tight budget feel they can't afford paid images right now. Hence, the reason for this "share" rather than putting yourself at risk helping yourself to copyrighted images on other peoples' sites.

FAQ #4 - Why don't you list Google Images, Flickr, and other popular image sites?
Answer - Google Images, Flickr, and other well-known image sites all have disclaimers ("weasel" words) that say it is impossible for them to know if images shown on their sites are copyrighted by their creators. Even though they have "advanced" image searches and filtered results, they still leave it to their users to verify that each image is applicable for free and open use.


20 Favorite Free-to-Use-and-Modify Image Sites (for commercial marketing purposes)

- Pixabay One of my favorites - currently 1.3 million images

- FreeRange Both photos and illustrations

- SnappyGoat Huge collection - 14 million free public domain/CC0 images, photos, and clipart

- Morguefile 350,000+ post production images

- Gratisography High-resolution images free of copyright restrictions

- Pexels Their claim: "Best free stock photos in one place"

- PicJumbo Their claim: "The Best of Best FREE Images"

- Unsplash Another favorite of mine

- ImageBase Most of the photos were taken by David Niblack

- PublicDomainArchive This is a directory of over 35 websites for high resolution free stock photos in the public domain (which means they carry no copyright requirements)

- Free-Images Search for public domain/CC0 images. "Search through millions of free stock photos, art and vector images"

- RawPixel "Safe to use images, PSD Mockups and Vectors"

- LibreShot "Free images for blogs or websites even for commercial use. No need to mention the author."

- Library of Congress Note: This is a wonderful and important collection, but be sure to check the images you want to use as not all of them are "without restrictions." The U.S. government is the largest repository of public domain works in the world.

- Wikimedia Commons Fantastic resource of "a collection of 43,706,337 freely usable media files" Another all-time favorite of mine. Note: These are not all CCO images; however, each image has a clickable "quick link" right to the applicable CC license so you can immediately know what the terms of use are for that image. Be sure to check the use restrictions.

- Archive.Org Images Another wonderful resource - but be sure to check the license of the image you want - not all are "free to use for whatever." Nevertheless, this is such a good resource (nearly 4 million images), I had to include it because I use it all the time!

- PublicDomainVectors 50,000 public domain vectors. Vectors are images scalable to any size and they still look great. Mostly clip-art type images.

- VectorPortal You want vector clip-art? "Over 35 million vector downloads."

- ReuseableArt Mostly for "crafters" - a smaller collection of vintage images.

- FreeImages Search "390,588 free photos and illustrations"

There you have it - 20 of my current favorite free image sites that you can use for your blogs, advertising, product graphics, web sites, sales offers, and just about everything else. If you ever have a question about usage rights, don't use the image. There are plenty more to choose from!

The very best to all of you,

Steve
#borrow #free #galore #images #sites #web
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Awesome resource share, Steve!

    If I may add: Don't just use pictures as is

    For maximum SOCIAL MEDIA MILEAGE, format them correctly and add graphical calls to action or attention grabbing text
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Don't just use pictures as is

      For maximum SOCIAL MEDIA MILEAGE, format them correctly and add graphical calls to action or attention grabbing text

      Writeaway,

      Excellent point and I agree with you. It's not too difficult, with a little practice, to resize, crop, embellish, add text, etc to any image.

      Thanks,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author MisterMister
    Good thread

    its always hard finding images for articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    That's brilliant Steve. I don't often need to work with images but perhaps I will more now I have some worthwhile sites to look at.
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    • Profile picture of the author 111ideas
      But the free images should be copyright free. Otherwise, you will be in problem.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by 111ideas View Post

        But the free images should be copyright free. Otherwise, you will be in problem.
        It's nice when you can find a suitable image already in the public domain (copyright free), but it's not the only way.

        What you really need to be sure of is that the license attached to the image allows you to use if for the purpose you have in mind. For example, finding licenses for images to be used in a blog post is pretty easy, especially with attribution. The image creator still owns the copyright, but gives you the ability to use that image. The same license may not allow you to use the image on a tee shirt or other physical object you intend to sell.

        When in doubt, contact the rights holder and ask for clarification. It may be easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but permission is usually a whole lot less expensive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    With all the free images (legally) available online, I'm constantly amazed at the number of people who urge newbies to "Head on over to Google images."


    Thanks go to https://pixabay.com/

    Brent
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      With all the free images (legally) available online, I'm constantly amazed at the number of people who urge newbies to "Head on over to Google images."

      Brent:

      Agreed. Google explains on their web site that they have no way of knowing what the copyright status and usage permissions are for the images shown on their site as they don't verify image rights.

      Here is the source on the Google website:

      Under the heading:

      Find images, text, and videos you can reuse

      "Note: Before reusing content, make sure that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse. For example, the license might require that you give credit to the image creator when you use the image. Google can't tell if the license label is legitimate, so we don't know if the content is lawfully licensed."

      Page Reference

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Great list Steve. Bookmarked.
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    This is worth to be bookmarked.
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    Nice list. I use Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons a lot, but didn't know about the rest. Got this thread bookmarked!
    Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author leadmachine2
    Great source for fantastic free images! I really like the idea that I can use those images for free without certain copyrights or that I need to pay for them just to have them as the wallpapers.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
    This should be a Sticky.
    Could save someone from getting in a "sticky" legal problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author theaecassociates
    Good article....it is tough job in finding images for articles...Thanks for the post...
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  • Profile picture of the author Briedis2
    Great ressource !! Thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author Judey
    Nice one Steve ! I'll bookmark them for future use.
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  • Profile picture of the author Comhair
    Wow, thanks a lot for sharing this. I bookmarked them all You never know if it can be useful in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author DINS
    That is just an awesome list. I had some before in my bookmarks, some are completely new. Thanks for sharing
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  • Profile picture of the author tritrain
    Great list! Unsplash is my go-to repository.
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  • Profile picture of the author SaraWilliams
    its always hard finding images for articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author rishwoj
    This is an amazing resource list, thanks a .lot Steve for putting it together
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  • Profile picture of the author maninaction
    That's an amazing list Steve. I was limited to Pixabay and unsplash. Your list expanded my options. Thanks for the share.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ivan2b
    Thank you and I advise to all of you to copy the whole list since you never know for what purposes you will need those in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Another good share Steve.

    I knew someone who was "borrowing" images for years with no issues then one day received a letter from Getty images, it's a headache no one needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    Thank you for the valuable resources this is a great post keep them coming!
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Bookmarked, Steve. Thnx
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    Nothing to see here including a Sig so just move on :)

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  • Profile picture of the author Patricia Lynn
    Excellent digital resources for images. Providing visual content on a blog through infographics, images, and video creates an impact using illustration readers can instantly relate to.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigbody300
    WOW that is a awesome list - thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author ramtar
    This is very good information, thanks Steve!
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    I do a lot of CPA offers and I've always found it hard to find anything free that good.

    I use the following for most images now, as you can find almost any image that's on the other paid sites but for far less $$$.

    https://www.canstockphoto.com/

    Anyway, it might help someone out.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Thanks for the links. I make use of Pixabay quite a lot, although the new redesign annoys me. No idea why they've made the site big and all mobile friendly when most users must surely be using PCs.

    Always remember to use your own photos as much as possible though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Patricia Lynn
      Thank you for the list of digital image resources.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Million
    Thanks for taking the time to put together this collection. I've got this post bookmarked for future use!
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  • Profile picture of the author amuro
    Thank u for sharing.
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  • Thanks for sharing! This is awesome!
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  • Profile picture of the author affmarketer101
    Those are awesome resources. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author JackMr
    Great resource share, Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgeFloros
    Nice list.

    Just be warned that some free stock photos may be unsuitable for commercial use. Even if the license says "free for commercial use", it is up to the end-user (you) to determine whether the image should be used commercially or not.

    Images with identifiable people and/or property and images containing copyrighted or trademarked items should NOT be used commercially unless the necessary model and property releases have been collected.

    The problem is that most free stock photo sites do not collect releases so you have to check that out for yourself.
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    Friendly Stock - Cartoon clipart with commercial license
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  • Profile picture of the author kazimuhith
    Awesome resource that you shared here, Steve! Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    I'm glad the spammer who resurrected this thread did so. I missed it the first time around.

    Thanks, Steve...
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  • Profile picture of the author mostCPA
    ​potent combination that will greatly improve our online tasks.
    Best Regards.
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  • Profile picture of the author pavanear2
    Great article and my all time favorite image source website Pixabay and shutter sock
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