A few months ago, I shared information on why including images in your social media and website was an important key point to remember. Vibrant and high-quality images can be a huge help in catching your reader’s attention and drawing them in to learn more about your offering. High quality and professional images will help your blog, website or project make a much stronger impression as well. In this past blog post I shared information on resources like PicMonkey and Pixlr, but now I am going to reveal some sources for finding high quality photos that are the foundation of these eye-catching images.
Morgue File: This is one of the best free stock image sources available online. Morgue File images can generally be used for any purpose without attribution. Before using a Morgue File photo I would advise double checking the rights because there are a few with stringent licenses. But for the most part, any image on Morgue File can reproduced, altered and even redistributed. The downside to Morgue File is that much of the photography is “amateurish” (think high school photography class) and the selection on some topics are limited.
Stock.XCHNG: SCX.hu is very similar to Morgue File, but a little stricter. You can use the image in whole or in part, you can alter the image but you cannot give redistribution rights. Permission is also required before using images for print media that are of a sales nature (on a website you plan to sell or for resell items like t-shirts). Again, double-check the image license on each photo before using.
iStockPhoto: One of the best known of the image sites, iStockPhoto provides users with very high quality and professional images only. Instead of using cash iStockPhoto uses a credit system; and when users buy credit packages, they use the credits to purchase images. Although this can get a bit pricey, professional sites like iStockPhoto will always provide the best images to choose from for professional applications. Big Stock Photo and Dreamstime are two less expensive alternatives that operate on the same credit system as iStockPhoto.
WP Photo Dropper: If you are using WordPress.org, check out the Photo Dropper plugin that searches Creative Commons and licensable images for you and then allows you to choose which photo you want to add directly into your WordPress post. Photo Dropper is free, very easy to use, and offers the user the luxury of not having to go hunting for an image. Users can locate and add photos from within their WordPress.org interface.