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Where can I find free photos for websites?

There’s one question we get asked quite often: Where can I find free photos for my website? So we thought a little post with some information and links. Here goes …

Many clients don’t realise that one can’t simply search Google or copy an image and use it for free. Nearly every image is still protected by copyright. You need the authors’ permission to use their image; either by paying a small fee or adding an attribution, so the original photographer is credited for their work.
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When using photos or images on your blog or social media, they need to be high quality but free to use.

How do I know if an image is free to use?

When looking for free photos and images for your website, you will come across the following terms:

What is Creative Commons and Creative Commons Licence?

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Creative Commons licences give individual creators, to large institutions, a standardized way to grant permission to use their creative work under copyright law. Creative Commons answers the question of what you can do with / where you can use the work, for example, allowing any type of use with no attribution, to allowing only certain uses and no changes.

What is public domain?

When a work is in the public domain, it is free for use by anyone for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. Public domain is the purest form of open/free, since no one owns or controls the material in any way.

Works in the public domain are those whose copyrights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable.

Finding something on the internet does not mean it is in the public domain.

What is royalty free?

Royalty-free images aren’t necessarily free, but it is one of the most important terms to be aware of. In most cases, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee to obtain the rights to use the image. Then you can use it as many times as you like.

The photographer of a royalty free image is still the owner, he/she holds the copyright.

The “free” in “royalty-free” only means that you do not have to pay royalties to the owner of the image every time you use it.

Where can I find free or cheap images to use on my website ?

Here are some websites offering different types of images to use on your website or other marketing materials, for free or low cost.

There are many websites which require a monthly subscription, or the purchase of expensive bulk credits, such as istockphoto. and shutterstock.com, however, for small website owners, we don’t think expensive stock photo sites are necessary.

Below are some of our free or low-cost alternatives.

Please make sure you read all terms and conditions, baring in mind the types of licences mentioned above.

where can i find free photos for a website
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