Using free images to make creative designs is a beautiful thing.
Great imagery captures attention.
I liken the abundance of free images to free blog posts. I realize the concept of free stuff doesn’t sit well with everyone in the creative community. But, that is looking back at a ship that’s sailed. It works for me is all I know.
I also pay for stock photography.
I use free images sources like those you find here. I also have paid accounts with Fotolia and iStockphoto because they offer millions of images with great searchable databases, and professional images you won’t find in these free sources.
You get lots of free stuff right here on Art Marketing News
I strive to write content and provide ideas, inspiration, and useful information with each post. I present monthly hour-long Art2Market Sessions broadcasts with Jason Horejs. I expect nothing in return. It’s not altruistic. I have books, workshops, and consulting you can buy, but don’t mind if you consume my free work and never pay me a dime. It’s all good. It works out in the end.
Why would a visual artist or photographer need free images?
You are a creative well, or you would not be in the visual arts market, so why would you need to use free images from the Internet? The answer is artists and creatives use free images for many reasons.
Free Images Can:
- Save your time.
- Add interest and contrast to your imagery.
- Help you convey a thought that is different from your imagery.
- Stimulate your creativity in new ways.
- Add perspective or modeling for your works in progress.
Free Image Resources
The site gives users 10 new photos every 10 days. The images speak for themselves. They are marked as Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos. The image at the top of the post comes from Unsplash.
Users get 10-20 Free High-Res Stock Images & Photos daily. Below is an example. Click the image twice to see a 2000 pixel wide version.
550+ Royalty-Free Stock Photos You Can Download Now. You will have to fill out a form to get the download.
From its site:
Download free stock photos & images for personal & commercial use. What would you do if you had amazing copyright free real photos? Now you have them! Free high-quality photos with no copyright restrictions and real look.
Has a nice search and browse by category section.
It does have a good search function. Here is what it says about using images from the site:
All photos uploaded to the site are released under Creative Commons – CC0 and do not require attribution. No more hassle trying to figure out whether you can use photos for commercial use and whether you need to provide attribution. I found the stock photos were of high quality, and the site was easy to use.
Google Advanced Image Search helps you find images that are free-to-use using Google’s search tools. Here’s a quick guide.
There is a nice selection here of blurred backgrounds, as you would expect from the name, to use on your blog or website.
Pixabay is a gem of a resource. It offers more than 400,000 free images, vectors, and art illustrations. You can use the free images found here on your blog without any restrictions. Its license extends to commercial use without requiring attribution of any sort. !
Users can search for Creative Commons photos from Flickr with filters for commercial/non-commercial use and filter through other categories, too.
This site functions as a search engine for free photos. Images come from a variety of resources. The images are license-specific, which you can read by clicking the license icon on the left below the image. It has a free membership, which gives you the option to rate, tag, collect, and comment on images.
Getty Images has a program now that allows non-commercial sites to embed some of its photos for free. You cannot download an image then upload it to your site for free. It has to be embedded. This is not as clean as adding an image from your media library. You use the embedded image’s frame, share buttons, and branding.
Despite these drawbacks, it offers images you won’t find elsewhere. Here is Bob Dylan going to his way to his appearance on the penultimate Late Show broadcast. You can see the attribution and share information and icons in the embedded image.
Use these images with these and other restrictions from the Getty Images Embed License:
You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to the newsworthy or public interest).
Canva.com is a site I use often. I have designed 100’s of graphics for my blog and social media sites using Canva. I love it. It offers a wide selection of free images. You can also browse its image library of 1 million images. A single-use license for an image you use is $1.00
I made the feature image at the top using Canva. Here is a short video of how I did it.
You may have complete command of your art skills…but…
They are not the same as graphic design skills. They are related but different disciplines. The Canva Design School is an easy, fun way to learn how to make great graphic design for your blog and website.
Create stunning designs in seconds. It’s a free toolkit for easy, beautiful designs. Use it to re-touch ecommerce product images, replace backgrounds, and easily create branded designs for social media, blog posts, and other content. A full suite of image editing tools, with standalone solutions for the most common uses, tailored for businesses.
When you watch the video, you see, I use Pixlr. It is the poor man’s version of Photoshop. (Free again.) 🙂 It’s a useful, quick tool I use in conjunction with Canva.com to make attractive, fast graphics.
Design Wizard is an online graphic design tool that makes it allows users to create, share, and download images in minutes easily. All of Design Wizard’s features are free, allowing you to access a library of over 1 million copyright-free images and 15,000 templates so that you can create, share or download customized designs for social, business, or everyday use.
The list is curated with professional commentary and ratings on each entry.
- Understanding Creative Commons
- Shifting with the Paradigm – Hazel Dooney on Using Creative Commons
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