I’m going to assume you all know you can’t just google for pictures and grab them off websites right? Images are creative works and even if no copyright is displayed, it does not mean it is public domain and available for use. Permission is always required. So be sure to always check the licensing on any image you use.
Most of you most likely are using stock images and illustrations and already are careful about licensing or able to figure out Flickr licenses on what is allowed. Excellent.
One of the free sources that was talked a lot about recently was Getty Images. There are some downsides to using the Getty’s embed free images, I did a blog post about it if you want to check it out.
Choosing the Right Image
Before we move along to where to get images, first, how about choosing the right images?
- Make sure they match the style of the page.
- The image or illustration should relate to the subject of the page. If your blog post is about coffee, showing a picture of a rubber duck would obviously confuse the reader.
- Avoid overused stock images – this is B O R I N G. Look for less used images or illustrations. We get lectured about this a lot at web design conferences – avoid overused stock and consider using illustrations.
- Look for emotionally engaging photos/illustrations that help the point of your blog post or page. It need only be one idea or emotion.
- Use photos that are empathetic to the reader when appropriate.
- Use quality images. Even if they aren’t free, some are only a buck. Looking for free images that don’t meet the criteria mentioned usually short changes your marketing message.
- Images should engage but not overwhelm. Content first – most of us are not photographers showing our portfolio.
A good blog post about picking images is on Noupe "Ten Golden Rules for Choosing the Right Website Images."
Favorite Image Resources
For editorial images (usually involves a popular persona) for a news article.
There you have it – nice little list of fav image resources for your posts and pages. ENJOY!