Small businesses involved in content creation can struggle to find high quality, copyright free images. Worse still, many are unaware of copyright restrictions and sometimes take images from sources such as Pinterest or Google search.
To respect the legal side of it all, the rights of the photography community, and to keep content efforts unique, content creators should endeavour to verify all of the images they use. It’s tiring work and can be frustrating if a post is waiting to go live, but thankfully there are numerous dedicated sources available which provide high quality photographs. Many of these are entirely free of copyright restrictions, meaning you don’t have to worry about infringement of someone’s work. You can place a fantastic, eye catching picture into your content without fear of outraging a photographer.
There’s an extensive, and ever growing, catalogue available. To take advantage of these generous offers, here are 15 such sites with excellent images waiting to be used.
The majority of the photographs on the sites listed below are completely free from copyright restrictions. Typically this means an individual can modify and use an image for commercial/personal purposes.
As a note of caution, however, do always double check and, if needed, attribute an image to its owner. If there’s an image you’d particularly like to use, you can always contact the owner and ask for permission – many photographers are happy to share their work if it’s for quality content. Many of the listed sites also appreciate support via social media sharing, and/or donations if possible.
As a resource Picjumbo’s a great place to start. It’s all the work of Viktor Hanáček, and he encourages social media sharing of his work so the site can grow. As he writes, “You can use them for many different things. For webdesign, sliders, apps, backgrounds or templates for sell. You are not limited. One thing I would really appreciate is an attribution. It’s up to you, it is not necessary but greatly appreciated!”.
The pictures are categorised and are of great quality, with a Premium Membership option for more options should you wish to pay a little.
All the of brilliant, often quirky, images here are from visual artist Ryan McGuire. Absolutely everything is free from copyright restrictions, and there’s an eclectic selection on offer.
The only downside is the pictures aren’t categorised, which can lead to a bit of searching. The pictures are so unique, though, browsing through them isn’t a chore.
With a searchable database of dedicated public domain images, Pixaby offers an impressive range. As they explain, “You are free to adapt and use the Images for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although absolutely not required, a link back to Pixabay would be nice.” Check the full Terms and Conditions for more details.
For something really different, try these photos from the past. Striking black and white pictures abound. As the website explains, “The copyright is in the public domain because it has expired”. The selection is pretty remarkable and poignant, and also highlights some serious photographic talent from yesteryear.
The work of Daniel Nanescu, a graphic designer and photographer. In his words, “Just use them as you like for webdesign, sliders, apps, backgrounds or templates for sell. The only thing I am aksing to you is to spread the word around, it will be greatly appreciated.”
There’s a big list of categories to choose from, and the quality is exceptional.
10 high quality images are released “every 10 days”, and they’re dedicated to the public domain. The photographs are of incredibly high quality, so take advantage of their generosity. You can subscribe via e-mail to have each new selection delivered to you immediately on release.
There’s a required Sign Up section for the service, but from there there is access to an impressive range of images. Reading the Image License Agreement for full details is a must, but many excellent quality images can be used. However, attribution is often required so do make sure you examine each picture’s expectations in detail.
Social media led images from mobile uploads. They describes themselves as, “a marketplace of the best mobile photos. Here are free photos for your personal or commercial projects.” There’s a distinctive selection available of images which are often on the profound side of things.
This offers an excellent resource of stock images for designers, and the images are free. However, the site is a bit different from the others. As the site explains, “The morguefile license is specifically for designers and illustrators to use the images in a creative process creating work of their own. If you would like to use the image in a blog post, we recommend contacting the photographer”. For full details check their About section; it’s a great resource for quality images and isn’t to be missed out on.
10. Little Visuals
Much like Unsplash, Little Visuals provides 7 new images once a week. You can subscribe to this service, and the photographers dedicate their work to the public domain.
Here you need to enter an e-mail to sign up, then you have access to monthly e-mails with new quality photographs. These are, “For commercial use, your blog posts, social accounts and mockups.
We aim to be just like coffee for the modern creative.” They’re great quality and offer a good range of images, from technology to other day-to-day life images.
12. Life Of Pix
Free high-resolution pictures with no copyright restrictions whatsoever. There’s a gallery of categories offering a diverse choice, and it’s all most excellent.
Thomas Mühl’s site consists of entirely copyright free pictures, with updates arriving each week. There’s a group of categories to choose from,
For a small fee of €5 you can even acquire all 113 images for your commercial/blogging needs. As they’re such great quality photographs, it’s a fair offer.
A warning here as many of Flickr’s images are copyright restricted, but some are available for use so long as the image is properly attributed. Through the Creative Commons section you can narrow down images to certain restrictions. It’s worth a browse as many of the photographs are very high quality, and for a simple attribution it is worth all the effort.
A media file repository with public domain and freely-licensed education media content. Pay particular attention to the expectations of photographers as some expect attribution for their work, although there are many images in the public domain stored here. It’s a fantastic archive of classic images. Of special note is their “Pictures of the Year” contest, which offers extremely high quality images – often copyright free.