For those of you who have followed me for years or just recently, you may know that I am an avid, hobby photographer.
Frustrated with “free” stock image photography sites that promise photos that need “no” attribution, I take all my own photos for my blog and websites. My phone and now, my new camera, go everywhere I go. I’m always looking for interesting photo ops!
Truth be told, I am leery of stock photo services offering free images. Recently, Margaret at Sticky Readers mentioned Unsplash, a site boasting free stock photos.
I decided to check it out and found this article from 12/16 on Snappa Blog, 21 Amazing Sites with Breathtaking Free Stock Photos.
“Many of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. However, some photos may require attribution.
We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.” (emphasis my own).
No thanks, who has time? So much for “free!”
I did, however, open a free Unsplash account. While the images are free and stunning, they are not searchable. Subscribers get 10 new photos a week. I downloaded a few, not sure if I will use them on my blog. I’m an educator, so I feel comfortable using these images for my power point presentations, since they are not being published on my website.
Snappa Blog’s article states “All photos on Unsplash are released under the creative commons public domain license.”
A lot of “lawyer-speak” here about Creative Commons public domain licensing. This is tricky business as a growing number of lawsuits are pending for copyright infringement violations of intellectual property.
Let me share an excerpt from my eBook, Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images
In reference to copyright infringement…
A graphic artist friend, who is in this business, said this is the new, trending lawsuit. Other bloggers have described their terrible experiences of innocently using a random photo on their blog post and being sued.
Even posting the following so-called disclaimer on your blog is basically useless.
“This blog claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog belong to their respective owners. If there is an image on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail us with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.”
I still read wonderful posts from a LOT of bloggers using photos and images from the Internet. Most of these likely have copyright restrictions, so please BEWARE if you choose to use them. If you use images from the web, be careful. It is obvious that most of these images are professionally photographed.
Exercise extreme caution in using Google Images on your blog or website. Most images you see on Google are attached to someone’s blog post or business. Unless you get express permission to use those images, do not use them.
You may have heard of Creative Commons licensed images. Understand that although photo sites curate a host of images, not all of them are free, and some have restrictions on commercial use.
According to author Helen Sedwick, in her eBook, How to Use Eye-Catching Images Without Paying a Fortune or a Lawyer, “Do not rely on a Creative Commons license if there are recognizable faces, artwork, or trademarks in the image.”
Sedwick continues with this warning, “Creative Commons sites do not guarantee that they have the right to give you permission to use the image at all. You are using the images at your own risk.”
Again, what may appear to be free is not.
Even acknowledging the image’s origin may not be good enough. Most of us do not make money with our blogs, and having to pay upwards to $8000 for misuse of an image can be tragic.
By now you are saying “OK, I get it! How can I get quality images that are truly free?”
Why, thanks for asking!
A few months ago, I came across Gigi, a blogger who shares her own images in her weekly newsletters and on her website at A Warm Hello. She creates free, ready images for anyone who would like to download them. I am sure she would appreciate you visiting her site and subscribing.
But, back to the FREE images…
From her blog I got the idea of sharing my own images with other bloggers.
I have taken thousands of photos over the years and I am happy to share a variety of them with anyone who is interested.
I feel very strongly about this endeavor and would be comforted to know my fellow bloggers aren’t going to lose money in a random lawsuit over copyright violations.
This post serves as my announcement that FREE images really are available. No sign-ups, no passwords to remember, no gimmicks.
Current folders include landscapes, flowers, animals, cityscapes and general office. Visit on a regular basis for new folders and photos added weekly.
The images are untouched and un-edited. It will be your job to select and download them, then edit them using is a free online image editor. Many bloggers use Canva. I use the premium version of PicMonkey, but their free version works just fine!
Fellow blogger DG Kaye recently shared this post about Fotojet. I haven’t tried this one yet, as I am happy with PicMonkey. The point is to find an online image editor that works for you.
I sincerely hope that you will take a look at the photos I have to offer. Let me know in the comments what kinds of photos you need for your blog…I may have what you need!