ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Where to Find Free Stock Photos for Hubs and Blogs

Updated on January 15, 2020

Understanding Photo licensing

There are many sources for free photos and images on the web that can provide visual content to help you improve your hubs and blogs / websites. In this hub I outline the main license types and models that exist allowing use of images without payment or the need for negotiating useage, but still usually with some conditions attached.

The starting point for all creative content is "all rights reserved' traditional copyright. A copyrighted image may still be given for free use but this need to be requested and agreed by the copyright holder. The following licensing methods make using images simpler as the copyright holder has expressly granted permission for them to be used by offering them under a license allowing this.

Good photos can make your hub much more appealing

Limited Royalty Free Licenses

Images offered under standard Royalty Free Licenses are not free! The term is confusing but the word free here indicates the freedom for an image buyer to reuse an image without having to renegotiate license fees as would be the case with a traditional Rights Managed stock photograph. For a fuller explanation of RF and RM licensing see here.

For the purposes of this hub the point to note is that many sources of RF stock photography do offer some of their content for free use. These images will be available on a distinct limited RF license and their use may be restricted in some form, for instance the maximum print run of a printed product allowed may be relatively small. If you're after web sized images for a hub this isn't going to worry you overly!

A common business model amongst free image providers is to provide small versions of the images for free but charge for full high resolution file sizes. This can be seen at freedigitalphotos.net for example. Again if content for web publishing is your need many of these small images will be useful.

It is also worth remembering to check the microstock photography websites as most now have collections of free images available and these are often offered at full resolution size but with some restrictions of a more limited license. Dreamstime for example maintain a fairly extensive collection of images that are available to download for free. Shutterstock on the other hand take a different approach, with usually a couple of images being made available for free each week, so if you do regularly need fresh pictures its worth keeping an eye on the site as the offer is always changing! A guide on the best microstock sites for free images can be found here.

This image is available in the Public Domain
This image is available in the Public Domain

Public Domain Photos

Photos placed in the public domain are free to use without limitations, including commercial use. The issue to be aware of with PD images is that while the photographer may have decided to place the image in the public domain that may not make it entirely safe to use. If a photo shows recognisable individuals or property it would be wise to be careful unless relevant model and/or property releases are available. A common problem is where logos and branding are visible in a photo. In these cases the images shouldn't really be in the public domain; so don't use them.

Creative Commons Licenses

There are numerous creative commons licenses available covering a range of possible permitted uses. The basic idea behind CC licenses is to facilitate creators in easily allowing uses of their work they are happy with. Click here for more info on CC licenses. So it is important to carefully note the particular creative commons license that an image is being offered under in order to not inadvertantly break the terms. A very common CC license to be found allows use of images in return for 'attribution', which basically means linking back to the authors site or profile where you found the image to give them credit. Unless I'm missing something it isn't possible to include hyperlinks in hub photo capsules so this attribution either has to be the caption or, as I've done in this hub, you can include a credits box.

When using CC images on hubpages it is important to look out for a common restriction on commercial use. If you publish a hub that will include advertising on the page then that counts as commercial, so these CC images would no longer be available for free use.

So, where do you find creative commons photos and images? Well Flickr is the go to destination for these free photos. Here's a step by step guide with screenshots to finding free photos on Flickr.

Hopefully this hub has given you a basic understanding of photo licensing and the knowledge to find photos and images you can legally use for free in your hubs and own websites.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Aiden 

      9 years ago

      i try to get some images and clip-arts at kozzi.com when its pretty cool because there a lots of categories that i can choose of. So I grant if you use this site you will like to specially all the image are free.

    • alexhd57 profile imageAUTHOR

      alexhd57 

      9 years ago

      Hey, glad this hub is still proving useful!

    • April P Clemens profile image

      April P Clemens 

      9 years ago from VT

      Ah, thanks so much to the author and commenters! I was struggling with this problem yesterday, trying to find some free and fitting images for my articles.

      After finding a few sites that advertised images for free, I was perplexed when they actually weren't.

      Now I can embellish!

      ~Best regards :)

    • profile image

      Brish 

      9 years ago

      Flickr is also good provider of stock photos. But, I have one site know that can give more high resolution of images and great shots of free stock photos. It is Kozzi.com you can visit the site and download all the image that you want.

    • ssteinberger profile image

      ssteinberger 

      9 years ago

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

    • sam70 profile image

      sam70 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for your picture link ideas.

    • Lenny Rinen profile image

      Lenny Rinen 

      10 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      Hi! I am a newbie and this helps a lot, thanks for sharing, awesome!

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      10 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      As a newcomer to hubpages this has helped me a great deal. There is so much to learn! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • Joanne Bryant profile image

      Joanne Bryant 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the useful tips. This was great.

    • BooksGalore profile image

      BooksGalore 

      10 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for being willing to share your knowledge.

    • thesweetlife profile image

      thesweetlife 

      10 years ago from San Diego, California

      I am new to hubpages, so this was very useful, thank you!

    • Wriggling Writer profile image

      Wriggling Writer 

      10 years ago from Essex (UK)

      Thanks - this is very useful information!

    • alexhd57 profile imageAUTHOR

      alexhd57 

      10 years ago

      Looks like a useful resource Cascoly. It's a win-win situation with you offering images and getting the link promotions in return; good job, I hope it proves worthwhile for you.

    • cascoly profile image

      cascoly 

      10 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.

    • AnthonyJ.Langford profile image

      AnthonyJ.Langford 

      10 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks very much for the info. Extremely handy!

      cheers

    • profile image

      darhackney 

      11 years ago

      Thank you very much ! Your explanation was very useful !

    • Sirwilly profile image

      Ezeh Izuchukwu 'Sirwar' Williams 

      11 years ago from Enugu, Nigeria

      Thanks very much for the info. I will be linking to your page from mine.

      Cheers!

    • Deni Edwards profile image

      Jenifer L 

      11 years ago from california

      thanks for the info--

      very well written and easy to understand, too

    • profile image

      iAccuse 

      11 years ago

      Thanks for taking the time to share this info, it's very helpful.

    • svetits profile image

      svetits 

      11 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub with rich information. Cheers alexhd57.

    • alexhd57 profile imageAUTHOR

      alexhd57 

      11 years ago

      You're welcome guys, and thanks for reading.

    • catalystsnstars profile image

      catalystsnstars 

      11 years ago from Land of Nod

      That really did help, thank you.

    • fits4life profile image

      Cherri Brown-Jett 

      11 years ago from Richmond

      Thanks for your help. I will take your advice. I need all the help I can get.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)