The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Images on Your Blog

Finding and Using Images On Your BlogA blog or website that does not use images is like a restaurant absent of decor – uninteresting and uninviting. And as much as good food can keep people coming back to a restaurant regardless of what it may look like inside, we all know that people choose where to eat for the atmosphere and environment, as much as the actual food that will be consumed there.

The same goes for our sites.

It’s important to use images and graphics on our websites for several reasons:

  1. To add something interesting and relevant that breaks up the sea of text in our posts.
  2. To attract attention and pique interest even before any text is read.
  3. To hold people’s attention while reading through our posts.
  4. To strengthen or enhance a point, argument, fact, opinion or statement.
  5. To help keep our posts memorable and easily distinguishable from one another.

And now, more than ever, it’s important because of things like Facebook updates and new-age RSS readers (e.g. Flipboard for the iPad) that utilize the images within our posts. Now we’re talking about actually driving traffic to our sites because of the images within our posts.

See below:

Facebook Blogpost Image

So Why Write The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Images?

It’s important to understand how to obtain images and properly use them because you can’t just grab any image from the Internet and place it on your blog. You could run into legal issues and intellectual property infringement, so it’s important to understand exactly what you can and cannot do.

Below you’ll find several methods to obtain images online and what you can and can’t do with them. This will be a forever evolving resource that I will update as new laws and restrictions come into place, but I am not a lawyer or intellectual property expert (here comes the disclaimer…) and you should always seek the advice of an expert or conduct further research before making any decisions online. I’ll do my best to keep this updated, but again it may be wrong, misleading or inaccurate and should only be used as a starting point for your research.

Your Own Images

An easy way to obtain images for your site is to create them yourself. Maybe you’re a photographer who takes excellent and artistic photos, or maybe you’re a graphic designer with mad Illustrator skills. Either way, publishing your own work can add a touch of personality and uniqueness to your site that you can’t get anywhere else.

But, there are still some things you have to worry about, especially if you’re a photographer.

For example, there are certain things you must do in order to legally publish pictures with other people in them, or pictures of certain events and venues. I’m not going to go over all of the legal aspects of taking photos and using them, but just keep that in mind before you take pictures of random people and post them up on the web (you’ll need forms for that). I did find a good, free resource about photography law which you can learn more about here.

I’ve added a few of my own photographs in blog posts before here on SPI:

Also, don’t forget about infographics – which can be charts, diagrams and similar images that you create yourself to prove a point or explain something further. I’ve had great success with infographics used on the following blog posts:

Google Image Search

The easiest place to find images on the web is through a Google Image Search, but the results should be used for viewing purposes only.

DO NOT take images from a Google Image Search and publish them anywhere because they could be (and are most likely to be) copyrighted material.

As Google explains on their help page:

“The images displayed in a Google Image Search may be protected by copyright, so we can’t grant you the right to use them for any purpose other than viewing them on the web. If you’d like to use images from our image search, we suggest contacting the site’s webmaster to obtain permission.”

I know it’s tempting because it’s simple, it’s fast, and it’s one the largest image databases around – but it’s not worth the potential legal trouble.



Flickr is a fantastic resource with billions of different images and photos that you can use freely on your website. Many highly respected bloggers, such as Corbett Barr from, use Flickr images to enhance their posts without any unfavorable outcomes.

That said, not all Flickr images are created equal and not all of them can be published on other sites, and some come with certain restrictions. Below is a breakdown that will hopefully help you figure out what you can and can’t do.

How to Use Images Found on Flickr

Flickr images are broken down into two categories: Copyrighted or under the Creative Commons License.

Copyrighted Image - FlickrPlain and simple: you cannot use a copyrighted image.

You can tell if an image on Flickr is copyrighted by the symbol underneath “License” in the sidebar. If it’s the “C” symbol with a circle around it (the copyright symbol), then the image is copyrighted and you cannot use it.

If you really were attached to a photo that you found that you want to use and it is copyrighted, you can test your luck and contact the photographer directly, however just remember that these photographers have a choice and they chose to copyright their photos for a reason.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons LicenseThe Creative Commons License is pretty cool because – to put it in plain English, it allows us to use other people’s stuff, but with some rules in place. It’s like saying “Some Rights Reserved“, instead of “All Rights Reserved“.

From the Creative Commons License website itself, they explain:

“Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work — a “some rights reserved” approach to copyright — which makes their creative, educational, and scientific content instantly more compatible with the full potential of the internet. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law. We’ve worked with copyright experts around the world to make sure our licenses are legally solid, globally applicable, and responsive to our users’ needs.”

On Flickr, the images under the creative commons license are broken down into different types of licenses that have different rules for how you can use them. They are as follows:

Attribution LicenseThe Attribution License allows you to copy, distribute, tweak and publish a piece of work, even commercially, as long as you give credit for it.

There are over 25 million images to choose from that use this particular license by itself (with no other restrictions, which we’ll get to in a sec), so you have substantial database to search through.

So the question becomes, how do you give credit for an image you use?

As stated on the Creative Commons website: “For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.”

So, all you have to do is link back to the site where the image came from.

Some people choose to include the link for credit next to the image itself, and others choose to place it at the end of a post. It’s up to you.

Flickr Photo CreditAttribution - No Derivs LicenseThe Attribution – No Derivs License (Attribution, but with no derivatives) is basically the same as the last one, except that you cannot alter, change or tweak the original image. When you publish the image, it must be in its orginal form.

This one can also be used commercially, and credit should always be given to the creator.

If you don’t plan to crop, enhance, add text to or Photoshop any of the images you find (resizing is okay), then you can use both this license and the Attribution License together without any worry.

Attribution - Non Commercial LicenseNow we get into the realm of commercial vs. non-commercial.

For the Attribution – Non Commercial License, you may only use the photos as you wish for non-commercial purposes only.

So what does that mean exactly?

Well, from the Creative Commons website, it says:

“…shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.”

There are gray lines that you could argue against, but I wouldn’t even try. There are over 50 million images to choose from that allow you to use the images commercially, so if you’re making money at all from your website in any way, shape or form – directly or indirectly – I’d go with a more flexible, commercial license.

Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivIf you’ve made it this far, then you should know that this particular license means that you can use these images, however they must remain in their original form and cannot be used commercially.

Interestingly enough, this category has the largest number of photos to choose from out of the Flickr Creative Common licenses, at over 53 million.

Makes sense though when you think about it.

Attribution - ShareAlikeThe Share Alike License means that the images can be used in any manner – even tweaked, cropped, enhanced – whatever, but it is understood that after you create those new images, they will be under the same license and someone else can freely use your new image if they wanted to the same way you did.

This is the same license that Wikipedia uses, which means you can grab any piece of content you want from it and use it however you wish, but you must still give credit for it. Then, anyone else can use your content and use it, although they must give credit back to you.

Pretty cool.

For blogging purposes, unless you tweak the images and do not want anyone else to use them – this is pretty much open for your unlimited use (again, with proper credit given, of course).

Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlikeThis is the same as above, except the images must be used for non-commercial purposes only.

So there you have it – that’s how to properly use images from Flickr, which I highly recommend especially if you’re on a budget.

Search through all of the creative commons Flickr images by clicking here.

A Quick Tip When Using Flickr

1. Search Engine Optimization

To maximize your on-site search engine optimization with Flickr images, download the image to your computer. Then, rename the file to match your target keyword for your post.

(You are targeting keywords in your post, right?)

When you embed the photo the file name will include the keyword, and also to make sure the alt text is the keyword as well:

Target Keyword in Filename

Google Advanced Image Search

I know I told you to stay away from Google Image Search, however there is an option to do an advanced search for photos that you can reuse.

To do this, click on Advanced Search on the Google Image Search Page, and select the usage right that is appropriate for you:

Image Usage Rights SearchThere are a few issues here, which is why I recommend avoiding Google’s Image Search all together when trying to locate images:

  1. Even though results may show up for the various usage rights, there is no way to know that those images are truly under that license. To really know you’d have to go to the site owner, who may or may not require a link back.
  2. In general, there are far less search results than on Flickr. For example, I did a search for a term in Google that yielded only 3,450 results, while the same term on Flickr produced about 1.2 million results.

I just wanted to share this because it is another free option.

Stock Images

Stock images are professional photographs and graphic designs that are purchased and sold on a royalty-free basis and can be used and reused for commercial design purposes.

There are, however, certain restrictions depending on the use of the image.

For us bloggers and website owners, the only thing we have to know is that in general (some stock image sites will have different rules), we can use the images on our websites and in any electronic publications (eBooks, membership sites, etc.) as we wish as long as the images are no larger than 800 x 600 pixels in size (which is HUGE…and random).

I use stock photos and illustrations here on SPI and on some of my niche sites too.

Although it does require a small payment, I find that it’s worth it because the images add a bit of professionalism and cleanliness to my sites.


istockphotoiStockPhoto (affiliate link) is the only stock photo site that I use. From what I’ve learned, it has the largest database of images, it’s the most economical for bloggers and website owners and the images just look really really good.

There are a number of other sites out there (many with the same photos, since stock photographers syndicate their images to multiple sites for maximum exposure and potential income), but most of them are more expensive or have weird pricing plans.

For the extra small images on (about 300 up to 600 pixels in size), the images cost about $1 to $3.

Tip: when purchasing credits on, do a Google Search for “iStockPhoto Coupon Code”. There are usually some live coupon codes you can easily find that can save you a good amount of moolah.

If you know of any good stock photo sites for bloggers, please share (with reasons why you like it).

Free Stock Images

stockxhngThere are a number of stock image type websites where you can actually get some decent images for free. I won’t name them all (here’s a post that lists 25 of them), but the one that most people seem to like best is called Stock Xchng.

Here, you can use their database of nearly 400,000 images for free, but you may need to ask for permission from the photographer first.

You may not necessarily need to link to the image or the photographer, but the photographers on this site seem to like to know what their images are being used for. Most of them are just curious, and as a photographer I would want to know the same thing, so it’s not much just to leave a comment about how you’re going to use the image.

stockxchng comments

Don’t Overdo It

Images are a great way to enhance a website and compliment the awesome content that you’re already publishing on it.

At the same time, you should always make sure you don’t overdo it. There is such a thing as adding too many images, and always make sure the images are relevant and enhance the content you produce – not take away from it.

I hope this guide has helped you in one way or another – if not now, maybe sometime in the near future.

Thanks for your support, and if you have a second please let me know you like this post by clicking on the LIKE button below.


Addendum: Where To Find Awesome Free Images For Your Blog

A big thanks to Michael Brandon for the following addendum to this post, which is a comprehensive list of the current sites where you can get stock images for FREE for your blog. Thanks again Michael!

Hi-Res Images

Need a large beautiful image for a header? Want your blog post to stand out when you share it on Facebook? Look no further. These sites have some of the best high-quality, high-resolution images you could ever hope for… All for free. Large, high resolution images perfect for designing Medium-style headers. More free photos for personal or commercial use. From skylines to Macbooks. A professional photographer’s private collection, free to use. Nature, artsy, and beautiful. Similar to Unsplash, and you can sort by tags. 4 collections of free photos. Well curated, hi-res. Creative Commons collection of hi-res photography by Folkert Gorter. 10 free images every month in your e-mail. (currently e-mail only).

Free Stock Photos

Sometimes you need an image of something specific, like a half-open Macbook in a dark room. All of the sites below offer free stock photos either organized by category or search. High quality stock photos. Free stock photos submitted by photographers and artists. A free stock photo search engine. The name doesn’t lie. Crowd sourced photography available under creative commons. A photographer submitted resource of free-to-use photos. Hand picked stock photos as well as a searchable library. Cool photos. Search by color. An oldie, but a goody. The Creative Commons section of 500px. Free photos, sorted by category. Decent stock photo finder. Includes plenty of natural settings. Nasa’s image library contains copyright free historical and scientific images.

Picture Quotes

Using a picture quote can increase the social sharing of your blog post and get you more traction on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr. Plus, starting a blog post with a good quote can be powerful way to pull someone into your content. A simple picture quote maker, with 28 templates. Beautifully designed picture quotes free to use with citation. Another free picture quote maker. Create picture quotes using 42 different backgrounds, upload directly to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. Another simple quote on image platform.


Sometimes an appropriate illustration can work better than a photo. Here are a few resources for free illustrations and clip-art. Free clip art and vectors. A collection of illustrated avatars to use for free. More free clip art. Somewhat dated, but some good stuff. Public domain vectors and illustrations. More public domain clip art.

Vintage Images

A lot of old images are timeless. Best of all, a lot of old images no longer have copyright restrictions! Spice up your posts with some vintage style. A large collection of vintage images. Nature, patterns, bears… Old stock photography. Beatiuful and pleasing. Historical collection from the Library of Congress. Search Wikipedia’s photo collection. A sorted collection of images from US History. A collection of images of primitaive cultures. Vintage postcards sorted by state.

Patterns And Textures

Chances are you won’t be using these in blog posts, but if you need a new background image you’ll find some great one’s here. Free patterns and textures for designers. More patterns. More subttle. Perfect for non-distracting backgrounds. A curated list of high quality pattern sets.

  • Jia Jun

    Thanks for sharing this great info Pat.
    At the very beginning of my blogging, I really did use google to find images and use it on my blog, but then learn that it might be illegal and not appropriate way.
    Karol from taught me on this and using Flickr to find images to use on blog, and I use it ever since.

    Now I found much more places where I can source for images to use on my blog, awesome Pat. 😀
    Really appreciate this info. It’s a need for me. =D

    • Sarah Russell

      Haha – I’ll admit to having used Google Image Search irresponsibly in the past on my affiliate sites as well. Thanks to some good people who set the record straight, I’m back on the straight and narrow with Flickr and iStockPhoto!

      Thanks, though, to Pat – I don’t think I’ve seen as clear a description to the different Creative Commons rights attributions on Flickr anyways. Great post!

      • Perry

        Ye likwise, I’ve been one to use google the wrong way in the past. This article has been a life saver for my blog – , I now know how to find good images that won’t cost a startup a bomb. Thank You!!

  • Jerry

    Great guide Pat. In addition to the resources you mentioned, I use Shutterstock for stock photos. I tend to stick primarily to stock photos since you can have more control of their usage, and it’s easier to find a high quality image if I’m in a rush.

    • Pat

      Thanks Jerry. I was going to add ShutterStock too, but their pricing plans changed and it didn’t seem economical for regular bloggers anymore – at least compared to iStock. Maybe I’m missing something. How much are you paying per image, on average, if you don’t mind me asking.

      • Jerry

        It runs me about $4 an image. Definitely pricey as you mentioned, but they also offer a couple weekly freebies (to free accounts) that eventually add up to a nice portfolio =)

  • Bereket Dan

    That was very informative article. Thanks Pat.

  • Benny

    Very comprehensive. Do you think smaller blogs would get in trouble for pulling images from Google search and using them? Or would they just be targeting larger websites? Just wonder if you’ve heard anything.

    I used to run a sports blog years back and always pulled images from Google because I didn’t know I shouldn’t be. Never ran into any problems.

    It’s funny Google suggests you contact the webmaster to use the image but it’s very possible they pulled it from another website.

    Now on my current blog I use Flickr now or personal photos just to be safe.

    Great info Pat!

    • Pat

      Smaller blogs have less to worry about, but I wouldn’t use that to justify using copyrighted material. For one, it’s not fair to those who actually own that content, and secondly, what if our small blogs do get big, which can happen in the blink of an eye if someone influential links to you. Then, you’d be in trouble.

      Cheers Benny!

      • Benny

        Great points. That’s why though my blog is small now I go the safe route.

      • Bojan

        I think it would be also be beneficial in terms of taking your business seriously. I am going to get an account at iStock photo for sure. That way you are taking your content seriously, for a reasonable price. I include up to two pictures per blog article, so if I invest 2-5$ I am going to threat my blog articles as high value and investment in them, hence feeling obliged to write good and I will be more motivated to spread them around and promote them. It’s all about the mindset.

    • Cristina

      It’s not only a matter of not being “caught” using those images because your blog is small. It is also a matter of respect. We must respect the rights of the owner of the picture just like we want people to respect our material (posts, articles, ebooks, etc).

    • mike

      i’ve done the same thing in the past Benny, for many of my sites. i usually resise, crop, and make changes to most of the photos – but never really thought of it to the depth that this article takes it to…

      i’ll have to take a look at flickr for all future photos that i might need to use.

      • Benny

        I did it cause I didn’t know any better. I just assumed Google images were free to use. That was back then. Now I know better and understand the ramifications.

  • Andrew McGivern

    Great info as usual! I’m going to check out Flickr for images from now on. I was looking on the stock photo sites before.
    Thanks for the great content every week!

  • Michelle

    Excellent guide. I create all the images for one of my blogs and have had them stolen from Google image search in the past, it’s not a nice feeling. Karma guys, karma.

    • Pat

      That’s totally uncool Michelle. Sorry to hear that happened. :(

      Karma indeed.

  • Ralph

    If you use photo dropper (wordpress plugin) you can easily integrate your images in your posts without the hassle. It automatically gives credit and the images are good quality.

    Zemanta is another one but these days I prefer photo dropper.


    • Pat

      Does photodropper still work? I used it once before, checked the plugin page and it seemed a bit out of date with the WP updates. Did I look in the wrong spot?

      • Ralph

        You probably saw this : but I have the latest versions of WP and it all still works.

        I also save the images on my site as (related to my theme) it works better with the featured images.

        But yeah, all good here.. I use it on all my sites.

    • mike

      i’ve used zemanta in the past. it was ok, but a lot of times i could not find specific photos that i needed. it also bogged down my wordpress to the point that i finally disabled it.

  • Doug

    Just today i was challenged as to where/how to get photos on my website and blog. Your post is extremely helpful, PERFECT timing! Thanks!
    I love your podcast, I look forward to it every week, great information, keep them coming!

  • Matthew Hooper

    Nice information. I have a similar post drafted up that mostly targets Flickr and using CC images. This is a question that I get asked a lot.

    Maybe I’ll leave my post in the drafts folder and just point people here instead.

    — Matt

    • Pat

      Up to you Matthew. Feel free to use my post as a resource if you want to complete your draft. Cheers!

      • Matthew Hooper

        I could do that since you went into much more detail than I had planned on going. Thanks again.

  • Ralph

    I wrote about it twice before…. but I am missing the star power of Pat :)

  • Tom

    Great topic Pat! I was wondering how to legally add more photos and you answered my question. I was mainly using my camera but starting to run out of pictures with my posts.

    I created a YouTube video that Nicole Dean posted yesterday that adds a new twist to blogging. Amazing what the internet can do.


  • Shari L

    I find it interesting that Google finds it acceptable to take any image they want to display but tells the reader the images are only there for viewing. But on the other hand I get traffic to my sites from my images being on Google. It’s all in what you name the file. This is an awesome summary for the use of images!

  • Chris Deals

    Pat, thanks for another detail tutorial on a subject that can be hard to understand (Creative Commons License).

    Have you look into the Zemanta plugin? I have used it in the past to get related images and videos for my niche site.

  • Hector Avellaneda

    Thanks for all the resources Pat. Going above and beyond as usual.

    I definitely agree with the use of images. When I first started IEC, I was also one of the ones that was oblivious to any legal liability with their use without having the appropriate rights. Since I’ve also switched to istockphoto and, like you said, although there is a small cost to purchase the credits they are well worth it.

    istock photos are clean and definitely add a touch of professionalism to your site! I’ll definitely be checking out your resources though. I took a quick look at stock.xchng and it looks pretty cool! Thanks again!

  • Josh

    Hey Pat,

    Dude! Once again you take the art of blog post to another level with this post. Great stuff broken down in an easy to use manner. Seriously…I feel like it’s christmas. Thanks


  • Paul

    I use and recommend Dreamstime. It’s an excellent source for thousands of images and much cheaper than iStock.

  • Kenneth Ashley

    Hello Pat,

    Even though photography might not be a idea option for some (its pricey) i think it shows the reader how much you really care about the things you might be discussing in the post. To take the time out to photograph or create a photo or graphic shows alot.


  • Vinay

    Love these posts Patt! Full of great info. Thanks!

  • Jeff Rose

    What I’ve been doing more lately is taking pictures with our awesome Canon camera and then upload it to my Fickr account. I’ll then copy and paste the html code from Flickr into the blog. That way I have a high resolution photo that doesn’t bog down my site too bad.

    Before that I was using Smush It to reduce the file size of the pic. It worked, but it took that much longer. Plus, if I’m really targeting a keyword, I’ll also post the URL of the article into the description box in Flickr. I know there’s no link value, but it can’t hurt, right?

  • Zero Passive Income

    Thanks so much for outlining these image resources. I’ve been looking everywhere for some high quality images to use on my website. One resource that I’ve found to be really useful (and free) for great images is

  • Pavel

    Thanks Pat for another great post.

    Great looking images are always a pain to find. I’m not in the blogging niche, but in the iPhone app niche, so we have a long term relationship with a great designer who does all of our images – including the one here.

    It proved to be more economical so far for us to use her for our iPhone apps, our site and all of our other images.

  • Stephenie

    This is a very good post, Pat, it’s being sent to my writers, too. You hit the same spots as I do, except I don’t end up using Flickr as much as I maybe could. Stock Xchange is the first place I go, and if I can’t find an image there, I head over to iStock. You are absolutely right about the others being wonky priced and/or weird attribution/usage rules.

    As this is my first comment after being a long-time reader, I’d like to say thanks for pouring your heartblood into this blog. I decided a while ago to only faithfully follow a chosen few in internet marketing, and your blog is one of only three that I read.

  • Peter L Masters MCIM

    This is an excellent post and very useful for saving hours of time. Time is something we all seem short of, so super value!! It’s great to use your own photos but it’s easier said than done!! Thank you, I appreciate this a lot and will share it immediately, regards Peter

  • Wasim Ismail

    Thanks for the tips, I have bookmarked this page, to use at reference, as time to time you need a bit of a freshener. In the past I have had my hands burnt by not using the correct images, so don’t want to make the same mistakes again.

  • André

    To find Flickr images under the Creative Commons license, you will need to do an advanced search and tick one or two boxes. Instead of going to the advanced search page every time you need an image, just bookmark this link:

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    Awesome guide Pat,

    This is the best guide I’ve ever seen on using images for your blog and you explained a lot of things and the legal implications of using copyrighted images. I was using shutterstock (I was given a 6 months free license) and it is a really good image site but I’ve started using flickr now that my license has expired. I love your clarification on the type of creative commons image on flickr.

    Thanks so much and have a great day,

    • Bojan

      How can I apply for that 6 months trial?

      • Onibalusi Bamidele

        Not that I applied, one of their staffs contacted me to tell me he showed interest in my blog and would like to give me, and that was how everything went.

        I might renew though when I start making a lot more to justify the spending ($1400+ for 6 months)

        • Bojan

          That’s too much, you could get a new Mac Book for that money :)

  • Alberto

    And since we’re all using WordPress, I suggest Flickpress as a plugin to automatically insert images, easily change there title and add attribution.

    • Bojan

      I didn’t know about that one! That sure will be a great addition to my blog!

      • Kenneth Ashley


        I just checked out your blog! Just want to say its awesome. I am not sure what ranking you are in Google but you get comments so i am guessing you are ranked high. Did you follow Pats advice to get a good ranking?

        Just curious…


        • Bojan

          No mate, I am reading a lot of other peoples blogs and leave comment after each article I write. I give value to those comments and they attract readers back, same way you went to my blog. I always reciprocate comments and thus getting guest posting opportunities. I am poorly ranked, since this blog is 3 months old. And I provide awesome content.

          I came back here to ask you how to use Flickr Press, I installed it, putted in API and I am having issues figuring out how to use it properly.

    • Pat

      Yeah that one is new to me. Thanks Alberto, I’ll explore this one.

  • Bojan

    Flynn you are really missing out on Google Image search. If conducted smartly, it’s the best resource for your images. Google Advanced Image search has to option to search only for pictures that are “labeled for reuse” and that are “labeled for commercial reuse”. Your results won’t be as rich, but you will have plenty of pictures available at your disposal.

    Hope this helps and gets included in the article

    • Pat

      I talk about Google Advanced Image Search in the post and how to conduct a search, and why I don’t use it. It is there though as a last resort, at least for me.

      • Bojan

        Sorry Pat I didn’t see it in the Google section, woke up recently, so still kinda groggy :)

  • sylvia

    I have found to be very useful to source flickr images. Very quick and efficient.

  • Bob


    Super helpful post although your initial premise is hugely flawed. Specifically, “…like a restaurant absent of decor – uninteresting and uninviting.”

    My favorite restaurant in the world refuses to put up any wall decor. All walls are intentionally left blank. The reason, says the owner, is because you go to a restaurant for great food. If you want to see pretty things on the wall, go to an art museum. This restaurant makes the best steak I have ever had. If you want to be the Applebees of websites, put up tons of images!

    Starting this post with such a focus on pictures implies to me that you can overcome weak content with pretty images. If you produce content, produce great content.

    I can tell you that I do NOT come to SPI for the images.

    • Pat

      Haha…Applebees. I ate there once, but the food was terrible so I never went back.

      Bob, you love your favorite restaurant because you already know their food is great, so what the restaurant looks like doesn’t even matter to you anymore.

      But, to someone who has never been there before, who has never eaten the best steak in the world, the look and feel of the restaurant play a huge role in the decision to eat there (of course there are other factors, like recommendations from friends, which could be more important than decor and environment to some).

      Images can’t overcome weak content – that’s not what they are there for and that’s not what I implied with my comparison. But, they can definitely catch people’s attention, even before the content is read.

      Cheers Bob, and as always I appreciate your insights and comments.

      • Bob

        You have to go to a restaurant the first time. It was easy to tell this restaurant was great because people were waiting outside up to 4 hours for a seat.

        All I know is I respect this owner so much for his decision to keep the walls bare. It made clear to me that pretty pictures mean little outside of the pretty picture industry.

        Like I said, this post is great. I just think the way you contextualized it was illogical.

        • Pat

          Thanks Bob, and understood.

          You hit on “social proof”, which is another great topic for a marketing discussion. We’ll save that for another day.


        • Marion Ryan

          Bob, sorry to disagree but can’t see any logic in Applebee’s stance on pictures on the wall. You can eat a great steak at home. Like you, I don’t come to SPI for the images, in fact I’ve never consciously noticed they were there. But without them, I’m quite sure my subconscious would tell me SPI has great content but is not much fun to hang out in. It’s the setting and visuals that entice me to stay longer here.

          If Pat (or any great content-smith) got too precious about their writing and told me I wasn’t getting pictures because their words were what mattered, I’d think they were a bit up themselves!

  • remco

    Isn’t the discussion of using copyrighted images, basically the same as downloading music illegaly….?

    • Pat

      Sort of Remco, however it’s much easier to obtain pictures illegally than it is to obtain music illegally. I mean, Google has a search tool that can give us instant access to millions of photos that we should never use.

  • Matt Gambino

    Pat, great article. And I couldn’t agree more about iStock. I use it exclusively for PowerPoint and other slideware design. I made my case for iStock in my article last week, “6 rules for mighty fine presentations.”

  • Nicky Spur

    I’m just thinking of the millions upon millions of people who copy images from the web each day for personal, commercial or whatever use each day. What are your chances of actually facing a copyright infringement, and could you just solve it by taking the photo down? I like the options you’ve supplied, but like you said — it’s so easy to just snag a picture off Google, why go through the hassle.

    • Pat

      Depending on the image you use, chances could be fairly high. There are tools that reverse search for images to locate where they originated on the web, and that technology is getting more and more sophisticated every day. It’s not worth the risk, and it’s not just about what could happen to us, it’s about respecting those who created those images and making sure their material is used properly.

      • Nicky Spur

        Interesting — software does evolve at a rapid rate. Is this true for pictures that are downloaded and then uploaded separately after?

  • Slimt

    Great Post. will use some of the recommended sites for my blog

  • Mikey

    Pat, I was JUST researching this yesterday. My blog is its infancy (only 2 posts) and I was looking for photos that I could use legally to avoid any conflicts in the future.

    You must have known I needed this. :)

  • Julz

    I wanna know how you make the funky wee ripped edges on your images, they look so good! Is that done in Photoshop?

    • Dan

      Hey Julz,

      Its 3 years later and I am also looking for the exact same thing. I assume you found the solution to the ripped edges. Could you share it with me?


  • Cyndy G

    Thank you so much for covering this topic. As a photographer, I’m always a little concerned about posting my pictures online. Many people don’t understand how copyrights or release forms work. If a photographer registers a copyright, you can face very stiff penalties. And with digital watermarking it’s not that hard to find out where the image is being used. I usually use stock photos because it is so much easier to obtain images, especially when posting multiple times over each week and I don’t have to worry about any of the release forms (which you also need for pets & buildings).

  • Paul Wolfe

    Great post Pat.

    Another good way to combine stock photos and make your own is to buy stock images that lend themselves to being modified in Photoshop or another graphic package. Then one stock image could provide you with a whole bunch of images – and if you’re doing a series this could provide a thematic link between the posts.



  • Stacey Herbert

    Hi Pat
    I know this may sound like a totally silly question, but if you don’t ask; you wont know right.
    “How do you get the url for a picture you have resized and saved to your hard drive? ”

    I’ve been told your image has to be hosted somewhere in order to get a url, so I have having problems using my own images as dont know how to generate a err url..any advice you can give much appreciated.

    So far I’m having to link back to the original which it’s cool ifs its flickerr CC, but a bit limiting

    I’ve been reading your posts since I started blogging 1 month a go, and have learnt so much.


    • Marion Ryan

      Hi Stacey

      It’s not a silly question actually but it’s an easy one to answer! As I notice you’re using WordPress for your site, you will simply upload it to your “Media Library”. I was about to do a little video for you when I remembered I have one already that shows you how to do this (and the code you need to add an image to your sidebar). You’ll find it at

      Hope it helps.


  • Chris Trynkiewicz

    Great post, BUT :) In my opinion, when images are irrevelant and bring nothing new to the topic, they just take time to load. And, as we know from Google’s research (and mine too), even small speed changes can make a huge difference for your stats (like pages per visit). I would compare this to that fast-food bar which makes the best french fries in the world, although it isn’t decorated. It still works, right? :)

  • Marc Benda

    Great post Pat! Coincidentally I spend last weekend listing down great sources for free images, I took at least 3 hours to qualify 5 sites. Now I have another 20 new sites!

    Thank you!

  • Shaun

    Great post, i’ve never really known about using Flickr for images, i’ll look into it. I usually use IStock, but find the odd other image that’s free to use here and there.

  • Ryan

    What about tweaking photos from iStock? Say I wanted to add a picture and put a faded border around it to use for my header on my blog. Does that go against the license?

  • Andrew

    Hey Pat,

    I’ve used in the past w/ a lot of success. They index creative common images.

    Read through their FAQs under About to understand how they recommend you use creative common images online.


  • Ed

    Great post Pat! The company I work for refused to listen to me for two years or so about this very issue. They just recently got a letter from another company wanting $4000 for the illegal use of a few of their images.

    • Pat

      I guess they learned the hard way =/

      Again, things could come back to bite you in the future, just like that – so definitely be careful everyone!

  • Ron

    I’ve used iStockphoto for years but lately have become very disillusioned by their pricing structure. Many of the images which used to be in the lower price range have been moved in to “special collections” and cost many times the old price. If you are trying to blog regularly, or even build an inexpensive website, it is becoming increasingly difficult to use them regularly without really burning up the credits. Ah, the privileges of market share.

    I will still use them if it is a higher dollar project or I find a must-have image but for the most part I have taken my business elsewhere and I’m always on the lookout for a good alternative.

  • Barry @ A Leader Quotes Success

    Thanks for the great rundown, Pat!

    I have a modestly related question for you and your readers.

    Like most bloggers, I end up spending some quality time on photo-editing prior to dropping a pic in a post. Looking through this post, though, I’m very jealous of the quality of your edits – jagged edges to fit the theme of your site, along with the subtle shading around the trim. Given the volume of pictures you work with, how do you do this quickly and make it look this good?

    • Pat

      Hey Barry,

      It’s actually quite easy for me. All I do is drag and drop any photo into a Pages for Mac document, and use the inspector to create a frame around it, and there are several to choose from. In Pages for Mac I can also create shapes and arrows and things like that to enhance the photo even further, and it’s not hard at all. After that’s done, I press command+shift+4 and create a screenshot of the image, and bam – instant cool looking image :)

      • Barry @ A Leader Quotes Success

        That’s an awesome bit of Mac Magic, Pat! Thank you for sharing!

  • Mario

    Hi Pat!
    Thanks for these very usefull tips! One question. What plugin are you using for managing your media library?

    • Pat

      No plugins – wordpress manages them automatically for me when I upload within a post.

  • Anna

    And your is using images from?

    • Pat

  • George Tee

    Absolutely true pat, people want to read a blog post which contain images. Great images that are use before the post itself that easily distinguished have great impact to the readers. I usually get images just by searching over the net or if I want it unique I made it myself and put watermark text on it.

  • Suzi

    Hi Pat….I have been using Wikimedia Commons. Have you looked into that? As I understand it you can generally use the images under the creative commons licence, but I’d appreciate your opinion on whether I have that right. It’s great for photographs of landmarks, works of art etc…


  • Joshua

    Great post Pat, I always wondered about this, time to get some images added to my posts.

  • Joshua

    Cool Post Sir!

  • Melinda

    I second Paul’s comment about Dreamstime. They have free images too but I use their paid images almost exclusively and they’re very reasonable. I used to use for free images but the selection is very limited. iStockphoto has some really great photos too but seemed to be more expensive. I haven’t checked them out in a while though.

    Great post!

  • Brian

    This post is right on time as I am a relatively new blogger and have been wondering about photo copyright. This post is a great resource, I will visit often and check for updates. Thx!

  • Andre Khrisna

    Wonderful and very informative post, Pat!
    I’m using Stock Xchng, Google Image Search like you mention above, Flickr, GettyImages, GraphicRiver, and take picture by myself.
    Sometimes you could ask your family or friends to be your model for the image in your blog.
    Another time you will find some scenery or any objects that you think suit the needs of image in your blog.
    So get ready with your pocket camera anywhere.
    Take it with at least 5 MP camera or using your smartphone camera.
    I found out that manual taken image sometimes better than provided image in any image site (free or paid site).
    What do you think?

  • Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    organic search traffic from google images is actually one of my top 5 referrers of traffic for many of my niche websites. i accidentally discovered this one day, then went back and added more images to all pages of all my websites. traffic picked up tremendously. images/videos are a growing trend as far as search engine indexing is concerned

    • ProjectJourneyman

      I have noticed the same things – a lot of searches find my banner image… I suppose that means I pay attention to the rest of the images in my site (as shown in this post) to make them keyword-relevant.
      I’ve been using sxc as well, but they always make it clear that there are more quality images on iStockPhoto. I’ll eventually start paying for images just to save myself the time of browsing through pictures to use.

  • Jimmy

    Great Post Pat – as always!

  • Paul Salmon

    Thanks for a well thought-out posts regarding images. I am always having issues with adding images to my blog posts, and I am careful about adding copyrighted content. To tell you the truth, while I have seen large blogs use Flickr for their images, I have never tried it myself. I have to remember to use them for finding images, while paying attention to the copyright notices on each.

  • Bruno | Behang

    great post with very useful info. I will bookmark this one.

  • HP van Duuren

    Thanks for your Post,

    Currently I hardly ever use photo’s on my Home Business Lifestyle Blog, even on my Digital Camera-ideas Blog I hardly ever have any actual Photo’s, when reading however you will discover that I have been working on my own – Photostock Catalogue – for months now!

    Currently I already have thousands of Photo’s, and I even have an interesting Free Report about Stock Photography, with lots of info about Stock Photography that I refer to in several of my Posts. You can also find it somewhere scrolling down, at the left side of the Blog (near an Orange Arrow) You can’t miss it!

    Feel free to have a look, it goes without saying that you are welcome to also have a look at the posts that you can find on that Blog, and feel free to write your comments.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Home Business – Inspiration,

  • Stephen Hart

    awesome post, i really needed to see this one! cheers, stephen

  • John Sherry

    Images are a must because they get noticed first in the 5 second first impression rule and people won’t even dig into the text if the picture is unappealing since it suggests the post will be the same. I like to use happy faces and emotions in post header pictures i.e. animated humans rather than static objects, as it provides a more human connection with the reader (and it sure works!!!). I also use the Creative Commons license with Flickr but be specific with what image you are looking for in the search because you could be there all day otherwise.

  • Jason V

    Used to be a site called “morguefile” where people published free-for-use photographs.
    Looks like it’s still active:
    “Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not!”

  • Brent

    Thanks for this post Pat. As a new blogger, I didn’t have the slightest clue of how or where to get pictures. Now, I do!

  • Andri

    I want to start using graphic in my blog. Thanks for the tips.

  • Richie

    this post really helps me a lot about images. now i know womething new that i can explore and make use of it.. weehhoooo!

  • Cory

    Hey Pat,

    Great article! It still amazes me how many people just rip off images. My wife is a professional photographer and we have observed this area of the internet violated for so many years. Thanks for educating your readers and encouraging them to do what is right!

  • patrick

    Thank you for this post! I have been wondering for the longest time where I could find quality photo’s for free. I am still deciding whether or not I won’t to implement them into my blog but I am very grateful to have some clarity on this topic.

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  • Anne

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been using google images on almost all of my sites and I’m really not aware of this. Thanks for sharing this post. It really makes me enlightened. Keep it up!

  • Herman

    As a new blogger I needed this. Thanks Pat. Your subjects always inspire. Herman

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  • Jill Tooley

    This is exactly the kind of image resource guide I’ve been looking for! Thank you so much for publishing it. Finding appropriate blog images is tough, and attribution and copyright can be confusing. This has been officially bookmarked for future reference. :)

  • Matt D,

    Another great post. I’m going to use iStock and start adding pictures asap. Anyone have any good/affordable sites for logo creation as well?

  • Budakboy

    Thanks for the info…i used the google image for sometime when i read your article…thanks =)

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  • Sean

    Pat, this is a FANTASTIC resource. Just the istockphoto coupon tip is worth the price of admission (which was, uh, free). Just wanted to say thanks :)

  • Barrett

    As always, awesome post here. Started using Flickr today to bein spicing up posts. Really liking what I see so far. Thanks for the excellent category explanations and reasoning behind using photos.

  • Jon

    As you mention, using Google Images is not a good idea! If it’s free images you’re looking for, I run a site listing free graphic art at which includes public domain image sites as well as free stock photo sites with a variety of licenses.

  • Dan Corkill

    Cool there is also a grease monkey script that will mean you don’t have to do an advanced search on Flickr every time.

    There was a search engine yotomoto that searched several sources but appears to be down.

  • Alan Needham

    I found the image I needed on another photo site, dreamstime. By following your tip on searching for a coupon code I received enough free credits to get the image I needed for free. Thanks for the money saving tip!

  • Sean Davis


    This one is a tough one for me. I’m no problogger but I have been blogging off and on for a couple of years now. Granted, I don’t have very much success but I think that’s because I have never even blogged on a consistent schedule for more than a month lol.

    Anyway, I’m on the fence about images. I’m starting to come to the point where less is more for me. I’m a bit of a graphic designer and I have a history of using images for all kinds of stuff. I just put up a new blog and I use very few images, even on the site design.

    My focus is the content and using simple shapes and lines to send people where I want them to go. Then, I take advice from guys like you and Darren on how to break my posts up in a manner that leads the reader down the page.

    At this point, I’m really feeling like images will take away from my design. What do you think? Am I being naive or are there some designs/layouts that just don’t need imagery?


  • bhupendra

    hi,Thanks for sharing information. how to get backlink from images?

  • raj

    Hi,this is a great post and valuable information. I like it so much Thanks for sharing

  • Brock @ Amazon Affiliates Blog

    Great guide. It’s so tempting to use a Google image when you can’t find a free one and don’t want to pay for stock…

  • David Gadarian

    Good stuff as always Pat!

    For my licensed photos I use – if you buy pre-buy a few credits pictures start at .99/pic. I’ve also been happy with their library.

  • Brad Blackman

    I have to clarify that not all stock photos are royalty-free. Some are rights-managed, especially the ones from the big photo houses like Getty and Corbis (who own many of the smaller stock agencies). There are some really nice high-end stock photos that come at premium prices (think $500 or more) depending on usage, typically suitable for national or international print campaigns. The royalty is dependent on the number of impressions. Also, you pay a premium for using editorial-only images that are appropriate for news outlets. Go to and you’ll see the attributions to Getty.

  • Dwight Anthony

    Nice write up to using images Pat, another resource alot of bloggers suffer with staying with posts with good images.
    Another resource i use is

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog

    Financial Freedom advocate

  • Hai

    Hey Pat,

    How did you come up with your logo/graphics and color scheme for your site? Did you come up with it yourself or did you use a logo company? I really appreciate you taking time to answer my questions.



  • Andy

    Great article the best i have found when it comes to Flickr. Bookmarked thanks

  • Dac VB blog

    Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.

  • Christine

    Thanks for the great information, Pat! I am doing research on blogging & had no idea about legal aspects of posting photos found on the net, etc! I hope to start my first blog really soon!! Love your!

  • Joshua Dorkin

    Awesome post, Pat. I was looking to write a similar post for my guest bloggers, but will instead refer them all here for this one. Thanks for saving me a little time!

    BTW – For those people looking directly for the link to the Flickr CC directory search, here you go:

  • Austin

    great read! thanks again for the tips!

    • Click Perfect

      Thanks for all your
      efforts that you have put in this .very interesting information.i would like
      to do all the information

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  • daretoeatapeach

    The main problem I have with using images is that I want to be able to download a ton of images at once, rather than having to do an exhaustive search every time I write a post. But when I downloaded all those creative commons images, I no longer knew where they came from. Now I’m saving the images as the name of the Flickr user, but that’s not 100% reliable, and I still have to go look up the user and refind the original image (to make sure I’ve found the right photographer)…and ultimately is that any faster than doing a new search for every image?

    It may seem a trivial amount of time, but with tagging, rewriting and sizing images, SEO research, formatting, etc., writing a single post can take several hours…and that’s a deterrent to generating lots of content.

  • Derrick

    This post was very helpful to a new blogger. Thank you very much.

  • John Lightfoot

    Hi Pat,
    Great post!
    (Also great podcasts by the way!)
    Just thought you might be interested in this resource for free images (just in case you have not heard of it! :-) )

  • Mike Cleveland

    I was just looking for images for my blog and I came across this post. Your’re a life saver. This post was just what I needed in the nick of time. Thank you for sharing your info.

  • Peter Shanks

    Hi Pat, a friend put me on to your site and it’s been a great read so far. Thanks for taking the time to make so much information available.

    Your readers might be interested in a site I put together for finding creative commons licensed images on flickr:

    It’s got a better interface than that on flickr and it lets you edit images you find too.


  • Bruno

    Thanks for this article, exactly what I needed!

  • Frederik Jon Jacobsen

    Hi there pat i really like to post about images helped me out.

    I just wanted to tell you that your link to istockphoto is broken.

  • Mavis

    I was actually looking for a great disclaimer that i can use as a reference to create my own, from using images that i’ve gathered from the web, though i’m editing those images for my personal use, i think i need to put disclaimers or credits on my post. Then i stumble on your post and read it till the last bit of character, it was really nice and helpful on my part, i know the term “helpful” has been very common, but believe me it indeed help me a lot.

  • Mohammad Atiqur Rahman

    When I found a IMAGE of my choice, Do I need the permission to publish that.
    If I edit and publish the IMAGE will the work count as illegal?

  • Sjaak

    As I am checking istockphoto, almost all the pictures I come across are in the pricrange of $8 and up. However, when I check Flickr, all I get is rather unprofessional looking pictures which seem to have been taking using a potato. You talked about $1-3 pictures which I guess can be worth the investment, but the $8 I keep running into just feels like plain theft. Is there a good filter showing the cheapest on that website? So far I haven’t been able to spot it..

  • Malcom McCutcheon

    Thanks for this post, Pat. It’s definitely evergreen content and has provided a lot of value. I have directed several clients to this post while encouraging them to add featured images with every post. Your instructions are so clear that I haven’t even bothered to write my own version of this for my usual training materials. Thanks again!

  • Elmalak

    I think now the best stock photography source is, it has abundant great images and its prices are just perfect.
    The smallest size is just $1 which is great compared to $4 for most of istockphoto these days.

    Give it a try.

    • Ago

      Thanks Pat for this guide, that’s what I was looking for!

      @Elmalak: is great and I can’t believe the prices are soooo good!!!!!! :)

      Thank you for sharing!

  • Mary Hunter

    Hi, thanks for this article. I’ve been using flickr images (with proper credit back to the photographer) on my site and have been really happy with this.

    I was not familiar with stock.xchng, though, so I am definitely heading over there to check it out! Sounds like a good option.

    One quick question, which I think I know the answer to, but wanted to check to see if you know for sure. Is it okay to use creative commons license flickr photos in my e-newsletter, as long as I give credit and a link back to the photo on flickr?



  • Jeremiah Say

    At first, I was skepitcal about buying an image (from IStock photo etc), I thought to myself “why would someone want to spend money on images when they could get them for free.”

    Now I understand why. I’m willing to spend a little money on images now.

  • Albert

    Fantastic post and very useful. I need many images for my blog so that’s a good information for me. Thanks!

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  • Keeon Taylor

    Cricket match review blog that really cool. I played cricket when I was younger.

    • Kennedy Tan

      What is Cricket match?

  • Makcit Rindap

    It really helped. Thanks

  • Get The Job Girl

    Hi Pat, for istockphoto, do you just get the least expensive photo which is usually the 72dpi one? Is that resolution good enough for blogs?

    • Chris Palmer

      It’s not the DPI that matters, but more the size. Generally blogs don’t need anything above 1200px, but could even get away with something like 800 (I like to leave room for cropping).

      With images you NEVER increase the size, but you’re always welcome to decrease the size.

    • Click Perfect

      Your approach to this
      topic is unique and informative. I am writing an article for our school paper
      and this post has helped me. Thanks.

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  • Chris Palmer

    I’ve recently found that the images on are super great. They also have a way to browse for Creative Commons. Really loving the quality.

    • http://www.YearOfWriting.Com Omar Khafagy

      Thanks for that suggestion Chris. Crazy that I never thought of that before. 500px is a local (Toronto) success story, and I find myself on their site often, but just didn’t put two and two together.

  • Bradley Morris

    Thanks so much for your awesome work Pat. I just discovered you today. Will for sure follow your work and keep listening!

  • Ash

    Hey Pat. Great post. Have you used deposit photos? I find that to be pretty awesome.

  • Vanessa

    Is posting movie posters on your blog considered copyright infringement? I want to review films on my blog, but I want to be sure that I’m not doing anything illegal. Thanks!

    • Craig Hunter

      Anybody have any feedback on this question?

      I have been researching this as well and have not been able to come up with anything definitive. The question is, can one use movie posters, screengrabs from the films, or film stills to review/promote movies or products directly related to those movies (dvds of those movies)? Is this considered copyright infringement? Do we need permission from the film or product distributor to use images from the film or dvd?

      Ideally, I would like to be able to use a picture of the product (dvd cover) and a screen grab or two from a scene from the movie. If you go to this review you will see that the picture says “Photo Courtesy of Disney Enterprises Inc.”

      I would hate to have to get permission from the film / product distributor for every movie / dvd that i want to review and promote. This would be very crippling for a movie review website…

      Anybody have any helpful insights…thanks

      • Alex S

        no one responded to this. Thanks alot guys

  • Chris

    Awesome, one of the best resources on using images for your blog, just got an update. Bookmarked this one for future reference, thanks Pat!

  • Karl

    I never really see top bloggers referring to the source of an image, even though I know that they haven’t created them.

    Too greedy on their link juice?

  • GeorgeRushby

    Great Article Pat! In the beginning I was struggling to find images to use in my new blog so instead of trawling the internet for hours I decided, why not take my own. This way I for-fill two of my passions, blogging and photography.

  • Erwin Ti-in

    Oh yeah! Thank you Pat. This is massive resource for me as a newbie with just 3 posts on my site, haha. This article will be my guide every time I will use images on my blog. Maraming salamat (Thanks) Pat.

  • steve

    Hey Pat,

    Just so you know if the Photography law link is broke.

  • Benjamin

    You should still be careful with certain websites like Pixabay. Pictures there are uploaded by people, and Pixabay doesn’t seem to check whether they are copywrited or not.

    They actually write :

    “Pixabay cannot be held responsible for any copyright violations, and cannot guarantee the legality of the Images stored in its system. If you want to make sure, always contact the photographers. You use the site and the photos at your own risk!”

    So I would be careful with using pictures from Pixabay. I actually discovered that and deleted all the pictures I took from there.

    • GistHeadlines

      Thanks for sharing info about Pixabay! Saw more nice pictures there but now I’m better infermed.

      Sam (

  • Alice Walken

    You can also use the quote images from if you’re looking for some great designs that are free to use with citation

  • Kelly G. Hyndman

    I have been using and like the way their credits are priced. I have signed up for a pack of credits on and am looking forward to trying out their offerings. I’m attaching a Fotolia pic that I text-ified here just for fun. And because I can!

  • Agata Matusz

    Hi Pat,

    This is an excellent and really insightful post.

    I was wondering however, what is the correct use of screenshots of third party website? I currently provide an attribution and link the screenshots back to the original website, but am not sure that this is enough?

  • vinodh

    This is the lengthiest article i ever found on this topic

  • Alexandru Roznovat

    Hi Pat, thanks for sharing post. I think you may take a look on a tool that instantly create amazing images

  • imgparty is my new site with free images. photographers of all levels can add images and join the img party.

  • Mark

    I use for all my stock photo needs, they’re reasonably priced as well depending on the image size and the number of images you require. You can see some of them on my website I hope this helps.

  • Yaro

    Hey Pat, This is great post. I have quick question: How are you creating your header images for each post? Are you using photoshop for you featured images for each post?

    • Yaro

      I actually found out a great solution if you don’t know how to use photoshop!

      You can find image for background, upload it to tool, then you can add text and add some effects.

      Awesome tool for my new blog 😉

  • Alfredo

    The have free pictures of various regions of Brazil.

  • Matthew Pollard

    Great post Pat. I found this awesome plugin that allows you to add flicker images right from a wordpress post and it does attribution itself- ImageInject plugin. Check it out. It doesn’t look like it has been updated in a while, but works great.

  • Anees Ahmad

    Thanks for the article i was using the images from google search . But from now not to use the google search images.

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  • Joann

    Thanks for sharing this awesome list of resources Pat! I used to get confused with the different CC categories in flickr.

  • Anne Slater-Brooks

    Hi there. Thanks for this as a newbie blogger this is really helpful, however do you have any tips on how to search by size on Flickr. I thought I had selected large but then downloaded some only to find they were too small. I seem to be spending ages searching for the right size images for some headers on my site? Are all headers the same size also? Thanks again

  • Kevin Panitch

    Hey Pat, I know I am late to the game but I recently started listening to your podcast and reading some of your blog articles and this one is particularly useful. It is really helping me start to take action on some of my ideas. Thanks!

  • Angie@Veresdlife

    Hi Pat,

    i usually mixed it up with my own pictures and google advanced search pictures. I also asked friends to send me pictures and than just mention them. A lot of them are just happy to have their pictures on my site without mentioning them.

    I am not a fan of the new getty images campaign to embed their pictures because they link back to their site and they are thinking of advertising them.

    I will definitely try a few of the ideas mentioned in your article and the comments.


  • Aziz Peregrino-Brimah

    You’ll want to update this post I’m sure. iStock is no longer the $1-$3 site it once was. Prices have inflated a few thousand percents, and I doubt you still use them today.

  • Poyan

    Wow! This is such a valuable blog post, amazing Pat! Thanks for all your hard work.

    Your podcast is one of the best I’ve heard to date as well.

  • Anette

    Great post! You should check out as well! They have stock photos for a very low price. It’s perfect when you have a blog!

  • Andrea Laurence

    Thanks for the high res images tips. I’ll bookmark this for future reference. I think you can also include for uploading images and videos too.

  • Adam Lawrence

    I’m a latecomer here. Thanks for the excellent post, Pat. It was very helpful for setting up my WordPress blog.


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  • Will

    I am starting a somewhat similar site about soccer. How have you found pictures

  • Nadgèle Zéphir

    Thank you sooo much Pat for these valuable tips! :)

  • Ramki

    Hi Pat, thank you very much .Your post gave me the stuff what exactly I am searching for.Really this helps alot for my new blog love the way you explain the subject with clear knowledge.Two thumbs up:p

  • Aleš Krivec


    I’m co-founder of the image resource We offer 3 new images each week that may be used freely and without attribution for any purpose (Creative Commons CC0 – Public Domain).

    I believe, DreamyPixel would make a great addition to this awesome list of image resources.

    Website URL:



  • StefanBaines

    How come I didn’t notice this article before ? Thanks a lot for the great review ! I just created my personal blog dedicated to travelling ( WordPress, via ), hope to make it’s design more interesting due to quality images.

  • Kozzi Images

    Great article and I completely agree with the need for great cheap and free images. I would like to recommend Kozzi Images with over 2 million inexpensive or free stock images Every image can be embedded any image into your blog for free.

  • Anurag Soy

    Thanks Pat , Great and useful post.