When you’re creating articles and blog posts for your website, photos can add real pizzazz. Sure, when you’re writing about a listing, you generally have access to photos, although it’s worth double checking with your MLS to make sure you can use photos found there and what, if any, credits you may need to use.
Copyright applies to photos too
You can assume that every photo you see on the web is copyrighted. That means you can’t use them without permission, and often some payment.
Fortunately there are a ton of places you can get photos and use them with permission for free. Some require that you give the site credit, which isn’t hard to do. Others don’t even require that.
Generally, giving the photographer or the site where you got the picture is as simple as a putting the word image or photo at the bottom of the article and linking it to the site or photographer. The websites offering free photos make it clear what is needed when using their photos.
9 free photo sites
Here are nine sites of royalty free photos you can use as is or alter. Most require no attribution, but it’s always worth double checking as things change.
Each of these has a different style of photography. Spend a few minutes browsing through each, then pick one or two that appeal to you to bookmark and use regularly.
- https://pixabay.com/ offers over half a million photos that are both royalty free and require no credit. Tipping, however, is encouraged. They have a pretty good search engine. You can use the photos as is, or alter them.
- http://deathtothestockphoto.com/ delivers photos monthly via email you can download and use. Check out their style before you subscribe to make sure you like it.
- http://www.freeimages.com/ has a great selection of free photos. Many of them are big – if you know how to use a simple image editor like PhotoFiltre to reduce the size, you’ll be all set.
- https://search.creativecommons.org/ Creative Commons image search lets you search for exactly what you want over a selection of services, including Google Images. All the photos returned are safe to use. Giving the photographer credit is a nice thing to do. Almost all the photos allow you to alter them as well.
- https://unsplash.com/ releases new photos in collections every 10 days. You’re free to use them and change them anyway you like. Their search engine is pretty good – spend a few minutes exploring their collections and see if you find many photos to your liking.
- https://stocksnap.io/ – lots of great photos updated regularly and no attibution required.
- http://www.gratisography.com/ is a collection by photographer Ryan McGuire that is totally free to use. His pix are interesting, but not to everyone’s taste. Take a look.
- http://negativespace.co/ has a searchable collection of some great photos you can use as you will.
- http://www.lifeofpix.com/ offers some great shots of buildings and archetecture as well as nature and all sorts of good stuff – all ready for you requiring no attibution and you can change them any way you like.
If none of these appeal, you can Google something like royalty free photos and come up with way more than you’ll ever be able to use. It’s also worth noting that you can use any photo you find on Wikipedia. The same thing is true for any site owned by the Federal government, including NASA.
Do you have a favorite photo site you’d like to share with us? Post it in comments.