Images are worth a thousand words.
You’ve probably heard that saying a million times. It’s so ubiquitous that some may call it a cliché.
Call it what you may, but its beauty lies in the fact that it is true – no matter the situation.
Blogging is an art. As Damien likes to put it –
Writing blog posts is easy.
Sit down, crank out the gibberish in your head and hit "publish."
It's done millions of times a day. And nearly every single post is forgotten within an hour.
Of course there’s going to be a significant difference in the style and expertise put forth by the chief copywriter of Copyblogger Media and everyday individual such as yours truly.
But one entity, each and every single successful/aspiring web writer in the history of the Internet have in common, boils down to this – images. Rather, the correct images.
Images have a profound psychological effect on the reader. Good images make them go:
Wow that pretty nice. Let’s see what this guy has to say.
Great images make them go:
We’ve been brought up with the mentality – a job well begun is half done. It’s a golden rule for life. It’s exactly the case when it comes to blog posts and images.
Blog posts to images are like motor vehicles to engine oil. They complement each other.
With the proper image and with the correct headline, you can grab the attention of the reader. Once you do so, you job is half done. They’re most likely going to read your whole article.
In that spirit, I’ve decided to share some of the best free image resources with you. Not every blogger has the resources to shell out $3 to $50 for an image.
Let’s get started.
Best Websites that offer Free High Resolution Stock Images
Morgue File hosts over 300,000 free images that you’re free to use in both personal and commercial projects, even without attribution. The image gallery has a built-in cropping tool and you can even hotlink the images from your website.
This site should is a role model for selfless activities. The images here are shot by the site’s owner – Viktor who’s a web designer by profession. In his About page, he clearly states that all the images here are free to use – both personal and commercial projects. All he asks in return is a request for an attribution.
Stock Exchange aka Free Images
Stock Exchange, now known as Free Images is one of the oldest and premier free stock photo place for everyone. It houses over 400,000 images from 30,000 artists grouped into 15 categories.
This site hosts a limited number of free stock images, grouped into 6 broad categories – Business, City, Computers, Environment, Industrial and Office.
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Sunpix is a great stock photo resource with a large number of categories. Some of them are further subdivided into sub-categories, giving the site a very organized structure.
Free Stock Photos
Started a year before the new millennia, Free Stock Photos is one of the oldest free stock image places in the Internet. Its latest photos are a delight to look at.
Free Pixels houses over 5,700 images neatly organized into various hierarchical categories.
With over 21.6 million free images, this site aims to remain true to its name – every stock photo! Most of its images are from Flickr with each image with the correct attribution license mentioned.
Photogen sports a good collection of high resolution free stock images for both personal and commercial use.
Getty Images is the world’s largest online collection of news and editorial pictures. It follows two pricing models – (1) buy the image from a wide range of price choices. Or (2) embed the image for free, in your website. The pictures do not carry any watermark, there are no view limits and you can use any number of available images on your website. It may carry advertisements in the future, so it’s a win-win for all.
Death to the Stock Photo
A rather outrageous name, this site’s monthly newsletter is packed with amazing high quality stock images. Their TOS states that the images are free for personal and commercial use.
Public Domain Pics
As the name suggests, PD Pics is a repository of free public domain pictures where all images have been clicked by their in-house photographers. They are categorized into 19 different categories for easy navigation.
Super Famous is a design studio by LA based designer Folkert Gorter who also shares his enriching personal photography released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
The world’s largest free information warehouse also houses a humongous collection of photos – 21 million to be precise, all for you to use under a free license.
Hosted in Tumblr, Unsplash proves beautiful high resolution stock images – 10 images every 10 days in your inbox. All images are under the CC0 license and thus can be used in any project – free or commercial.
Public Domain Archive
The Public Domain Archive houses some of the best high resolution stock images, albeit which are limited in number. Quality takes importance over quantity in this image warehouse.
One of the most important things to keep in when using free stock images is the licensing terms. If it mentions attribution is required – make sure that you credit the source. It may seem like a trivial matter now, but a time may come when the authorities are going to penalize personal websites using unlicensed images. Public domain photos are free to use anywhere.
The images offered by Getty are simply mind blowing. If you don’t mind embedding them, I would highly recommend using them in your blog posts.