How to Find Images to Use in Your Articles

Writing articles to be published on site such as Hub Pages or Word Wolf is a great way to let other people find out about your passions, but articles that are just lots of text may not be so appealing at first sight as those that include images. Images liven up your article, give a better indication of your subject and just look good! You can also make money writing articles for these types of revenue sharing sites.

Port - Free public domain image from Public Domain Photos
Port - Free public domain image from Public Domain Photos

You may not always have a suitable image that you have taken yourself so where do you find images that you can legally use? there are lots of sites that host images that you can use but you need to be aware of the different licenses that owners publish their images under so that you don't get into copyright problems.

Public Domain Images

The easiest type of image to use is one that is in the public domain. These images are free to use in any way you want without having to attribute the owner in any way. You can find public domain images at Wikimedia or see this list of places to find them Wikimedia Resource. See also Public Domain Photos. All images on this site are free to use.

Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

You can read all about Creative Commons (CC) licenses at Most CC licenses require you to attribute the author of the image but you are allowed to change the image and share it as long as it is shared under the same license. You can also use an image with this license for commercial work.

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

This license is the same as the one above but restricts the use to non commercial uses. Of course this won't be a problem on sites like Word Wolf or Hub Pages.

GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL or simply GFDL)

This license requires all authors (including previous authors) to be attributed. Derivative works nust also be licensed under the same license.

Making Sure You Attribute the Image Correctly

If you use images with any of the CC Attribution licenses you will need to place a suitable attribute in your article. many sites that host the images make this easy to do as they have a link to the CC license with the code needed to attribute the image in the correct way. Flicr for instance has a CC logo of the right sidebar of image pages and a link to the license page.

Finding Free Images

Now you are aware of the copyright issues involved with using free images in your articles let's look at some sites where you can find them. All of the sites below have images that you can use with various licenses.


Wikimedia is a great resource with a huge number of images. They are licensed in various ways including CC and GNU licenses but many of the images are in the public domain.


You can find CC images on Flickr by using the Flickr's advanced search and specify only to search for CC images. You will need to attribute them correctly in your article.

Manhattan Beach Pier
Manhattan Beach Pier

The correct attribution for Manhattan Beach Pier found using Flickr's advanced search. / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


This is one of my favorite sites for finding free images and you can use many of them without attribution. Check the conditions however as some require you to obtain written permission from the author if ytou want to use the image on any public media. To download large images you'll have to register but this is free. They also show images that are for sale when you do a search. These are at the top of the page so scroll down to find the free images.

Every Stock Photo

This site has a sophisticated search function so you do a search for images with a particular license from a number of other sites including Flickr, Wikimedia and others. If you want images that you don't have to attribute you can search only for public domain images only.

Public Domain Photos

A good selection of photos all in the public domain that you are free to use in any way you want.

Free Digital Photos

Another good site for images but you will have to place a link to the portfiolio page of the author in your article.

Morgue File

A useful place to find images which are free to use without attribution.

Find out more at How to Find Free Images to Use on Word Wolf


You can probably find lots more places by doing a quick search but these are the ones I have used for a long time and have plenty of images for whatever subject I'm writing about. Now you can liven up your articles without having to worry about copyright issues.

More by this Author

Comments 3 comments

lizmoss71 profile image

lizmoss71 6 years ago from Orpington, UK

Very interesting and helpful, thank you.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 6 years ago from Canada

Thank you ... I was looking for this information, and this came up in a search. Perfect.

ssteinberger profile image

ssteinberger 4 years ago

Great collection - thanks! My recommendation: - it's another resource for public domain images. My personal favorite, because no attribution is necessary and most images are just great quality.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article