As an online publisher, one of the difficulties you would have from time to time is finding free images for your online projects. If you don’t agree, then there is a high likely-hood you have been doing things the wrong way and possibly setting yourself up for an expensive lawsuit. If you have not experienced such, you have been lucky thus far. The truth is you can do things the right way and save yourself a lot of trouble.
Like all other valuable items on the internet images are copyrighted too. Adding images to written content gives your website a lot of life. It is said that a picture or images says more than a thousand words. There are different classes of free images online.
3 classes of free images:
The first class consists of public domain images (which can also be called Free Royalty Free Images). Images in this class are works that are not covered by intellectual property rights at all, they are works with intellectual property rights that have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. For such images you am legally entitled to use it without payment when and however you like, even for as long as you like.
The second class consists of royalty free images. These are images that you can purchase and pay for once, but after paying the one-time fee you own the right to use that image as many times as you would like. The drawback of using this type of image is that other people can also purchase and use the same image. Its use is not limited to you.
The third class consists of right protected images. Rights to use these images are bought for a certain length of time for a certain project. These images are usually negotiated beforehand with the image owner (photographer) for a certain fee. You will then be given exclusive rights to use such image or images for an arranged and agreed time period.
You will find below a list of free and paid sources of images:
Royalty Free Images for Your Articles:
Developed in 2010 by a group of enthusiastic photographers and graphic artists with aim to create the best free stock image site on the web, RGBstock attracts no membership fee or fees for additional features, this site provides huge collection of free high quality images to wide audience.
Launched in February 2001, this site has over 400,000 quality stock photos photos to choose from by more than 30,000 photographers. SXC allows users to contribute, share and download quality high-resolution photos and illustrations free of charge. Every image from SXC is absolutely free as long as you follow the rules of their Image license agreement. Users can create free stock photo gallery and download free stock photos.
Free Range Stock was established 2005, they offer not just royalty free stock photography for commercial or non-commercial use but totally free quality photos. All photos in their collection come directly from in-house photographers and archives; they are also contributed by a growing community of creative and talented photographers. Free range stock also offers opportunity to promote your blog via directory.
Image After offers royalty free on-polished high resolution images and textures for commercial and personal use. Free hi-res stock photography, with abstract graphics search. The drawback is that this site is not really easy to navigate. Though you can modify images and textures provided in any way you see fit, you are not allowed to redistribute their images and textures as part of an online resource site.
PDPhoto.org is a large repository for free public domain photos. Most of these photos are free to use for any purpose. Read the license for each picture before you use; also, model releases may not have been obtained for all photos.
This site provides royalty free public domain clip arts in vector SVG & ODG format and in PNG format. These images can be easily embed images in openoffice.org
Launched 2005, Kave Wall New Media provides Victoria and Vancouver Island the most creative, effective and affordable videos, commercials, DVDs and web sites.
Trubo photo provides stock images in public domain for your use. You can use the search bar to find higher quality, professional stock images. Turbo Photo is designed for all digital camera owners to share, edit, touch up, enhance, view and print photos.
Launched in 2004 Stockvault.net is one of the largest stock photos sharing websites online. With over 32,000 free copyright free photos, Stockvault connects designers and photographers. The photo sharing website offers all of its images for absolutely free personal or non-commercial use. The site is easy to navigate due to categories and sub-categories.
Other good sources are:
The Premium ones:
Pixmac is a royalty free international microstock photography agency based in Prague, Czech Republic. It was founded in August 2008. It is under constant development to bring you the best user experience ever.
Pixmac provides large library through PayPal and WorlPay. Price of images starts from $0.10 and depends on size of picture. Some photographs are offered for free. This online photo library contains more than 11 million pictures and grows rapidly every day.
Fotolia is a low-priced stock photography site, offering over 16 million images for publishing and advertising for as low as $0.75 per photo. Unlike other major players in stock photo sales, Fotolia’s images are mostly from semi-pro and amateur photographers, though the photos are of similar quality. Fotolia photographers earn 30%-60% of the sales revenue from their images.
Launched in 2005 123rf is one of the largest players in the royalty-free microstock photography industry today. They host over 9 million stock photographs and vector illustrations with over 100,000 contributing photographers and illustrators. 123re allows users to promote and sell their creations to a worldwide audience through a sales profit sharing model between each contributor and 123RF.
Dreamstime began life as a royalty free CD store in 2000. In 2004, Serban Enache and Dragos Jianu co-founded Dreamstime. Structured on categories and subcategories, Dreamstime is a distinguished leader in stock photography and a major supplier of high quality digital images at unbelievable prices. With over 8 millions of cheap high resolution royalty free images, users can buy subscription from $0.20 per image, single purchase from $0.77 per photo. Stock images are provided by Dreamstime community’s photographers, shot on film or digital and approved by editors.
This site is an online marketplace for stock photography. Catalogue of images consists of more than 150,000 images and growth is slower than other companies in the field as a result of the highly selective approval process. Photocase images can be used royalty-free for both commercial and non-commercial projects.
Corbis Images has exceptional creative, documentary, archival, fine art, current events, and entertainment images to help the creative community produce distinctive work for magazines, web sites, books, newspapers, television, and films. It is a leading visual media provider for advertising, marketing and media professionals, providing a comprehensive selection of stock photography and illustrations.
istockphoto is a top royalty free stock photography agencies (they are the pioneer for the Microstock image industry). Founded by Bruce Livingstone in May, 2000. iStockphoto was originally a free stock imagery website. Over the course of time, it transitioned into its current micropayment model. Images cost between $.95 to $1.50 USD depending on size and image collection. iStockphoto is recommended for those who are looking for an impressive selection of stock photos in terms of quality and quantity.
Shutterstock was launched in 2003 by founder Jon Oringer. He launched the site by offering his own photos for sale. This service is an excellent choice for designers who need constant royalty-free downloads with flexible licensing terms. ShutterStock is inexpensive, their subscription stock photography service that offers subscribers more than 10 million royalty-free images from 210,000 videographers, illustrators and photographers. The standard subscription plan, offered by Shutterstock, is “25-A-Day”. It includes 25 royalty free photos or images that can be purchased daily throughout one month. Thus, a customer is able to buy 750 images per month for only $249 or $0.33 per image.
The site was launched in 2004 and has been slowly gaining market share since then. Images are good value with credits costing 50c or less if you buy bulk. There is also a subscription option, with a weekly 70 images subscription currently at around 35 dollars.