Many bloggers often ask for advice on where to find high-quality free images which they can use on their blogs without worrying about any copyright issues. There are three main parts to this such questions; free, high-quality and no legal issues when using. In this post, I am going to answer all of them starting with the last part as it is often considered as being the most troublesome.
Royalty free is not the right thing to base your search on
Royalty-free is not always the right thing to search for since the phrase ‘royalty-free’ in itself means payment needed to get full usage permission .i.e. access to usage rights. In actual sense, any image that is free of royalties still has a price tag which you must pay before using it. Currently, leading repositories of such photos are sites like Fotolia or Istock. When it comes to image ownership, no matter where you get your images from, you must in one way or the other get permission from the copyright holder or author to use them. Currently, there are various standardised licensing systems in place which handle the broader scope of agreements.
Where not to get images
As much as Google images are the easiest to access, avoid using them when you can since it is tough to pinpoint the license of such photos. In short, using pictures from Google images equals’ trouble since you will readily assume that the pictures availed are free while in the real sense, they are not.
Where to find quality images
Unsplash is a well-known source of high-quality images. The site provides some impressive, world-class photos which can be used for free by anyone in any place. The only problem with the pictorial models offered by the site is that they are perhaps a bit too common on the web. There is an easy way to handle this issue though. Instead of going for the collective ‘featured’ list of images, switch to the ‘new’ images list. This will give you an updated list of some of the best images.
The site offers both free and licensed images to its subscriber. However, unlike other options, Magdeleine delivers only one curated, high-quality image per day to each subscriber. As a subscriber, you are always advised to check the license of the picture you plan to use by clicking the icon in the upper right corner.