How to Find Copyright Free and Royalty Free Stock Photography and Images

Adding color photographs and stock photography is a great way to make money online, but you need pictures to make you shine. A photograph will bring life to your article and show the beauty behind the lens. The secret is to find copyright free and royalty free images that you can use without restrictions. So where do you find these photographs? Especially if you are looking for free photos without any copyright restrictions? Try some easy tricks to help you find free photos. As you incorporate images into your articles, they will come alive with color. The articles are more attractive, and readers are enticed into reading the entire piece. Free images are available all over the internet, but you do want to make sure that the photographer has given you permission.

Always Add Photos and Images

Copyright and royalty free photos and images are a wonderful addition to your website. Upload beautiful photographs to help you make money with your freelance writing.

Eye-Popping Photos



Flickr is currently my favorite site to find copyright free images. The photographers are so skilled, and most of them are extremely nice. However, be careful when choosing a photo. Once, I ran into an artist who was quite unpleasant. She had mistakenly thought that I didn't include a link back to her site, which was one of her terms. However, I did in fact include a link; in the end, I just used a photography from someone else. 

When looking for a photograph on Flickr, make sure that you do an Advanced Search. Type in your search term, and then scroll down until you see the area for the Creative Commons content. This is the area that helps you find royalty free content that has few copyright restrictions. Make sure you click the box for Creative Commons, AND choose commercial content AND adapt and modify. Make sure you choose all three. My previous trouble was because I didn't know to check the adapt and modify button.

Morgue File

Morgue File is another image provider that I have used. This site also has a bevy of  images, many of which are perfect for illustrating my articles. Again, when downloading images, make sure you keep track of the requests of the photographer. These artists do like to share free photos, but generally want to receive a link back or some the image credits. It's very kind to thank them with a link to their site.

Finding Free Images


Your Own Images

The best images are the photos that you have taken yourself. These images are priceless, as you know exactly where they were taken, and you obviously have a license to use them as you wish. You can credit yourself as the image source, and provide a link back to your own website or blog.

Even better, you can go one step further and add these photos to either Flickr or Morgue File for other writers to use. They can also benefit from your fine skills, and you can ask for a link back to your main site. This is an excellent way to promote your articles and blog, simply by providing a service to others. It is truly a win-win situation.

Give Proper Credit

When you include images from another person, always make sure that you properly credit the source. These photographers and illustrators have been very generous by sharing their work with others; it is appropriate to return the kind gesture with a link to their site.

Many photographers share their work for the same reasons that we writers often share ours. Perhaps, like us, they are willing to showcase their work for free, simply because they are proud of the good job they have done. In other cases, maybe like us, they are simply trying to promote their site. Just as we writers try to share our articles in order to promote our site, some photographers are willing to share their pictures for free in order to promote their sites. So be kind and credit the source. A link to their site is a small price to pay!

Thank the Photographer

After you have worked hard on your articles, take the time to thank your photographer for providing you with a copyright free image. You can be kind to the artist and thank them for the image, and provide a link to your work as well. It will help promote both your work and theirs as well. It is polite to leave a kind word on the photographer's website. The artist can enjoy your compliment and you're improving their reputation, and you've created a backlink to your site.

Photo Opps

Where do you get your photographs and images?

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imntjack profile image

imntjack 6 years ago

Thanks for the info..

heymcs profile image

heymcs 6 years ago from Utah and DC

Super hub with important information. I've been struggling with finding images and how to follow the 'rules' and your hub has helped tremendously. You've also provided some sources I haven't used before. Thanks.

DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you, imntjack. I hope this helps you find the photographs that you need.

DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Heymcs, I'm glad to help you with finding images. It is hard to find copyright-free images, but many authors are just as excited to share pictures as we are to write hubs! I hope I helped!

fayehelen profile image

fayehelen 6 years ago

Thanks for a really helpful hub. Been trying to find copyright free images and been stuck on how to credit them - but you have solved it! Thanks again, fayehelen :)

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UnderDonne 6 years ago from United States

Some images come with a notice that they are not to be used for "commercial purposes." Would this include using them in an article that is intended to make money?

cascoly profile image

cascoly 6 years ago from seattle

i'm relatively new to hubpages but have been a stock photographer for 40 years. i allow anyone to use my images on hubpages if they just include a credit.

DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Cascoly, photographers like you are so helpful to all of us authors! I always ensure that I include a credit when I use a photo. Thank you for making free photographs available on the web.

DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you, fayehelen, for that kind compliment. I am glad you enjoyed the hub on finding pictures for your articles.

DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi UnderDonne, and thank you for your question. If a photograph or graphic is marked "not for commerical purposes" then we cannot link to it for the purpose of making money on HubPages or anywhere else. You could only use it for school projects, or something else that would be not for profit. Thank you for reading my article on finding pictures!

DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

You are welcome, Prairie Princess. Good luck finding photographs for your articles!

Kaye McCulloch profile image

Kaye McCulloch 6 years ago from Australia

Thanks for the information about finding copyright free pictures, that was very helpful.

George Huss profile image

George Huss 6 years ago from United States

Great Information! Another resource I have used is

George Huss profile image

George Huss 6 years ago from United States

Hay Donna! Just followed your suggestion for a Flickr photo. Thanks again!

Kaye McCulloch profile image

Kaye McCulloch 6 years ago from Australia

Hi Donna,

Why do you need to click 'adapt and modify' in your flickr search? can't you just use them as they are?

snowdriller profile image

snowdriller 6 years ago from Philippines

Nice info! Thanks!!!

Shaun75 profile image

Shaun75 5 years ago from Edison

Hay Donna! Thanks for sharing this useful hubs. Always remember your points. Thanks again..

Temirah profile image

Temirah 5 years ago

I use MS clipart - which sounds a bit backward and the process for converting a pic to a jpg takes a minute or 2 - but it works and there are some nice clean photos in there.

oldrick profile image

oldrick 5 years ago from UK

Excellent information! I have bookmarked this hub for future reference. Thanks!

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