Image by Gaetan Lee
Using images in your blog posts not only makes it attractive but in most of the cases also lures readers into reading the complete post , instead of just scanning through it and going away .
There are hundreds of websites offering quality images . Some of them require a fee , some do not allow photos to be used commercially and some have ambiguous terms of agreement . After going through about 50 such sites and analyzing various aspects , I have produced the following list which allow photos to be used free and for commercial purposes . Some may require attribution but that shouldn’t be a problem . I think this list should suffice a blogger / freelancers’ need for free quality images .
This website offers all kinds of photos , but you should do an advanced search and select attribution under the license category to find photos for your blog .
Stock.xchng is probably the oldest site in the list , offering hundreds of photos which are free for commercial usage . It also offers a forum where you can ask questions in case you are not able to find your desired image .
Who doesn’t know Flickr ? It is an abode of images . However in order to get the images which have Attribution license , you can click here . Further you can read the posts of Skellie and Tay , who have elaborately described the ways to get best flickr photos for your blog . And yes!…there is a cool wordpress plugin called Photodropper which lets you use flickr photos in your blog easily , although I am not sure if this plugin is compatible with WordPress 2.5 .
Yotophoto (www.yotophoto.com) is like a search engine which collects photos from sites such as Flickr, Wikipedia , Stock.Xchng , Morguefile , Pixelperfect Digital and OpenPhoto for images in the public domain , or made available under CC , GNU FDL or similar licenses . Hence this can be your one stop resource for finding free photos . ( Note : This site appears to be down since the last 3 days but still worth bookmarking so that you can check it later )
5: Wikimedia Commons
WikiMedia Commons is a huge database of all kinds of media files , contributed by the public . However it contains both free and copyrighted images . Hence you need to go to Category:Public Domain and there you can search for GNU Free Documentation License or Creative Commons Licensed Photos . You may also search for it on the main page under categories in the right .
Freedigitalphotos.net is another good resource for finding royalty free photos . Although the search function of the site may not be very good ( as I tried ) and you may need to manually browse through the categories , but the good thing about this site is that it clearly mentions on its homepage that the photos are royalty free and can be used forcommercial purposes .
7: Dreamstime ( Free Section )
The free section of Dreamstime certainly does have some quality photos which you may find interesting .
So which stock photo website do you use for finding images for your blog ?