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How To Find Free Public Domain Photos or Pictures For Your Blog or Articles
When it comes to online writing, it's a good assumption that to really grab someone's attention you need a really good photo or illustration. Sometimes first impressions really are important. In my experience with online writing, I have found that having a appropriate picture helps in quite a few ways. In addition to drawing the reader in with your title or topic, when you post an article on social media or other sites, often times one one your pictures becomes the thumbnail image for the entire article. So you have better choose something good! But how and where do you get public domain pictures, images, and clip art? There are actually quite a few sources that you can choose from.
First Things First.....
Are you writing a blog article about a vacation you recently took with the family? What about a recipe your made, or a project you just completed? The first thing you should consider is actually taking a picture yourself. This comes in handy if you are doing a How-To article, or if you are trying to encourage refers to try something that they may have difficulty completing without a visual image. It seems like everyone has a camera phone now a days, so why not just whip out your phone and take a shot. Literally. If you want a high resolution, very detailed image, then you may want to take out the old Kodak. An added benefit to taking your owns pictures is that you are guaranteed to have original content that no one ale has!
- morgueFile free photos for creatives by creatives
Morguefile.com free stock photos
- stock.xchng - the leading free stock photography site
stock photography community - browse our huge gallery for high quality stock photos or share yours with others.
- Flickr: The Commons
Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your friends and family, or blog the photos and videos you
- Wikimedia Commons
But I Just Want To Use Another Image!
Ok, since you have decided that you don't want to, or can't take your own photos, there are multiple resources that you can download images from. A quick google search will pull up a lot of options, but they usually tend to lead to paid stock photography sites. The whole point is to locate free images that you can use, not pay for them. Although I will admit there are a hand full of good stock image sites that have a monthly membership fee that you can utilize, but who wants to pay money for a writing hobby?
One of my favorite sites for locating images for use with online blog articles is MorgueFile. Although it has a bit or a morbid name, it has nothing to do with whet you would think. This site has a very straight forward search engine, with quite a bit of high resolution images for both private and commercial use. This site primarily has photos, but a few digitally created graphics and animations can be found as well. There is no registration required, but many of the people who post the photos for use request that you at least let them know where you are using it.
Another commonly used site is the Stock.Xchng. Another great site for actual photographs, you can sort by various file sizes, images sizes, and topic. There is a registration process, but it's simple and only take a few minutes. You can however dig around the site to make sure you can find a great photo before you go through the registration steps. If you are a world traveler, you will find many international images to keep you going.
If you are looking for more historical images, Wikimedia Commons and Flickr: The Commons would be a grew resource! Ranging on all sorts of topic, many historical institutions ahem contributed to these sites to present photos of all types and sizes. Most of them are in black and white, but if you are going for nostalgia, this might be the site for you. Some are available in high resolution, but lets face it, you may not want to be zooming in on historical photographs anyway since they may not be the greatest of quality.
Tips and Other Considerations
All of the sites mentioned have different policies about what you can use their images for. Because some are user uploaded, each individual image owner may place restrictions on what you can use their pictures for. It's rare to find someone that doesn't want their picture on your blog, but just be sure to read the fine print. You don't want a MDCA complaint filed against you.
In order to help your SEO results, be sure to rename your photos before you upload them. Be descriptive when it comes to the image name. Most of the sites will allow you to download images but have formats like "file0839043.jpg", which will do nothing for you with search results. "Man Wearing Cowboy Hat.jpg" however may earn you additional results.
Remember, HubPages has a few rules when it comes to images: No watermarks, and no grainy images. This means that thumbnails you find online probably won't work well for blog articles, and if you do find some of these stock photography sites that you don't want to pay to use, do not upload the sample photo with the sites name across it. Your article will get pulled shortly after you post it. Save yourself some time and just get an appropriate image to begin with.
Remember just because a picture is on Google Images, does not mean that it is in the public domain or that yo have permission to use it. Do not just poach images from google unless you get permission for the owner to post it!