Where to get top quality royalty free public domain or creative commons images for blogs or startup websites.
I know the story because I've been there. You want to build you online presence and make money online with a blog or website. In the beginning you have absolutely no money and stock photography sites, although very reasonably priced (read cheap), still cost more than you have. Here's some great advice for those in this situation.
I'll warn you too, if you don't buy your photos or carefully find royalty free ones, you might get slapped with a payment demand from one of big stock photographic companies. Ghetty images is attempting to scare/sue the pants of anyone who uses their images illegally. Regardless of where you are in the world, you'll get a letter from Ghetty for sure if you don't have the rights to use their image. Ghetty Images, who own most of the big stock photo sites will threaten you if you use their image without paying for permission. So, don't kid your self that the internet is an ocean and that they will never find you, try these great royalty free image sites:
- Wiki Commons is where all images that are used in wikipedia are used and they are all public domain.
- Stock.xchng - this is a great site for downloading free royalty free stock photos, but be aware, it is owned by Ghetty images and they have sent forceful nasty letters to thousand of people demanding thousands of dollars in fees and making peoples lives hell for using (perhaps knowingly, perhaps not) Ghetty images on thier web sites. For this reason, many people on the internet boycott anything owned by Ghetty Images.
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library has photos relating to animals, plants, nature, and wildlife.
NOAA Photo Library has several collections of photos relating to nature, weather, oceans, and wildlife.
- U.S. Department of Defense Defense has photos relating to the military, war, politics, and the President.
- NASA Images has space-related photos.
- Our Earth as Art has photos relating to the earth, weather, oceans, and nature.
- Library of Congress Geography & Map Reading Room has images relating to historical and current maps.
- National Archives America’s Historical Documents has images relating to history, politics, and historical events.
- National Park Service Digital Image Archives has images relating to nature, history, and national parks around the U.S.
- Microsoft office clipart images basically an index catalogue of free images from microsofts partner sites (stock photo sites). Not that I really want Microsoft/Ghetty to benifit from this article, but if you want free royalty free stock photos, I want that you know about this.
- www.burningwell.org, a collection of public domain images.
- http://www.mayang.com/textures/ some free to use textures (read the license)
- http://freerangestock.com/ some free stock photos
Tip: Hold CTRL and click and you can load each site into a new tab.
I will try to add others to this list of free royalty free stock photos as I find them, please make a comment if you know any others. Also consider that on the internet, quality is everything. People only add your sites to Social networking sites if you give them a benefit. Using an appropriate, high quality image is imperative. I personally look for the best photo regardless of whether its free or not and often buy the smallest res possible from a stock photography site because most of the advertised stock photography internet sites have great value images at web resolution. I pay less than $1 for my photos and use about 1 in 3 professional images. My rule is simply to find the best image possible.
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