Images are one of the essential components for online marketing. No matter you are blogging or doing product creation, you will need proper and attractive images to blend in to your post or in the product if not doing the e-cover yourself. In this post, I am going to share a few resources and techniques to find royal free images so that we can use them without infringing the copyright.
What Does Royalty Free Mean?
It simply means it is royal free so every time you use it you don’t need to pay royalty to the person who holds the copyright of the image. It does not necessarily mean it is free image though some of the resources I introduce below will be free. Just do note that you might still need to credit the sources or the author in some other ways (i.e. link back or mention to the source) when you use the royalty images.
Google Image Search
One of the most popular resources I use frequently is Google Image. Just like the normal Google Search, you type in the keyword you would like to find for the images and it will return the results. Instead of showing the typical websites, it will show relevant photos as results. So it is very easy to find what you want.
Before you delve in to scrap all the images and download to your computer, you must check the right of the usage to avoid the infringement of the copyright. If you intend to use the images in your blog or e-cover of your product, you should look for the images that are allowed to be used commercially (unless you will never monetize the blog).
How To Filter The Usage Rights For The Images?
After Google Image returns a tons of images based on your search keywords, you should click on the Option icon > Advanced Search located on the top right hand corner, as shown below:
Subsequently, choose the usage rights from the drop down menu. If you are using the images personally without involving any commercial related matter such as to put in your diary or print out to paste it on the wall of your bedroom, you can choose “Free to use or share”. If you intend to use the images in your business (your blog is considered as a business if you monetize or get any other benefits via any form through your blog), you should choose “free to use or share, even commercially“.
Most of the time, you should see the number of images return from the Google Images substantially reduce when you choose the commercial usage right. To take a step further, check the terms and conditions before you download the images to be on the safe side. Some of the sites will require a link back to credit the original source, some might restrict the images to be used for certain ways, etc…
I have also included a video below to demonstrate the exact process to use Google Image to get royalty free images:
Another popular image source is Flickr. After you type in the keyword you want to search in Flickr, you will need to filter the usage right by clicking on “” and ” “.
Just like we did in Google Image, it is safer to check the license of the image we are going to use and attribute the creator of the image by linking back.
As we can see from the license above, you can use the image for commercial work under the following conditions:
- Attribute the author for the image
- No alteration or amendment of the image.
So, make sure you check the license of every single image before you use them on your website.
There are a number of the royalty free images sites that you can use below. However, you might need to pay for some of the photos and the cost varies for each sites.
If you would like a walk through of the process to get royalty free images on Flickr, watch the video below:
Stock.Xchng is another site that I love since it is free however the selection and quality is limited.
MorgueFile is another site that allow you to use the images for Free.
DreamsTime contains lots of photos that you can pay as low as 20 cents to around $16 for high resolution image.
IstockPhoto allows users to purchase credits for the images and the cost of the images vary.
BigStockPhoto provides royalty free images that ranges from $2.99 to $12.99.
Free Digital Photo
The cost of images from Free Digital Photos ranges from free to $10 depending on the resolution of the images.
How To Use Them?
Usually, I outsource the graphic design. So, I mainly use the free images for blog post. If I need an awesome e-cover to be done, I will sometimes pay for the premium images and hand them to my graphic designer and let them use the graphic I desire.
Do you come across any other sites that provide royalty free images? Feel free to share it by leaving a comment below.