When I’m looking for a picture to use for a blog post (like this one), I first search through my personal photography resources.
Over six+ years consulting, I’ve acquired quite a large stock-photography base. However, those images are usually very tailored to client niche markets. So, they often prove useless for small business startup advice.
Next, I check to see if I took any personal photos that might provide optimal imagery for the context of the post. Again, often this is a useless search, since most of my photos are of my kids.
My real go-to for image resources is the Creative Commons directories. These are collections of images that have been given a license with particular share/distribute/modification licensure. This means that each one has a particular license attributed to it: some you can use, but not modify. Some you can use and modify, but have to provide credit back to the original photographer (I recommend this for all your appropriated CC images). The great thing, is they can be used for your blog.
My Top Creative Commons Directories
- Flickr’s CC – Flickr is great and offers lots of photo-options for almost any keyword.
- Google Advanced Image Search – Select dropdown at bottom “Usage Rights” > Filter by type.
Creative Commons Aggregates
- CC Search – A search across multiple CC domains. Select your domain and type the search term.
- PhotoPin – Also an aggregate tied to Flickr. But it makes the photo crediting easier with a built-in link and downloadable sizes.
One of the other options is to utilize public domain images. Public domain images are available due to one of the following reasons:
- Not eligible for copyright in the first place
- Copyright has expired
- Released into the public domain by the copyright holder
Public Domain Images
- USA Government Images – Don’t “Search” for the images like with the above aggregates. Click on the links on this page, and you will be shown the relevant public domain images.
- WikiMedia Public Domain International
- WikiPedia’s large directory of public image photo resources
Using Creative Commons or public domain pictures are a great way to use imagery as a platform to assist in communicating your message. But, remember to give credit to the original photographer. Whether in the alt tag, title tag, or with a hyperlink to the original source, it needs to be accessible when read by search engines and by anyone looking at your site.
Otherwise, enjoy this great free resource at your disposal in enhancing your website.