Free Photo Images for Blogging

The Best Photo sources for your blog

It’s a great idea to boost your blog with eye candy photo(s) on each of your posts. Often I have my own photo ready before I’ve written anything. But just as often I don’t. And let’s face it, not many mom bloggers out there are interested in paying for an image for a blog post.

So Where Can I Get Great Quality
Free Photos and Images For My Blog??

The 3 places most people check first:

Flickr: A WARNING.
ONLY use the images from the Creative Commons search page and leave at least a comment on the image telling the photographer you used the image. Always check the copyright info. If it has the little ‘Attribution Man’ and says some rights reserved you can use it on your blog WITH A LINK back to the photographer. If it has the man and a dollar sign slashed through, then you cannot use for commercial. And since most blogs have some amount of commercial something going on, either stay away from those images or ASK the photographer. I’ve had luck asking even when a photo was fully copyrighted. They can only say no right??

All that being said, I LOVE Flickr, and often stop there first on my journey to find a fabulous photo for a blog post.

Google Images: STAY AWAY.
You have no real way to verify copyright. And it would sure be lame if you were the first to get really slammed for ‘stealing’ a photo you didn’t realize was copyrighted, eh? Do not blog with Google Images. I sleep with an attorney. Don’t go there.

Photobucket: STAY AWAY.
Also too much worry about copyright. You would need to get permission for each image; not worth your time.

5 Free Stock Image Websites:

Are they really free? Are they worth your time?
I’ve done a little research and here are my findings.
5 STAR ranking: 5 = best site for free blogging images.
Based on selection, resolution, limits and copyright clarification.

PhotobucketFreeDigitalPhotos.net
4 Stars

This is fast becoming my favorite free stock photo website.
The selection is very good. NOTE: you can only download Medium sized images (for free). However, for blogging that’s almost always fine. If you have a scrapbook project or something you want to print out.. this might not be your best option.

I love that they CLEARLY mark what is required of you if you use the free image. Attribution, contact artist, etc. Plus the ads aren’t obtrusive and don’t get in the way. It’s free right? Expect ads.

PhotobucketPhotoXpress.com

3 Stars
I was skeptical at first. I figured the images would be crappy or weird or not enough of a selection. I was wrong on all three accounts. Here’s a couple images I found when searching keywords: Orange, Grandparent, and Serene….

One negative is that you are limited to 10 downloads per day. Which is fine I don’t need a load of images. HOWEVER. In order to register for your download privileges you have to: give away personal information, allow linking to your Facebook account and give your cell phone number. Strange? After you receive a log in code you then ‘verify’ to finish registration…( I swear if they start texting me or calling me up.. I’m calling the police)!

See PhotoExpress.com FAQ for more details. From what I can tell the images are all fine to use on your blog. I love that.

PhotobucketStock.XCHNG

3 Stars
Similar to PhotoExpress without requiring your first born to sign up. The selection is just as good and there are no limits that I can see. Most photos need attribution and are clearly marked as to how they should be used.

One thing that bugs me: when you search for ‘red’ for example; it first comes up with a list of ‘premium’ images from Dreamstime.com. Fine, realize it’s an ad and move on because few images from Dreamstime are free. Scroll down to the Stock.XCHNG images which are free. Also when you click the download button it first opens a giant image and you then use right click to save the image( instead of directly).

Upside: It’s easy to upload and add your own images to the overall collection. I don’t consider myself a professional photographer, hello(!) if someone likes my photo? I’m thrilled. Happy to share in fact.

PhotobucketEveryStockPhoto.com

1 Star
I like the idea of this site. But really it’s the middleman; adding another step to your photo search. It’s a search engine for ‘free’ stock images. Mostly it comes back with images from: Flickr, PhotoExpress and Stock.XCHNG. Technically it should be making your search faster. HOWEVER. Especially on a Flickr photo I feel like I have to click over to be sure I’m cleared to use it on my blog. That’s 3 clicks and I still have to chose a size and then download the image. If it says can’t use for commercial (slashed dollar sign), I stay away. I’d prefer the search limited to only images that are clearly okay to use.


PhotobucketMorguefile.com
2 Stars
The main problem with Morguefile is that the variety is so limited. A search for ‘Grandparent’ nets a whopping 14 images, and then they want you to jump to Dreamstime.com for ‘more’ images..(remember that’s really an ad). ‘Red’ came back with a lot more and the images are good quality, but ‘Kitty’ only gave a hundred or so…. And ‘woman computer’ brought up a ton of images but none with both a woman AND a computer. The search filter system is cumbersome and frankly hard to use. I just want to type in a couple keywords and have the image show up! It is easy to download images though, and I saw no limits.

Upside: This feature on Morguefile is totally cool! A direct crop and post feature, I tried it with this rose image. (The credit part below the image came with the html; simply copy and paste.)

Photo credit: solrac_gi_2nd from morguefile.com

PhotobucketDreamstine.com
PhotobucketiStockphoto.com
0 Stars
For blogging purposes: These get a big thumbs down from me. The selection of truly free images is so small it’s worthless to spend any time on the sites. And the whole credit system is clearly built for bulk users. You save if you purchase a lot of credits up front… They each allow a certain amount of free credits upon signing up.. but it’s too gimicky for a blogger like myself. They both have a fabulous selection of high quality/professional images but you have to pay for them.

goodncrazy blue dots

There are likely hundreds if not thousands of other Stock Photo sites out there. But these are the ones I keep coming back to over and over.

And For Fun.

Photobucketffffl*ckr.com
This website is more like an application, running on the Flickr Search API.
Try it. It’s such a fun time-suck! You click an image and ‘favorites’ from that photographer show up.. then click again.. and before you know it.. you’ve lost a good 10-20 minutes of your life!
Plus if you ‘log in and fav‘ it will access YOUR flickr favorites and you can begin jumping around the favorites of the photographers you have faved. Plus you can add to your Flickr fave list by clicking the fave button on new photos… I wish it would limit by copyright, now THAT would be an awesome time-suck.
Let me know if you like ffffl*ckr!?

Photo Credit: Morguefile, PhotoXpress, FreeDigitalPhotos and StockXCHNG
Disclosure: No compensation
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