A quick note about copyright
As you might know, stock photos are copyright-protected. Hence, before we jump in to where to find copyright-free images for blogs, let’s quickly discuss what copyright is and how it works.
Copyright law provides all the explanations on who owns and controls a piece of intellectual property, who can use it and on what conditions. An owner can always sell the rights to their piece of work. In case someone is hired to create in favor of a different side, the rights are automatically handed to this particular side.
What kind of works are considered an object of copyright protection? It comes to tangible objects, or works that are written, painted, drawn or kept in any other physical form of existence and not in someone’s imagination or words only.
Obviously, conventional facts are not subject to any copyright law, however, any creatively organized compilation of facts is protected.
Most of the copyright spins around commercial use. This gives an author a powerful control over their brainchild and a right to charge you for using their creations. Copyright restricts use of an intellectual property object in many ways. Thus, there is a long list of terms as to how you can and cannot take advantage of an object of your choice.
Getting familiarized with intellectual property protection, you ought to learn about the Fair Use doctrine. Its main idea is that if you want to use materials for the purpose of teaching, researching, commenting or any other non-commercial activity, you can get limited use of the item without asking for an author’s permission.
Anyway, it’s always better to research the license type of intellectual property you want to make use of. There must be a thorough understanding of what a certain license type offers. Remember, there are always many little details that need your attention.
Where to take pictures for your blog
When it comes to the question of where to find photos for a blogger, there are many options available. Basically, they can be summed up in three opportunities:
- Using your own pictures that don’t require asking for anyone’s permission.
- Using stock image platforms where you can buy the right to take advantage of an image of your choice. Here is an example of the most popular licenses on Shutterstock.
- Using stocks with royalty-free photos.
Best free stock photos for your blog
We’ve finally come to the main point of this article, and now it’s time to discuss where to find great royalty-free images for your blog posts. Royalty-free images fall under specific regulation classifying them as public domain property, one example is the Creative Commons Zero license (CC0).
Amazingly, there is an enormous selection of free high-resolution images that can be used in various purposes such as copying, modifying and, what’s more relevant, using them in commercial purposes. Below, you’ll find a list of the best free image stocks available today on the internet.
This platform also offers an easy-to-use search engine where you can look for free photos for blogs by just typing in a keyword or even categorizing images by a needed color or any other attribute. To find out more about the legal side of the deal, read the Pexels license.
Pexels has hundreds of thousands of photos, and new ones are added daily. All the pictures are hand-picked which ensures a high quality of items being offered. You can also select your native language and use it for your search convenience. What’s more, you can even find short videos uploaded by contributors.
Freerange offers a wide choice of royalty-free images for blogs. On this platform, you can browse through the different categories and search for photos or illustrations.
The platform works under the Equalicense licensing. Freerange actively encourages in-house photographers, contributors and illustrators to post their works and participate in an expanded revenue sharing system which caters for the daily requests of users.
Pixabay is regulated by the Pixabay License and offers a variety of languages to choose from to make your search smoother. It supplies users with over a million free graphics available for blogs. There are photos, illustrations, vector graphics and videos at your disposal.
Moreover, the platform owns a blog and a forum that turns it into an independent interactive online community. If you like to scroll through the content on your smartphone, Pixabay suggests downloading their app available both on iOS and Android. On top of that, if you are interested in the development of your own site or app, Pixabay may bring its own API solution to the table.
Flickr is a huge image and video hosting service with tens of billions of pieces of content. For mobile users, Flickr has an app on iOS and Android. SmugMug has recently acquired Flickr and moved all the users’ accounts and tons of data to Amazon Web Services. There are two types of accounts for uploaders on this platform: free and pro. A member of the platform can flag the photos as private or public with many privacy settings available. If the viewers receive permission, they can comment and tag pictures. Moreover, Flickr members can create groups to discuss common interests.
There is a blog to broaden users’ views on the art of photography.
As for licensing, there are many types of permits offered. For example, the Public Domain Mark or the Creative Commons Zero license mean you can find loads of free images for blogs. You can find the full list of the licenses used on this platform here. In the picture below, you can see many ways to use a super user-friendly search mechanism.
It needs to be mentioned that since 2019, the owners of the Flickr pro-accounts have been able to monitor if their content is used without permission, and on top of that, there is a special tool to send automated copyright claims.
Like Pixabay, Flickr introduces its API service to anyone interested.
StockSnap offers to grant you access to many eye-catching pictures in accordance with the rules of the CC0 license, which is great because you’ll be able to perform any kinds of actions with these images without asking for permission. The search is simple with some additional options to use for your convenience.
What’s more, to help you get oriented in the vast space of graphics, StockSnap made up a tag-based system for you.
Over 850,000 of free images for websites can be found on this platform. Forbes presented this platform with a title of one of the world’s leading photography websites. The site works under the Unsplash license that prohibits selling pictures without altering or modifying them in some way.
Unsplash published the Unsplash Book. The idea of publishing a book was completely supported by the Unsplash community and money was raised. Unsplash offers a public application programming interface which is adopted by many big companies such as Medium, for example.
Burst is a free stock image platform owned by Shopify. There are thousands of high-resolution pictures that can be used by bloggers, developers, designers and entrepreneurs.
This service claims to be a storage with the most creative photos. Hence, if you are looking for something extraordinary and quirky, this place is definitely for you.
This is how the Gratisography team describes their company purpose: “Stock images put people to sleep when they’re too much “stock” and not enough “image.” Not enough creativity. Not enough life, In fact, those savvy, sophisticated digital surfers out there are bored to tears with dull stock images. Today’s audiences want real. They crave authenticity”.
Here is an Instagram account of the founder of Gratisography Ryan McGuire so that you can have a general understanding of work you are going to come across on this platform.
The content on Freestocks is free for both personal or commercial needs. You can filter the search by categories or keywords and tags.
Freestocks says its items are fresh and up-to-date. The interesting thing is that this site is filled by three professional photographers only. As a result, the collection may appear humble, but it’s made up with true passion and love. The creators work under the CC0 license.
The last stock we would like to tell you about is Picography. Their policy is simple: the platform functions under the CC0 license. For three years now it has been offering many vivid pictures. This is a nice option if you are looking for something rare and unusual.
Best stock photo resources
There are many options to find good visual content, but it’s obvious that the most popular and favorable one is free stock images. Due to their accessibility, such services are often used by bloggers, writers and other professionals to illustrate their material and catch the attention of their audience.
Fortunately, being a part of the public domain, these works can be legally used in both personal and commercial activity. Are you interested in other instruments to move your blog forward? Read our tips on how to benefit from the most efficient tools to develop and promote your travel blog.