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How To Find High Quality Free Use Images for Blogs & Articles

Updated on October 6, 2015
WryLilt profile image

Susannah is a Journalist and Blogger with a total social following of over 25,000 people & whose content receives over 15,000 visits/day.

If you own a blog or website you'll probably want attractive photos so your readers don't get stuck with a big block of text. The only issue with beautiful images? If you can't take your own photos, you need to use someone else's. Every image on the internet (including Google Image Search) is copyright unless it states otherwise, so it's important to choose images that you are legally allowed to reuse.

If you get caught using an image illegally, you can face legal proceedings or even usage charges (even if you never earned a cent off using the image.)

Unfortunately, many stock photo websites charge anywhere from $2-$50 per image, and if you're using images regularly, that's going to end up being pretty costly. Here are some ways to find high quality FREE images for your blogs and websites without putting your business at risk.

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Check out my guide on using Picmonkey!

Attributed Images

  • Google Image Search

Many images allow you to use them as long as you provide a proper attribution back to the original site where you found them (usually their name and a link) . To find images you can use with attribution, do a Google image search and then press the cog wheel at the top right of the page. Go into Advanced Search.

Next, you need to scroll to the bottom of the screen and find the Usage Rights option. In this option you can select one of the options so you can either use and share it, use it commercially (for instance in an eBook you plan to sell) or use it with modifications (if you plan to crop it or add to it.) Click the advanced search button and see what's available. BEFORE you choose an image however, you need to click through to the original site it came from and check the specific instructions for re-use set out by the owner.

  • Image Site Search

If you find Google image search doesn't help you find the images you're after, you can try sites like Flickr, but make sure you use an advanced search to find those suitable for re-use with attribution.

You can also use places such as Wikimedia Commons to find images available for reuse and modification. Remember though - these ones also require attribution, as stated in the license displayed below the images.

Reverse Image Search Trick

Wanted to use an image but don't know where it comes from? Here's a trick!

Go to Google image search, mouse over the right hand side of the search bar and click the little grey camera icon that appears. Upload or link the picture and Google will show you every indexed website that contains that image.

If you're on Google Chrome, you can simply right click and image, click the letter S on your keyboard, and Google will do the rest (go on, try it!)

Free Use Images

If you don't like the idea of wading through copyright and adding links and attribution to images, you can always find a website that provides free images without attribution.

Morguefile - This site has hundreds of photos taken by both professional and amaeteur photographers. The images do not require attribution, although you are not allowed to claim ownership or redistribute them WITHOUT changing them.

Pixabay - A site filled with both photos and graphics which you can use as you wish.

All Free Download - A site which features mainly vector images. You'll find a lot of backgrounds, borders and general graphic images for giving your own images an extra edge.

Paid Images

Still not finding images that suit your purpose? I recommend Kozzi, where you can download 5 images/day for as little as $4.95/month. Graphic Leftovers comes a close second, with images starting as low as $1/each.


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    • Fahsionboots profile image

      Fahsionboots 23 months ago from Australia

      Hi thanks for your hub, but can you or someone on here explain iStock photos that I found in your link. Do iStock charge for their photos or not? The reason is they seem to have 3 tabs "All" photos, "Essential-Low Price" photos and "Best Quality-Signature" which I assume would middle or high price. Too late once I have used iStock photos and they sting me for there photos without permission to use.

      thank you.

    • LaurieNunley517 profile image

      LaurieNunley517 24 months ago from Deep South

      Thank you. I didn't know about google images. :)

    • C L Mitchell profile image

      C L Mitchell 2 years ago

      Thank you, a great hub for a newbie like myself.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 3 years ago from USA

      Valuable tips for not only images that can be used legally, but graphics as well.

    • DonnaCaprio profile image

      Donna Caprio Quinlan 3 years ago from Newburyport, MA

      Thanks for the tip about using Google Images advanced settings. It's one more source I can use for finding photos.

    • goodnews11 profile image

      OSBERT JOEL C 3 years ago from CHENNAI

      Thank you.. It is very difficult to find appropriate images for our hubs. This article will be very much useful for me in the future!! VOTED UP!! Interesting.. Useful..

    • WryLilt profile image

      Susannah Birch 3 years ago from Toowoomba, Australia

      That one was mentioned in the hub, Carola :)

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      I've used Pixabay for many hubs and projects. Found many great illustrations and photos there. Voted up, useful and sharing!

    • Carola Finch profile image

      Carola Finch 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another good site is

    • Hankscita profile image

      Sandy 3 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so much for this. Doing the advanced search on Google is incredibly easy. Really valuable information.