Where to find (good) photos for blogging

Finding good images for blog posts can be a little bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Doing an image search on Google usually yields plenty of results… but using these (normally copyrighted) images on your blog is generally a big no-no unless you get the owner’s permission first.  Which is far too much hassle.

Then there are stock libraries, such as iStock.  If you choose carefully, and avoid the glaringly ‘stock’ images, great.  But you have to pay.  Not great.  Particularly not great for regular blog posts.

The answer?

Probably the best answer is Flickr Creative Commons images.

Flickr hosts millions of photos taken by both professional and amateur photographers.  The best part is that many of these photos are published under what is called a Creative Commons Attribution Licence.  Effectively meaning that you can use these photos for free, on both commercial and non-commercial websites, so long as you credit the photographer (either under the image, or down the bottom of your blog post, like on this page).

This post is a pretty definitive guide to finding the right images on Flickr (even thought it was posted almost 5 years ago, back in 2007!).  But essentially, if you want to search directly on Flickr, bookmark one of the two following links:

Search for images with Creative Commons Attribution Licence:

http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

You can use images found on this search in commercial/non-commercial spaces, as well as editing (cropping, resizing, etc).  The only requirement is that you credit the author with a link back to their profile on Flickr (By: authorname)

Search for images with Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License:

http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-nd-2.0/

You can use images found via this search page in commercial/non-commercial spaces, but you must not modify the work in any way.  As with the Attribution licence, you must include a link back to the author’s profile on Flickr.

Other Tools

You may also choose to use http://photopin.com/ (nice, userfriendly interface, I like this one) or http://foter.com/ which both pull images from Flickr using the Flickr API.  You just need to make sure you check the ‘Commercial’ option when you do your search.

There are also various WordPress plugins which allow you to search and insert Flickr images from within the WordPress dashboard.  Take a look at Flickr – Pick a Picture for example.

photo credit: zdeto via photopin cc

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