Tag Archives: free

Where can I find good copyright-free images?

6 great sources for copyright-free images

(Now 8 sources!)

Although it’s extremely easy to grab just about any image off the web, it’s not always legal.

First of all, it’s completely false that any image you find by googling is free for the taking. You should always click through to the image and determine whether or not the source page owns the image and all its rights, or whether they’ve bought, borrowed, or stolen it from someone else.

If you find an image in someone else’s blog post, you should leave it alone unless they have verbiage that spells out attribution requirements, and/or provides creative commons info about the image. There are some exceptions, such as fair use of movie stills.

Your safest bet is to go to a site that sells or aggregates images, with their copyright info spelled out.

For free photos, these are my favorite sources:

MorgueFile – Free of charge, and copyright-free, but there appears to be no curation, so the imagery is of hit-or-miss quality.

Unsplash – I was just introduced to this one today (8/4/16), so I haven’t explored it in depth, but it looks like there are some nice images available.

Pixaby – Free and no attribution required. This site has quite a bit of very good quality photography – moreso than most other free sources. Here are a few examples:

sources for copyright-free images sources for copyright-free images sources for copyright-free images

They also offer illustrations, but the quality on those is generally lower. Still some nice bits here and there, though.

PhotoPin – Free of charge, but the search filter is iffy, and the images aren’t always copyright free; you have to click through to Flickr to find out whether they’re “creative commons” — which means you can use them within certain parameters – or “all rights reserved” — in which case you can’t use the image without explicit permission from the owner.

Wikimedia – A database of millions of freely usable media files, with an emphasis on historical and cultural subject matter. The image below is from here.

By Gustaf Carleman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Gustaf Carleman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For paid images on a tight budget, these are my favorite sources:

If you have a little money and less time, your best approach may be royalty-free images. These are professionally-shot and -curated image collections, so you save time, not having to sift through dreck to find good stuff.

sources for copyright-free images

Creative Market – Lots of good images, most ranging from $5 to $14. (Also a great source for fonts and illustrations.)

StockFresh – Prices start as low as $1, but are usually good quality and the site has good search function.

www.istockphoto.com – Huge selection and good quality; excellent search function; most images $36 and up. (They used to be a lot cheaper before Getty bought them out, but this is still inexpensive compared to the old days of rights-managed photo buying.)

Disclosure: Clicking on Creative Market, StockFresh or iStock links above earns me a bit, but I honestly use and like all these sources.

I love Trello! – a killer to-do list app


Trello is a super easy-to-use project management app. But it’s not just for teams working on big and/or many projects; it’s also really handy for the solo freelancer and anyone who has to juggle both personal and work tasks on a daily basis. Here’s a quick video on how I use Trello.

The basic version is free, and it works on smart phones, too.

New WordPress theme: Mixfolio

WordPress theme Mixfolio

Built to work well as a portfolio site.

Home page options include a featured image carousel, a welcome message area, a tweet feed, and a prominent “Contact” button.

2 custom menus available.

Post Format Support: image, gallery, link, quote, and video.

Font(s): Helvetica

WordPress theme: Oxygen

WordPress theme: Oxygen

Note: I have now used this template to build a site, and I recommend it highly! Very flexible.

Note to web developers new to this theme: Almost everyone runs into a wall trying to figure out how to get the home page to display a large slide show at the top, as shown in the demo and in the Hope site showno here. (Proof: the WordPress support forum is littered with “How do I get the Showcase Page to work in Oxygen?!” requests.) Here is the simplest, clearest explanation I’ve found.

Here’s the site: Hope Community Church, Andover KS

Showcase page template.
9 font families and a custom link color
3 custom menus
Widget areas: up to 7
Font(s): heads – very condensed, stylized sans serif; body – condensed sans serif, possibly Helvetica. Nine font families available.

WordPress theme: Chateau

WordPress theme "Chateau"


Light or dark color scheme.
Custom accent color.
Sidebar left, right or none.
Multiple archive styles.
Post format styles: 4
Widget areas: 6
Font(s): heads – a classic serif that looks like Caslon or Garamond; body – Verdana. The typography on this theme is very nicely done.

WordPress theme Chateau; customize with color
You can choose a light or dark color scheme, and a custom accent color.
WordPress theme Chateau: two archive styles
You can choose from two archive styles: detail or concise.