Useful resources

Finding photos: writing and blogging resources

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Photos and images are essential for grabbing the reader’s attention, Posts with videos attract 3X more links than text-only posts. If you’re like me, you use used to use whatever cool, awesome, fascinating photos you find off google Images. Unfortunately, there’s this thing called copyright infringement. It’s complicated. I’ll let you read all about it on on the library of congress website if you wish to do so.

I know you’re thinking, Who cares? Well, someday, maybe not tomorrow, or next week, but 2 years from now, someone will discover a photo that you did not pay for but used on your blog and you will end up paying a fine. Ask Debbie Gies. A friend of a blogger friend with an enlightening and informative post on how to protect yourself against getting fined. 

But I bet you’re asking, well, where can I find photos that I can use without the fear of getting fined? Even if it is someday far away? 

That’s what I thought, too! Wow, we’re reading each others minds! After reading Debbie’s blog post, I did some digging.

Here’s 5 great online sources that I have found, where you can download some awesome photos without worrying about breaking copyright laws

But before that, some tips: Be sure to check the photo itself if it’s labeled free, unless you buy it. 

1.Creative Commons:  This site is a public domain database, that allows you to search for public domain photos. You can filter your search, by selecting the preferred search sites, such as flickr, google images, etc.

2. Wikipedia Commons: Using the photos: The stuff here is free, and some of it is in the public domain … but you must do your due diligence. Anyone with an Internet connection and a browser can contribute to the site. And that’s a good thing, but be aware that there might be some mistakes regarding copyright status. Also, and this is important, you must read the license accompanying any image you want to use, so you know what you may and may not do with your copy.

3. Gratisography: “Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. All pictures were photographed by Ryan McGuire and free of copyright restrictions.” Forewarning: some of his photography is a little crazy.  Can we all just give a big hug and a thank you to photographers who donate their talent to the public domain?

4. Stock photos and video footage for as low as .20 cents. They have a list of free images, new images, and video footage on their front page. Also, there are over 41 million items to search through. Thank God for categorization.

They have a WordPress plug in as well.


“Community indexed archive of more than 27,000 free photos and images.”

The images here come from three main sources: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). All of those organizations just mentioned have their own website with their own catalogs, but having access to them all in one place is convenient.

6Number six? I thought you said five. Oh yeah, about that – well, you know, you could always take your own photos. Of course those are free.

More power to you!

I only listed five, but there are plenty of other websites as well, if you look around long enough. Like,


Where is your favorite place to grab photos to use for your blog or website?

Check out the rest in this series of posts:

  1. Top 5 resources for bloggers
  2. 5 FREE online resources for writers




9 Comments on “Finding photos: writing and blogging resources

  1. I usually use my own photos (taken rather cheaply with my phone), or I use giphy for gifs. I studied photography so I’m very careful when using someone else’s pictures, but you can’t be too careful – this counts for the photographer as well, though.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing the link to my post Sara. It’s a scary thing this copyright infringement.
    I’d just like to add that although there may be the odd person who doesn’t care if they’ve infringed by using a photo, the majority of people aren’t aware of the severity involved, and some others like me, who thought I did nothing wrong found out otherwise. I reblogged someone else’s post and put up the picture from their blog. Granted, that was done in my beginning stages of blogging and I thought if it was on someone else’s blog it was safe. Now I would never include a picture from anyone’s blog because I don’t trust where it came from.
    I try to create most of my own photos now, and sometimes use PIxabay, making sure to only use if the licence says CCO – zero restrictions.

    1. Thanks SO much for sharing your thoughts with us! I kinda don’t use pictures that much around here. Trying to make my own custom. I did research myself to find photos then decided other people needed a complied list of places too. Thank you again for visiting!!

      1. You know, if we keep searching, we’d keep finding more and more. I’m creating more and more of my own. And I like Pixabay because the terms are plain and simple when it explains the free usage of it’s photos. People just have to make sure not to click on the ‘sponsored’ pics. 🙂

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