As you build your business online or your hobby, you might have come across the need of using pictures. You also might have realized how easy is to get a picture from the web and simply post it with your content or as your pictures.
Well… before doing that, be aware of copy-wrights, these can give you some headache and eventually a fine. All images on the internet are protected by copyrights. So based on that and to help you choose the right and safe pictures for your business, in the article we will talk about royalty-free pictures, so you can safely choose the picture that suits your needs without having to spend hours producing pictures or finding one that you can use without any legal consequences.
Why you should use pictures on your online content?
Pictures are essential for online businesses because they have very good engagement with the public, more than simple text would. People do look 1st pictures and only after they read the content IF they see that the picture is related to what they are looking for. Because of this, choosing the right pictures for your content is extremely important, especially nowadays where we have so much visual pollution on the internet.
Why you should use Public Domain images or CC0-licensed?
As I stated above, all images on the web are protected by copyright. Even if this is not being mentioned, you should assume that the image is protected by copyrights. And using these images or pictures without any permission is illegal and can result in big penalties for your business or as an individual.
In the meantime, there are services that provide you with high-quality, royalty-free images that are safe to be used. Some of these tools are ShutterStock, Gettyimages, between many others, unfortunately many people either they don’t have a budget to buy some of these licensed pictures or simply decide not to spend money at all in pictures.
Then we have CC0 licensed pictures and public domain, these ones can be very useful, but what are they?
CC0 license is a type of license where the owner of the picture releases their work with no restrictions of use, allowing anyone to use them.
While Public domain pictures are pictures in which their license expired, and this allows anyone to use them without any restrictions.
These 2 types of pictures can be used by anyone. So, now with this basic understanding about licenses and public domain pictures, let’s go ahead and see some of the websites that provide you free pictures with these types of licenses.
Top pick for high-quality pictures
Known widely for being easy to use, its organization, and high-quality pictures for any purpose, Pexels is at the top of our list as one of our favorites. They have an amazing community of photographers that make their work public for anyone to use
The pictures at pexels are public domain, free to use and there is no need to attribute credit to the author, even though it is a nice gesture for some of their amazing work!
Widely known royalty-free stock pictures. Over 1.8 million high-resolution images
Pixabay is a top pick as well, they provide you a wide range of high-quality pictures. Besides that, their stock of images is updated regularly, allowing you to find new pictures that just came out.
Over 333.000 free-pictures and much more
Public Domain Pictures is a great website for you to get public domain pictures, as it’s name says AHAH. Here you will find not only pictures but as well vectores and graphic designs that can be very useful depending on what you are working on. You can easily find the pictures you need by doing a global search on keywords or going by categories.
Private Collection of FREE Photos and Vídeos with high resolution
This one is about an amazing project of a photographer called Daniel Nanescu. In 2014, after accumulating thousands of high quality pictures and videos, he decided to share them online for free so anyone can use them instead of having them in a hard drive accumulating dust. What a great iniciative Daniel, thank you!
In this website you will find amazing pictures, it’s never been so easy!
The pictures you will find in this website are under a CC0-License, so you can use them for free.
Private Collection with Free Pictures for commercial use
Another amazing website of a private collection, this one of Martin Voel.
He provides you pictures released under the public domain so you can use them for free wherever you need. Just make sure you don’t hotlink these pictures, you can read more about what you can and cannot do in this link.
Another Great Private Collection
Launched in 2015, Barn image is another Free collection of high quality photos. Every week new pictures are added by the authors or other respected photographers that are carefully selected. Indeed a very nice website to grab amazing CC0-licensed pictures. The search can be done by categories or tags.
10 new CC0-licensed photos every 10 days
Unsplash is another very famous website with thousands of CC0-Licensed pictures for you to use in your business. A great feature they have on their website is that they allow you to find pictures that match certain themes and categories.
Other Relevant websites that provide free pictures and we love!
And because this list would go on and on, making this article boring to scroll, we are listing here other amazing websites with great free pictures in case you haven’t found what you were looking for in the sites above:
Focus on Vintage pictures and collections – pictures are now public domain.
Skitter Photo has thousands of CC0-licensed pictures for you to chose which suits better your needs. Not such a mainstream website, so here you can find pictures that are less used on the web.
Free stock of pictures, high resolution and hundreds new pictures every week.
Repository of free domain pictures by selected authors. Large collections with thousands of pictures.
This is a great website to find full collections of copyright free images and illustrations. Most pictures are quite old, making them public domain. It’s not a big stock of pictures, there are just a bit over 3000, but you might find little gold nuggets in this website that might fit your work just right!
This is a Flickr account that displays millions of drawings and illustrations of old work and art from the 17th up to the 19th centuries. All these pictures are listed as under a CC0-license, so you can use them anywhere.
Public domain pictures, clipart, and graphics. Has a huge collection that is easy to search by name, categories, or even tags.
Free stock images, not the biggest collection, having just a bit over 600 pictures, but great for blog posts and with high resolution. All pictures under CC0-license. This is a subdomain of Theme Isle, they have great content about WordPress as well!
If you need beautiful pictures under a CC0-license, Negative Space is for you. They have a very broad variety of pictures and they are easy to searh by tags, categories and even colours.
Final Comments about Stock Images Websites
Even though the websites above will be providing you with amazing free pictures, we are often asked by our customers where can they find certain types of illustration and other arts, like thumbnails and vectors.
The main 2 that we use for these types of illustrations are ShutterStock and Freepik, these two have some of the biggest stocks of photos on the web, especially for specif design that you might be looking for.
Be always aware that when uploading pictures into your website, wherever they are from, they are always optmized, so that your website keeps loading fast and steady.
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