How to Get Hundreds of FREE Photos for your Blog

Hundreds of free photos await you!

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.”

creative commons public domain

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.Better Blogging with Photography

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!

But first…

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.

Just click on FREE BLOG IMAGES for the Dropbox link or click to visit my new page Free Photos for Your Blog

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!

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Pick Up My eBook FREE for a Limited Time on Amazon

Get eBook FREE Better Blogging with Photography

I am excited to announce my eBook Better Blogging with Photography is available FREE for a limited time!

To help you make the leap over to Amazon to check it out, I included excerpts to pique your interest!

What’s in it for me? I am hoping you will “buy” the book, then leave a positive review. The book goes back to its staggering price of 99 cents beginning next week.

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.
–Bruno Barbey

From the Introduction

Are you a new blogger struggling to get more readers? Are you a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts? Do you feel there is something missing from your blog or website?

This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

Blogging used to be a simple task. Once you found your web platform, a theme and a good idea, you simply sat down and wrote. Enter social media and blogging changed forever.

From Chapter Two

Why Using Web Images Can Be Dangerous for You and Your Blog

Why use your own images? Let me answer that with this question. Can you say “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.

I reiterate: Exercise extreme caution in using Google Images on your blog or website.

A Review

Janet Sunderland, a fellow blogger in WordPress wrote this review: (go visit her blog–she is also working on a book!)

This is one of the best how-to books I’ve read on both blogging and using images in blogs. Terri’s experience as a teacher clearly shines as she organizes the book in a step-by-step fashion with great tips, both the do-this, and the don’t-do-this! She uses images throughout to illustrate her points, which gives a visual representation of the information. Along with instructions on the skills of blogging, she includes recommendations for social media sites as a tool for getting that blog seen. In the final chapter, she includes “a round-up of links and resources…” A great book for beginning bloggers as well as a fine resource for experienced bloggers.

To learn more about how to avoid a lawsuit for innocently using “free” images on your blog or website, pick up your free copy today of Better Blogging with Photography. After reading this guidebook, you will be able to produce your own, high quality images for your blog or website.

Click here to get your free copy today! You can also click the image in my blog sidebar.

Happy reading!

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How to Use Your Photos to Generate Blog Ideas and Readers

January always seems like a great energizer to either begin a blog or to re-energize a current one. With January almost over, have you met your short-term blogging goals? Are you still inspired and keeping up with your posting schedule? Do you need a kick-start to your inspiration?

Use your images as inspiration for your blog.
One way I find inspiration is to look at my photos. Between my old digital camera and my Samsung phone, I have thousands of photos! They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I am here to tell you a thousand words (in a blog post) are worth a picture!

If you have a large file of digital images, take the time to go through them. Most images tell some kind of story, whether it is a memory of a special vacation spot, family photos from 20 years ago, or images that can be edited into “art.” Chances are, you have a great subject for your next blog post and the image to go with it!

Photography Challenges
Another source of inspiration is to take a look at the variety of photography challenges available. Several bloggers offer these as challenges to share photos that fit a particular theme. Here are some to visit:
Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World Challenge. 

WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge

Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors 

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Hughes News and Views Weekly Photo Challenge

Large, blue garage door graces this fabulous retirement villa in Baja.

Baja Doors
The photo above (featured image) is submitted for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors. Because of this challenge, I now purposely take photos of interesting doors. In doing so, I have guaranteed future blog posts with stories behind the images.

I took this photo while we were in Mexico. Several of our friends own properties and homes on the Baja peninsula. Most of these folks have retired and spend a few months in Mexico where they indulge in leisure pursuits like windsurfing, stand-up paddling, golf, hiking…you name it. Many of them plan their time so that they never have to see another winter day!

I also incorporated this photo into the color theme “cornflower” for Jennifer Nicole Wells Color My World. See? Two photo challenges with one photo!

Images can also be the source of poetry, prose or flash fiction. PJ at Beautiful Words frequently posts short flash-fiction inspired by a photo. You may be able to submit a photo for these challenges, which will create interest in your blog.

Photo challenges can also bring in more readers and followers to your blog. Many challenges have a link or a ping back which places the photo in a community where others can click on the image and read your post.

In fact, the Weekly Photo Challenge, which begins each Friday, is my biggest traffic generator and my best day of the week for blogging.

Photo Apps, Quotes and Text
Using photo editing programs/apps like PicMonkey or Canva; or Photoshop, for serious photographers, can add dimension to your images and the ability to watermark your image with your name/website. Using text on images, in the form of a blog title or an inspirational quote, elevates your photo to other social media sharing opportunities like Pinterest and Instagram.

I have used quotes on images with great success. Not only do they inspire another blog post, but the images shared in linky parties may get featured, shared and pinned, therefore bringing in more traffic to your blog.

Here is the same photo with a quote added to it as text. This adds much more dimension and potential for a post about the subject of retirement abroad.

use a quote on an image to generate interest

And then you can take the same image, crop and edit it further and make this your featured image. When I share this post in the link-ups I take part in each week, I will be able to select the photo below to help “sell” the post in the link-up photo gallery. I also add these to my Pinterest and Instagram accounts for more sharing opportunities.

using images as inspiration for your blog

If you find you are in need of inspiration, kill two birds with one stone. Go through your files and look for an image that tells a story and off you go. Add it to an appropriate blogging, photo or fiction challenge and have fun with it!

 

How To Get 500+ Followers: 3 Reasons to Use Images on Your Blog

In an earlier post, I shared some blogging tips for running a successful blog in celebration of reaching 500 followers. In this post, I would like to discuss the use of images on your blog and in your blog posts. Picture-is-worth-1000-wordsTip 1: Use photos and images on your blog page or website. When I visit other blogs, I like to see a few images. Some themes do not allow a lot of images and many folks prefer a simple, clean page. A great header image that embodies the personality of your blog is nice to see.

If you are reading this on my blog’s page, you can see that I my header photo shows “perspective” of a favorite vacation spot. You will also see my “about me” photo which I change every few months. Many bloggers choose not to use photos of themselves and that is pure choice. Scrolling down on my sidebar you will see social media icons and other images. I also included two galleries including awards and challenges I have accepted. Careful use of images on your blog page or website creates interest and is pleasing to the reader’s eye.

Tip 2: Use an image in your blog posts. There is nothing like a compelling image on your blog post to attract readers. Many bloggers might argue that good quality content is all one needs for a successful post and for many, this may be true.

However, we are visual people and including a great image in your post attracts readers. Stats do not lie. If you blog on WordPress, take a look at the Reader. Count how many posts include a featured image. Do you tend to click on the posts with an interesting image, especially if that image underpins the subject of the post? I sure do!

Most of my posts have one or two images. Too many images can break up the text in a great blog post, making it difficult to read. I read blogs that use lots of images and gifs (you know the silly photos that repeat wildly?) and while use of these can be entertaining and humorous, they can be distracting. When you use images, do so sparingly. If you choose to use a large amount of images, consider creating a gallery that you can embed into your post. Scrolling through too many images can send a reader quickly away from your page!

Tip 3: Use your OWN images for your blog posts. Why use your own images? Can you say “copyright infringement”? A graphic artist friend, who is in this business, said that this is the new, trending lawsuit. Other bloggers have described their terrible experiences of innocently using a random photo on their blog post and were sued.

There are free or low-cost stock images available. The Beginners Guide for WordPress has this great article about using images. If you use images from the web, use caution. 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 $1000 for misuse of an image can be tragic.

Do you have friends or family who are photographers? Ask to use their photos. Simply e-mail them asking their permission to use their photos in your blog or website.

Dog-Paddlin
Original image by Kimberly Glaster freelancerphotos4u.wordpress.com

By doing this, you actually have documented their permission. Your photo’s caption might read: “photo of tree, used with permission by so-and-so’s name.” This also gives the photographer credit for the image, especially if he or she has published it on another website. The dog photo shows a similar example and since I edited the image, I watermarked it.

Perhaps you take terrible pictures or don’t own a good digital camera? Most of us have a smart phone with a camera. Use it. I installed Dropbox on my laptop, tablet and phone. As soon as I take a photo with my phone, it puts into Dropbox automatically. Edit your image with a program like Photoshop, Canva or PicMonkey. I use the free version of PicMonkey and it is perfectly fine.

Why edit your photos? Cropping your images is recommended. You can also adjust the color or edit the image into black and white for the effect you seek. Also, back to copyright laws, I highly recommend watermarking your image. A watermark usually consists of some version of your name/website/year.

PicMonkey and Pinterest have great tutorials for editing and watermarking. Is watermarking your image a foolproof way to protect your intellectual digital property? Some say yes and some say no. Just google “watermarking your images” and see what pops up! Again, it will be your preference.

On a similar note, you can create your own images that highlight your favorite quotes. If you fall into the category of fuzzy photo taker, then using photo editing on those images and adding a quote should be fun and easy! You can see the example in my featured image.

Using your own images in your blog posts is also another way to share your posts using social media. Next week’s post on blogging tips will cover the use of social media and link-ups to help promote your blog!

Has using images worked well for you? Do you use your own images? I would love to hear your perspective on this subject!