Finding blog images is all fun and games until someone gets a $1,500 fine. I’ve seen this happen twice to well-meaning startups in Chicago.
They Googled with the intent of finding images that engage their visitors and help them remember the content, because we know that images help engage readers.
The problem is, images can also lead to lawsuits and expensive fines. Even Creative Commons and other “royalty free” sites can be dangerous because it can be hard to trace an image back to its original owner and ensure the image is royalty free.
That is why I try to avoid using images of unknown origin. Instead, I rely on these 4 secrets for finding blog images:
- Shutterstock free photos. Every week these guys feature a free stockphoto and vector image. I grab them to add to my stock photo stockpile. You can usually find the free image of the week on the homepage, just below the fold.
- iStock free photos, videos, and audio. Yep, Shutterstock isn’t the only one – iStock offers free images as well (including the one used in this post) but they take it a step further and provide free videos and audio as well. Again, you can find them on the homepage, in the lower right hand corner. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any, signup for their newsletter.
- Make your own. I frequently use Powerpoint to build quick graphics that I can use to illustrate a point (yeah, that Powerpoint, click here for more on how I use Powerpoint to make free graphics). If I’m looking for a photo, I simply take a moment to snap a relevant picture with my iPhone. I mean, stockphotos of people holding hands? Is that really worth your money when you could just take a photo yourself?
- Photodune. If the free options don’t have what you need, try Photodune for next-to-free stockphotos. They price by individual photos, starting at $1 and ranging up to $9 for very large images.
Have any resources to add? Share them in the comments below – we’re always excited to find new sources for engaging visuals.