Saturday, August 21, 2010

Free Images and Where To Find Them

Most of us use pictures from Google search. If you notice carefully you might see a warning there that some pictures are subject to copyright. Certain pictures are NOT meant to be used whatever the reason maybe. You have credited the site for taking the photo? That doesn’t make it legal either. You have to take prior permission from the owner before using any picture from any site. The thing is, even if you take a picture from a site, you can never be sure that it’s actually theirs. You can see the same pictures displayed on a number of sites in search results. Is copyright infringement such a big deal then when all these people seem to be going against Internet rules and regulations?

Some photo owners (or let’s just say all) are very passionate about their work and are not really willing to share their art with anyone else. I take extra care while selecting images for my lenses and hubs because I market these pages heavily and I don’t want people to report my work for stealing their images. I earn money through these two sites and if I am serious about my work, I might as well go for legitimate stuff. Be safe than sorry.

Asking permission from owners can be a tedious task. I remember asking a Flickr owner if he would allow me to use his picture on a page of mine. That page was earning enough traffic and I told the user that I would credit him for the usage. He just replied with – ‘All of you only want free stuff!’. Now I dunno if he was looking forward to selling his photos online for him to act so pricey when I asked him to share a photo – but oh well, to each his/her own! I just thanked him for replying to my mail and got a photo from someone else.

If you don’t want to ask for image permissions from owners, you have to look out for sites that offer free images/clip arts. There are loads of sites out there that help you with the same. Here are some of them –

Stock.Xchng (
LightBox (
Image After (
Free Foto (
Big Foto (
Digital Dreamer (
Photo Rack (
Public Domain Picture (
Public Domain Image (
Open Photo (
Open Clip Art (
Royalty Free Clipart (
Barry’s Clipart (
Photoshop Backgrounds (

You can use images or clip arts from these sites mostly for free, but some of them need you to credit their site for doing the same. Check the instructions carefully before using them.

And presenting MY favorite free image search engine –

Creative Commons Search ( – You can alter your search results depending on what you’re looking for. If you want to use images for commercial purposes you might find some here after ticking on the respective box right next to the search box.

P.S : I don’t really bother with all of this when I am blogging but for affiliate marketing I make sure to use free images/clip art only.