It’s in our human nature to judge something by simply looking at it. Thus, it’s really important that posts have high quality images. These quality images have an effect on how your visitors perceive your website. We are more likely to gravitate towards the things that we find nice and pretty and quickly judge at something that doesn’t look good.
However, finding the right image that is copyright free and looks professional can be daunting, and sometimes it even discourages you from writing high quality content. Not only that, but looking for an image to use on a commercial website is even worse.
In addition, Search Engines such as Google Images are smart enough to know if your image has violated the copyright law and sooner or later the original photographer will find out that you’ve used their image and sue you for a hefty fine. Not only you will end up paying a hefty fine, but you will also be all over the news and social media, and your reputation, whether you are a business owner or just a blogger, will go down the drain. You will also be listed on Stop Stealing Photos.
Fortunately, there are websites which provide high quality images that can be used on your site, whether it’s a personal or a commercial website. In these stock images sites, the photographers have given away most if not all of their rights, so that you can use their photograph free of charge and in some cases, without attribution.
Here’s a list of the best places you can get free images for either a personal or a commercial website.
Pexels is one of my favorite places to get free images. They provide breath taking and beautiful photos at absolutely no cost and without having to credit the photographer. You can use the search bar to look for whatever you want and you can even use their pictures as your computer wallpapers.
However, keep in mind that they only provide natural and professional photos, they don’t provide edited or graphical photos, such as vectors and illustrations.
Pixabay has over 990, 000 free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations. Their images are licensed under Creative Commons CC0, which means that you can download, modify, distribute and use all of the images for anything you like, even for commercial applications without attribution. Their images as well as their vectors and illustrations are of high quality.
Flickr is the largest photo sharing site on the web. It’s used by everybody, including world’s best photographers. However, with Flickr, not everyone allows you to use their images commercially and many photos require attribution and a link to the original photo. You can use the Advanced search page to look for photos that can be used commercially. Before you use a photo, always check under “Some rights reserved” to see what types of attribution it requires and what you can and can’t do with the photo. In addition, not every photo that you’ll look for looks great, so don’t be surprised when you see not so good pictures.
Similar to Pexels, Unsplash provides high quality natural images that can be used for free on your website, even for commercial purposes. Unsplash also provides a nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform and use photos free of charge. Although, attributing the photographer is not required, they appreciate it if you do, this gives the photographers exposure to their work and encourages them to take images for you to use for free.
Raumort provides hand picked, high quality and high resolution images. While they might not have the largest stock image database (only 1015 images), their hand selected images don’t disappoint. According to their website, 95% of their images are of a resolution of 5760 x 3840.
However, before using an image from Raumort, consider reading each photographer’s creative commons license and how it should be displayed.
Photographer Ryan McGuire takes and uploads high resolution images for everyone to download. His images are free of copyright restrictions and have high resolution versions for you to use. He adds new awesome pictures on a weekly basis, and he’s very creative.
This site is different from the rest, because it has a variety of mostly landscapes and objects taken by a mobile device. That’s right, all of the pictures on this website were taken using a mobile phone and they look great. They capture the everyday life and can be great for a lifestyle blog.
However, while the site has a nice selection of images, many of them are too small and might not be good enough if you are planning to print them.
There are a lot of websites that provide copyright free images, but I found these to be the best out of them all. You will find professional photos that you can use for your blog or website, or even as a wallpaper for your computer. Most of these websites provide high resolution images, so you won’t end up with a blurry image. Let us know in the comment section below what’s your favorite website to find free stock images?