June 12, 2013

How to get free images online

Working for a digital PR agency I regularly write blog posts for clients or for the Prohibition PR blog. I often think of ways to make my blog posts more engaging, and, content aside, having attention-grabbing photos is the easiest way to do just that.

I’m always drawn to blogs that have made good use of imagery. Using my own personal blog as an example, you can see that I’ve used a vast collection of visually-rich imagery from my adventurous cake creations. However unless you take the photos yourself, copyright images can be expensive especially if you are buying an image for every post.

Chocolate cupcake

Chocolate cupcake

Never be tempted to simply use an image you’ve found on Google, or worse still, from a media outlet. You’ll be in breach of the image-owners copyright, and chances are you’ll be tracked down and billed. This happens more often than you’d think, and the cost can easily reach the hundreds of pounds. Media outlets in particular will come down on your hard and will get their money!

Realising this could be a common problem amongst fellow writers, I have a couple of really useful sites that bloggers will appreciate and benefit from;

Firstly, there is This site allows you to download a wide variety of stock images for free (although downloads are usually in one size). However, remember to correctly reference each image or you’ll be in breach of the site’s terms. If you need an image in a larger size, there is the option to purchase it for a reasonable fee.

Secondly, there’s Flickr which is also a useful source of good quality images. When searching, make sure you go to advanced search and choose ‘creative commons licensed content’. These are images that people have made available for public use. However, make sure you check the terms of use for each one, as some do not allow commercial use, some do not allow you to alter them and so on. Also remember to correctly reference each image, by referencing ‘Creative Commons’, and linking to the image owner’s profile on Flickr.

With these sites, you are on your way to creating a neat looking blog post! If that’s all it takes then make sure you do it and save money for the more important things in life, like cake!

Red velvet cupcake

Red velvet cupcake

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Rokhi Mohamedi

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