A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. But are you using the right images for your business? Whether you’re marketing or blogging or tweeting about your product, you need to be careful about what pictures you choose to use for your company. This is especially true if you did not personally take that photo or make that graphic. Not all of us have the manpower or expertise to whip up some images, but if you’re currently mining Google Image results for photos, we only have one piece of advice for you:

Don’t.

 

Some images may be up for public use, but others may not. You don’t want to be sued for using someone’s copyrighted image on your website, right? Right! That’s why this week, we here at One Website Please have hunted down some of the best free (and modestly priced) stock photo sources on the internet.

pixaby logo Pixabay. This site shares over 450,000 free public domain pictures. Public domain means that the images can be changed and used for any purpose, even commercially. Attribution is not mandatory, but it is appreciated. This site specifically shares pictures released under Creative Commons CC0, which means the creator has waived all rights to the image, allowing you to use it without needing to seek permission.

Picjumbo. This site was started by a web designer and photographer. Many of the photo he offers are free and can be used in many applications. This includes personal projects as well as commercial ones. One thing he asks for it attribution, which, again, is not mandatory but appreciated. He also offers a paid service for about $7-8 a month that gets you access to a lot more pictures. He also has a Photoshop plugin and a “All in One” package that gets you 600+ photos you can use.

KaboomPics. This site was also created by a web designer and photographer who knows how much people need free pictures. She offers over 1000 free, high resolution photos that hit a wide range of topics. Like other sites wanting to get their names out there, she asks that you include attribution whenever you use one of her images. There are only two limitations: 1, you cannot redistribute her pictures without her consent, and 2, you cannot offer her images for sale. kaboom pics logo

Pexels. This site shares over 3,500 high quality free stock photos under public domain. Like Pixabay, these images are licensed under a CC0 license, so you can use them for your business. New images are added every week. Attribution is also not required for this service. This site pulls images from creative commons sites like Unsplash, Gratisography, and Little Visuals to create one convenient database.

death to stock photo logo Death To The Stock Photo. This site was started about a year ago by two photographers who noticed a struggle to find images to use on the web. They send you free images through a monthly newsletter to your inbox and share inspirational stories they’ve found on their shoots and road trips. They also give you the opportunity to participate in a premium paid package ($15/month) that gives you all their photos and premium-only photos.

There are lots of free resources out there on the internet, but it’s easy to find overused images, stick figures, or clip art. However, with the resources above, you can be sure to find interesting, unique, new, and even free options for your business needs.

However, don’t claim these images as your own. Also be aware of the difference between subject and author releases. This means that, while the photographer might allow you to use their picture for anything, the person, place, or company in the picture may not. Even for the most flexible usages of images, identifiable people, places, or companies cannot be used to a, suggest endorsement of your product or activities, or b, shed bad or offensive light on them without their permission. Simply put, you might have the right to use the photo but not the specific content in the photo. If something or someone is clearly identifiable, it’s on you to make sure you’re covered and not violating anyone’s rights.

If you’d like to read more about this, check out Pixaby’s post on the topic here: https://pixabay.com/en/blog/posts/public-domain-images-what-is-allowed-and-what-is-4/

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