If you know where and how to look, you can find very high quality free images online.
So you say you need a photograph for a post or other project but don’t have one of your own that will work. What to do?
First I’ll tell you what NOT to do. Don’t go spending a bunch of money signing up for an expensive photography stock website. That’s the right answer for some, but if you’re just looking for a photo or two, you’re basically throwing your money away.
There are plenty of sources for visually strong images out there that you can access; it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
This website is full of stunning images like this street scene (looks like Paris, no?). The site is fun to peruse…you can scroll down one after the other, each more delightful than the next.
The photos are all hi-resolution and you’re free to download to do whatever you’d like with them.
10 new photos are added every 10 days; the site is arranged like a series of blog posts. They aren’t sorted by category and you can’t search for photos by keyword, but at this price for such quality images, no complaints here!
2. Flickr Creative Commons License
Source: William Warby Flickr Stream. Thanks, William!
Flickr is a great source for free images as many people upload their work under a Creative Common license. If you don’t know what a particular license means, it’s explained on this Flickr Creative Commons License page.
You can browse Flickr, search by keyword or search through the content under each type of license. For this image I simply searched, “beach” and “attribution.” Gorgeous shot, huh?
3. Google by Usage Rights
In keeping with the beach theme, I Googled “beach images.” To further refine, go to the drop down menu “Usage Rights” and select whichever works for your current situation and needs. Easy peasy!
4. FotoPlanet App
Okay, this one isn’t technically 100% free. Fotoplanet is available for 99 cents from iTunes store, but after that there are thousands of images you can download for free. There are dozens of categories, the ability to search, and new images are added weekly.
You simply download the image you want on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You can then email to yourself and use it on your computer. Alternately, you can sync the app with your computer via iTunes.