There is always a possibility of encountering some kind of copyright issue regarding images while maintaining a blog or a long-running website. There’s so much confusion around legal usage of images in different countries that it’s easy to assume you will be safe but there’s still a chance that you may end up getting a huge invoice from Getty Images.
It is recommended to use images from an image provider or stock image library by paying a fee but that is not a viable option for a website having low turnover. Also, stock images can sometimes be dull and boring. So if you are running a website on a shoe string budget or bored of same old stock images you can use these free image sources for good quality and interesting images.
Here’s a list of some sites where you can get unlicensed images:
Google Image Search(filter by usage rights): The easiest way to get unlicensed images is through Google; just type your query in the search bar and then click on Search Tools, then Usage Rights and select Labeled for Reuse. To double-check any further copyright issue you can use reverse image search like TinEye or ImageRaider.
Flickr Creative Commons: It’s a huge user-generated platform for photography where both professionals and amateurs showcase their talent. The images labeled with a Creative Commons license can be used anywhere as long as you give full credit to the photographer and link his/her Flickr profile. But it is advisable that you double-check all the licensing details to avoid any legal trouble in the long run.
Unsplash: The images in this site are not copyright protected and shot on high definition cameras. Just mention the photographer’s name and link his profile and you’re good to use the image.
Morguefile: Despite the slightly spooky name, it’s a great place to browse creative commons photographs.
FreeImages.com: This website offers both premium and free subscriptions. It’s a user-friendly site with handy filter options. The only downside of this site is its inconsistent picture quality.
OpenPhoto: The quality of the images in this site is also not consistent, but there’s a possibility of finding some rare and unique photos in this website.
Make your own image: The most effective option is to create your own graphics, charts or infographics that meets your requirement and makes your post more appealing. Piktochart is a user-friendly tool which can used to create images.
Screenshots: If you’re writing an instructable you can take screenshots of your computer screen. There’s also a cool Chrome extension for taking screenshots of browser windows called “Awesome Screenshot” which can be used to crop the image before downloading it. Also, Mac users can use command+shift+4 to use the inbuilt screenshot tool.