Let’s walkthrough a quick hypothetical here:
You’re finishing up a blog post about, say, “The Best FREE Stock Image Sites for All Situations ” and you realize that
it stinks there’s a lot left to be desired. One of the best resources for spicing up posts, or, at least making your content look legit is to slap a couple Sepia-filtered pics of a neatly organized work-station and watch the clicks come through. Your plan of action is probably: Go to Google Images, search “Sepia Filtered Business Pictures,” download the first result and drag it into your blog post. This works…. sometimes:
Second, there are legal ramifications for distributing images online that you do not have permission to share. These laws depend on the way in which you acquire content:
- Self-Ownership: Get your tripod, lights, lenses, and timer out to start framing the perfect shot. Congrats! Use this image as you please.
- Get permission from the photographer… Ensue a jump rope with copyright, image placement, and use restrictions.
- Purchase images. Buuuuut it’s almost 2018, which means you can probably find it for free somewhere online without legal ramifications.
- That “somewhere” comes in 2 forms:
- Attribution-free stock images
- Creative commons licensed images
There are loads of lists out there telling you the 17 best stock image sites, or the ultimate list of free stock images for your blog, but oftentimes, the lines are blurred between attribution and not. Attribution, in the context of copyright law under Creative Commons, is simply the proper accreditation of a work to the copyright holder.
What’s proper accreditation, you may ask? When you post graphics or images, you must include:
- Name of the creator
- A copyright notice
- A link to the license
- A disclaimer notice stating if any changes were made
- A link to the material
- The title of the original material (if using Attribution Law 3.0 or earlier)
That’s quite a bit of information to include for a single image of [Woman Holds iPhone Looking Sad]
The alternative is attribution free images that are available for universal distribution under Creative Commons Section 0. It’s important to note that you do not own an attribution free image. You only own photos you snapped or snap(chat)ed. Attribution-free photos, however, allow you to alter, post, print, and share images as long as you do not claim original ownership in any way.
[To learn more about licensing, fair use, and attribution, check out the Creative Commons website – a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creative materials within the law.]
NOW. If you made it through that little copyright law lesson, here are our favorite website for attribution-free images for use in your blog or social campaigns.
The 17 BEST Free Stock Image Sites:
17. Pikwizard: for high-quality images and new ones uploaded daily
This up-and-comer in the stock photography game has over 60,000 high-quality images with a third of them being exclusive to their site.
16. Good Free Photos: [Description?←See Title]
15. Pexels 3.0: Don’t settle for whatever. Search with Pexels 3.0 in 2016 to find exactly what you need.
14. New Old Stock: for all your #TBT needs
13. Kaboompics: from incredible close-ups to unique landscapes
12. Picography: A Potpourri of Stock Images
11. Frinkiac: Simpsons-only Stock Image & Meme generator
10. Mike and Jay Explore: 2 friends on a mission to flood the internet with awesome HD images for download
9. BestStockPhotoFree: Finally! Choose the size of your photo download
8. SWAGpix: Another deep, searchable attribution-free library
7. Unsplash: truly stunning, native user-submitted photos.
6. The Public Domain Archive: Database as deep as Google Images
5. Gratisography: Quirky Images from Portraits to the Microscopic
4. Picjumbo: Assorted HD Seasonal Images
3. Pixabay: Reddit-style content curation for Images & Vector Icons
2. DeathToTheStockPhoto: Not-your-average stock photos curated into blog posts & seasonal trends
1. The best for last: StockUp Image Search
*Bonus!*: Fair Use Music Tracks from 6-time Grammy nominated producer MOBY
Put these images to use!
Now that you’ve collected a full library of stock images, it’s time to put them to good use! We’ve put together over 15 Facebook Ad Design templates for you to start creating beautiful ad creatives.