The Perpetual Hunt for Quality, Free Images

Where to begin your search?

This image was free! And, no one’s rights were ignored. That feels good.

Imagine this scenario: You need an image. Maybe you are putting together a presentation. Maybe you’re a designer and are creating a flyer. Maybe you are making your dog’s birthday announcement. You’re not a photographer, so what do you do? Most likely, you go to your default search engine, and you type in whatever it is you’re looking for. Voila! Two-hundred pages of images matching your search criteria appear. You pick one out, save it, and use it. But, there are a number of issues that may arise with this method.

Is this a high-quality image? Can it be displayed at the size you need and still look nice? Depending on how you intend to use the image, it may or may not work. For most materials intended for print, the photos you find in your “Images” search will be too small to print nicely.

Secondly, and most importantly, who owns this image? If you saved it from an “Images” search, then the answer is probably Not You. And, although you may get away with it, isn’t it always better and more satisfying to do things correctly? Especially if you end up being the one who is made an example of! You don’t need that.

There are a number of websites that offer completely free, or at least very low cost, images for non-commercial and commercial use. If you intend to use the image commercially, there may be a few restrictions, but you can usually contact the owner of an image in order to ask their permission. Each of these websites should have a clear explanation for the terms of use.

Start here: Blue Vertigo

This website offers lists of tons of places on the web that offer free stock photos (for non-commercial and commercial use,) free textures, free fonts, free videos, free sound clips, and so much more! There will always be times when the perfect image requires you to pay. But, for most projects you’ll be able to find something that will work by exploring the options given by Blue Vertigo.

Hopefully, this helps. Happy hunting!

Do you know of another place to find quality, affordable images? Let us know!


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