Images, like texts, tell a story. And combined, they bring your story to life and keep readers hooked on your content.
One of the best ways to source pictures is, of course, to take them yourself with a high definition camera, making sure to capture the right angles that will help you tell your story.
However, if you are not a great photographer like me, the internet will have to be your second and best choice. While it seems like the fastest and easiest option, getting free images from the internet might not be the ‘cheapest’ idea—it can cost you a fortune.
Why is it costly to use free images online?
The answer is simple—you’re not the owner and using what you don’t own constitutes an infringement. Most of the free images online are owned by whoever created them. These creators hold the copyright to their images.
Different types of images come with varying restrictions and below are the common forms you will find online:
These are images sold or paid for online and there are usually restrictions placed on the way you can use them. One of the top choices for right-managed services is Getty images.
These images are also paid for before you can use them but you can use them with lesser restrictions and as many times as you wish without paying additional royalties provided you stick to the terms. Top examples of sites to get royalty-free images are Shutterstock, Adobe stock, Getty Images etc.
Creative commons images
This is a good place to start when looking online for images you can use. Creative commons licenses are used to allow copyrighted work to be distributed for free but with terms and conditions which you must follow religiously.
Free stock images
I would say, these are the most harmless images to use. They are not copyrighted. Also, you must ensure to credit the source properly as shown in the images in this article.
Where can I find free stock photos?
Here are 5 Great websites to find high-quality, rights-free images:
Pexels is my go-to site for free stock photos and videos, maybe because it was the first free stock photos site I learned about. With its very precise and simple license, it makes clear what you can and cannot do with images on the site.
I just recently learned about Unsplash and I love this site. With its irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license, you can download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free.
If I don’t find my choice photos on Pexels, Pixabay usually comes to the rescue. With 1 million+ high-quality free stock images and videos, it’s a great alternative to Pexels. But don’t forget to read through the very detailed license.
For personal or commercial use, all images on this site are CC0 licensed and are completely free to use! Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licenses mean you can use the images without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist. But it will be appreciated if you do.
Just like Negative Space, ISO Republic provides thousands of free high-resolution CC0 photos and videos, all free for personal and commercial use.
Now you can knock yourself out using beautiful images that will bring your content to life and also make safe choices online without breaking the law!
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