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Where to Get Free Stock Images for Your Articles and Blog Posts

For new writers and creators, finding good quality images can be costly. Thankfully, there are some sites that offer stock images completely for free.

By Armchair DetectivePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Elizabeth Iris from Pexels

As a hobby writer, blogger and YouTuber, I understand the frustrations in finding good quality, free images that can be used for articles and other creative pursuits. Often, when people are starting out, or doing things as a hobby, they do not have the money to buy photographs. Indeed, this is bad for stock photographers. However, as a stock photographer myself, I offer free images because it gives me exposure.

If you are not familiar with the laws surrounding photography copyright, it is difficult to know what you can and cannot use. That is why it is best to get your photographs for a reputable source rather then just using images from Google.

If you want to buy images, then there are plenty of stock photography sites, Dreamstime, Shutterstock, Pond 5, Adobe Stock, to name but a few. Some of these do have free images for creators. I offer free and paid for images on Adobe Stock and Dreamstime. If you use images from these sites, you 100% know that the photographer has given the permission for their images to be used. Make sure you use the images in the correct way (there is a difference between commercial and editorial use).

Often, I have created my own conceptual images for use in my stories, but this is not always possible depending on the content of your story or article and often, writers do not have time to create their own images as this in itself can be very time-consuming.

Thankfully, there are several sites that offer free images for creative and editorial use. The sites below are the three that I use and contribute to as a photographer:

Pexels — Founded in 2014, Pexels allow users to download free images and videos that are high-quality, 100% free with no attribution needed.

Pixaby — Founded in 2010, Pixaby, like Pexels allows videos and photographs to be used for commercial use with no attribution required.

Unsplash — Unsplash has over 207,000 contributing photographers and generates more than 17 billion photo impressions per month on their library of over 2 million photographs. Their images are free to use for any project. Vocal offers writers the option to download images directly into their stories, which is a really good feature.

Whilst most sites say that attribution is not required, where possible, I always give the photographer credit. Also, if you should want, most sites allow you to tip the creator an amount of your choice. If you made a substantial amount of money from the use of an image or video, a tip would be greatly appreciated by the photographer.

Things to be aware of

Please be mindful of the rules concerning the different types of content when using images from free sites. I personally would avoid using any image with a brand, any recognisable people or buildings for commercial use. If you are using images for editorial content, for example, in a blog post of writing here on Vocal, then it is OK to use images that contain these aspects.

If you are selling stock, then any image that contains a person or building needs a signed release form saying that you have authority to use images of that person or building. If you are contributing to free image sites, there is no requirement for this, to protect yourself as a photographer, make sure you know the rules before uploading images containing this sort of content.

If you are not sure on the rules around photography, there is an article here and another here which both contain lots of information regarding some legalities of photography.

I hope this helps you find the perfect image for your stories and blog posts. Thanks for reading.


About the Creator

Armchair Detective

Amateur writer, I mostly write about true crime.

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