Image Sources For Bloggers

They say a picture says a thousand words. A good picture (or pictures) can enhance your message. A bad image can have the opposite effect!

Over the past couple of years I’ve gone through various stages with images. I started off using them (or perhaps over-using them). For a while I stopped using them for no reason other than my laziness – I couldn’t be bothered trying to find suitable images. Now I use them in every blog post.

But a problem that many bloggers find is ‘where to find good quality images’.

I’ve got three sources that I use.

Image Sources For Bloggers

My favourite place on earth – Manhattan. I’m using this image for no reason other than I love it!
photo credit: Werner Kunz via photopin cc

Finding Free Images For Your Blog

Firstly, for free images you can’t go past Flickr.com. At this site users upload their photos and they’re available for all to see. There are various licensing options available using Creative Commons. Ideally, you want to find photos that are available to be used under a Creative Commons licence. Read the licensing terms on the site to find out more.

The main thing to remember with Flickr is that you need to provide a hyperlink back to the photo author’s Flickr page. I’ve seen some people place this directly under the image, others place it at the end of the blog post.

A recent WordPress update made it possible to place a hyperlink in the photo caption section. You’ll see that I do this sometimes.

So, how do you find suitable photos on Flickr?

I used to use this link – it takes you to the search page for Creative Commons images:

http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0

The problem I found with doing it this way was that it was sometimes difficult to find suitable photos, and it can also be a little time-consuming to download them.

Recently I found a great alternative – a site called photopin.com. PhotoPin allows you to search Flickr for the Creative Commons photos that match your search term. There’s a couple of ways it can return results – either based on recency, relevance or interestingness. I like the ‘interestingness’ category the best – it returns some awesome photos.

The best bit is that you click on the thumbnail you want to use and it gives you a range of download options depending on the size of image you want. It also gives you some html you can copy and past that provides the relevant link to the photographer’s Flickr page (as well as a link back to the PhotoPin website.

Paid Images From IStockPhoto.com

Depending on your budget, you may prefer to buy images. I haven’t done this a lot, but for my financial planning business I put together a free guide and purchased images from www.istockphoto.com instead of using free ones.

The way that Istock works is that you purchase credits, and use those credits to buy images. Some images cost more than others, and the larger sizes cost more than smaller ones.

The link above is my referral link – if you use that to sign up you’ll get 10 free credits.

The thing I like about IStockPhoto is the range and quality of images that are available. If you need images for something special, consider buying them – they do make a difference!

Presenter Media

Presenter Media Stick Figure

Here’s an example of a Presenter Media image

I discovered Presenter Media just over a year ago. This site provides a bit more than just images.

Firstly, the images it provides are those of three-dimensional figures.You’ve seen them all over the place I’m sure!

It also provides powerpoint presentation templates that are amazing. There’s lots of animated templates available and they’re simple to customise.

They also provide video backgrounds that you can use for your You Tube videos etc.

It operates on a subscription model. Currently it costs $59.95 for a 12 month subscription – that’s unlimited use of any of their stuff.

You can download and use a lot of stuff over a 12 month period and certainly get value for money.

If you look around this blog you’ll see that I’ve used the Presenter Media images a lot.

 Summary – Image Sources For Bloggers

So there you have it – three handy sources of images for your blog.

If you want photos, then iStock and Flickr are the places to go. If you’re after clipart-type images then Presenter Media is your best source.

I haven’t suggested that you search Google for images. Whilst you’ll probably find some good ones, the problem is that you don’t have permission to use those images and could possible be breaching copyright. This is not a good idea. Yes, you may get away with it, but it’s not right!

Finally, one more source – you! In these days of smart phones it’s easy to take lots of photos of things that inspire you. So maybe next time you’re out, take a photo of something that grabs your attention, run it through Instagram or another photo effects program, upload it and then (if you’re feeling creative) write a blog post using that image as the inspiration.

Man with iphone

Here’s a photo from Flickr that I found on PhotoPin using ‘iphone’ as the search term. Here’s the obligatory text : photo credit: Dustin Diaz via photopin cc

I hope this has been useful.

Do you have other photo or image sources that you use? Please leave a comment and share them with us.

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About

Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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2 Responses to Image Sources For Bloggers
  1. Carolyn
    November 16, 2012 | 1:44 pm

    Excellent article, Allan. I thought I knew almost all of the image sites out there, but you taught me about Photo Pin and Presenter Media. Yes, I always wondered where people got those images with the figures from.

    I use Flickr a lot and was using Advanced Image search but I will definitely try Photo Pin.

    Google Advanced Image search lets you filter your results by rights, but once you filter by Free to Use, Share, etc. you’re generally left with few images. Every so often it can be a successful source for Creative Commons images: http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en
    Carolyn recently posted..Nokia Lumia 810 – A Smart and Easy SmartphoneMy Profile

    • Allan Ward
      November 16, 2012 | 9:08 pm

      Thanks for the comment Carolyn. I’m glad you’ve found it useful.

      I’ve used that Google search a few times, but I’ve struck the same problem as you – the lack of usable images.

      PhotoPin works well for me purely for the ease of use. It sits on my Firefox toolbar and when I’m writing a new post I open it up on a new tab, type in a keyword and see what comes up. It’s also so simple to download the file and copy the attribution.

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