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Searching for Images to Use on Websites and Presentations and Many Other FUN Websites to Check Out!

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A picture says a thousand words, this is such a true statement! Images help transform boring presentations and websites into something much more effective.

Here are some “free” stock photo sites you can try out:


http://www.sxc.hu
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
http://morguefile.com

You need to be careful though, not all images out there are royalty free. You wouldn’t want to use someone’s copyrighted image all over your advertising campaign.

I typically use sites such as:
http://www.istockphoto.com
http://www.shutterstock.com

You do need to read the fine print though to ensure you understand how the images may be used.

Want to manipulate some of your images and/or create nice looking buttons? Try out these sites:
http://www.picresize.com
http://www.funphotobox.com
http://www.drpic.com
http://www.cooltext.com
http://www.flamingtext.com
http://www.photofunny.net

Looking for just the right icon in one of your presentations?
http://www.iconfinder.com

Here is a different twist on things. You can do a reverse search to find where a particular image is being used, stored and/or originated:
http://www.tineye.com

For some nostalgic fun, check out the vintage websites out there. Use the “Wayback Machine” on http://archive.org to see what some websites looked like back in time. They have a massive repository of over 300 billion webpages stored and timestamped from the past.

Do you have any websites you find handy or fun?

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29 Comments
  1. This one “istockphoto” is my favorite and I usually go there to surf images though it will be always good to have options. I will try these sites at the evening and find out, which will be better for me and thanks for the lists its helpful.

  2. I usually go to Flickr and do an advanced search for Creative Commons licensed content. There’s a lot more out there than you’d think!

  3. I think I take the fun out of a lot of my presentations. I usually prefer short, to the point explanations and relaying of material… Less painful, no? And more formal? Or it might also be that I’m not creative at all. But it’s about time I start learning and incorporating, I suppose.

  4. I actually have a friend that takes photos for fun and I sometimes use his as photos if I never need royalty free ones. Otherwise iStock is really great and they have a really large selection of photos.

  5. Thanks for Tin Eye, I can definitely use it to see which other websites have been using the same image. While that can be useful in tracking where an image has been posted, Google has a nifty way of checking what an image is about. If you go to http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/images/searchbyimage.html, you can find different ways of identifying an unknown image.

  6. I’ve been using sxc.hu for years and although they don’t have as many images as the larger sites have, it’s still a pretty great site! I always take a look at what rights are included with an image just to be on the safe side. Morguefile.com is another site I heard a lot of good things about. I will have a look at it soon just so I have more places to get images from!

  7. This is a great list! I frequently need photos but run into the whole, “have to buy our stock photo” thing. But I did not know there were sites out there that allowed for me to get free stock photos. I have in the past used sites like the cooltext and button creator sites for manipulating text and buttons on the fly. They can be pretty helpful for a bit of flair. Thanks again for the stock photo list.

  8. This is a very helpful post. I’m always looking for new directories and websites that stock royalty free images. I usually use a creative commons search engine that someone gave to me that allows me to search various websites such as Flicker and Google Images for photos that have been made available under CC licenses.

    • This post is going to be useful when I start my own blog. I have always wondered about copyright and the internet and now at least I can use images without worrying much. Aside from that, I would just need to learn more about Fair Use, if I’m going to make reviews or comments on copyrighted materials.

  9. Nice info. Basically, I use google to search for images by interchanging keywords and it works perfectly for me. This means I’ve almost all the site at my fingertips. And I use image editing softwares to perfect them on my system.

    BTW, I just checked out archive.org, and tried out some sites to see what they looked like years back. TBH, I was amazed and I really can’t thank you enough for providing the url.

  10. This list is excellent. Thank you so much. I was aware of some of these free stock photo sites, but some are new to me. I appreciate it very much as I am always on the lookout for free photo sources.

    Here are some photo sites that I have used.

    For free celebrity photos, check this one out, it is via Yahoo:

    http://hot-lifestyle-news.com/

    The photos are said to be in the public domain and thus royalty free, but be sure to read the disclaimer below and make your own decision. I have used photos from the site for more than four years and I have had no problems.

    Corbis has some royalty free images here:
    http://www.corbisimages.com/content/royalty-free/

    By the way, it is also possible to use the Google image “advanced search” to find free photos. Scroll down to “Usage Rights” and pick “free to use, share, modify, even commercially.” Once you find the images, the usual caveat applies as far as fine print and disclaimers.

  11. Some might say that it can’t be that important to have some sites with free-to use- pictures in petto but when building a webiste or a blog it’s a fundamental thing. so thanks again for some great information. There is even one site that wasn’t on my list.

  12. Thank you so much for this list! Recently I’ve been in need of stock photos. I found and use freerangestock.com It is friendly looking and easy to use, tho you have to register in order to download. But it doesn’t always have exasctly what I am searching for, and it’s nice to have more sites to check.

  13. Thanks for this informative post. Having this list of sites is definitely better than having searching through tons of pics on Google images.

    It’s always so time consuming for a simple thing, this would certainly help me and save my time.

    • This is the truth. I used to spend a ton of time googling images to create a nice array of pictures for my screensaver. I like David’s resources because they concentrate the best images in singular web sites. It is quite the shortcut and time saver for those of us who enjoy diverse images in their screensaver collections as well as wallpaper collections.

  14. This is helpful! Thanks! I will take note of these sites. I usually need images for the various internal videos that I have to do. It’s scary to just use images that come out from google even if my videos are just for internal use. I usually spend hours just trying to find public images or free to use images. I have been getting most of them from wikimedia but thanks for this there are others I can try out.

  15. I’ve started using free images and I can vouch for Wikimedia Commons. They offer several options on how you’d like to use the website which is very nice for me who’s not really experienced in coding.

  16. This is really useful, I just bookmarked this page for future photo needs. Thanks a lot!

  17. Thank you so much for this blog post. I have a large collection of pictures that I use for my screensaver. I’ll save a bunch of the pictures from your links for my library. I can never have enough. When I first started looking for pictures I image searched for “sunset” and “amazing picture”. You do find some good ones just from those generic search terms.

  18. I started using Wikimedia Commons for images. It’s got a helpful thing that I just copy when I want to give credit to where I got it from.

  19. Great resources. It’s important to know that not all picture are royalty-free and where you can go to find ones that are or that you can use for your projects etc. Thanks for sharing this useful list of site.s

  20. These all seem like awesome sites for photos and graphics! Have you ever tried Flickr? I’ve worked with Morguefile and a few others on this list. Do you have a preferred file site for your blogs and presentations among the ones listed?

  21. Aside from Wikimedia Commons, I learned to search for free images using Google. If you do an advanced search, you can also filter your search images by licensing. It’s pretty useful with the site I’ve been using the images with and I’m not worried about my content being taken down.

  22. Although their selection limited, Morguefile is my go-to site when it comes to royalty-free stock photos. If I can’t find photos there, I just resort to a Google search of royalty-free images via advanced search. If there’s really nothing I could use, I just go out and take a pic of something related to what I’m writing and use that instead. Using one’s own picture is still the best way of getting around image copyright issues.

  23. Thanks for the information. I am a blogger myself and finding images that I can use has sometimes been an issue, especially since the only one I really knew about was Flickr. They’re a good site but they don’t always have what I need. Some of the stuff I am looking for can be a little different since my blog deals with the “dark-side” of cultural history. I will give these sites a try and see if I can’t find images more appropriate to my site. I admit, I’m new at this whole thing and at 55 I have a lot to learn but I’m very willing to listen so thanks again.

  24. Great resources. The images that come with most software packages are terrible. It’s also hard to find good quality images on google. I’ll definitely look at these for future presentations. Good imagery can make or break a sales pitch.

  25. I don’t really use images that I got from the web for advertising. Even if the image is for free I tend to deviate away from them because you’ll never know how many people has grabbed the same image and used it for their own. It might compromise you’re credibility.

  26. A good story must be made up of beautiful photos. This list is useful, although it would take hours to go through the fine prints. I think I will need to better manage my browsing journey.

  27. I’ve found some really nice images on wikimedia. However to find the good ones you have to look around the site. If you are searching for an image don’t grab the first one you see because it won’t be that great. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a better image.

    If you don’t mind doing a lot of searching another site you can get some good images from is deviant art. Search for images with CC license. It won’t be an easy task though.

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