When I started out I never realized graphics was such a high part of blogging. I figured you just google an image and paste it into your post, crediting the source and we’re all good. Unfortunately not. Using images from other websites without permission is illegal, even if you credit them or link back to their site. So, where are us bloggers supposed to get images from if our photography isn’t quite up to the job? What are the best free image sites for bloggers?
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Whether we like it or not, photographs and graphics make up a huge part of preparing high-quality content. We live in an age where we are conditioned to things looking pretty and polished. However much we might like to think blogging is all about the words we write, unfortunately, people often won’t get to the reading part if they are put off by a dark, unpleasing image… or worse, no images at all! Work hard on your photography skills because using your own images really is the best way to go, but sometimes we need a little helping hand.
The 10 Best Free Image Sites for Bloggers
- Pixabay is well known in the blogging community as a fab resource for free photos. It has a large selection and is easy to search and find what you want.
- Free Photos has a beautiful selection of photos that feel up to date with today’s fashion and graphics styles. The site is linked with Pexels.com (another free image site) but it is slightly better organized. I’m a big fan of the photos!
- Stock Snap offers fab photos, although it does annoy me a little I have to scroll past the Shutterstock ads to get to them. What I do like is their ‘trending’ filter on the top nav bar… use this to get a feel for what is fashionable in the world of photography and appeal to the masses!
- Burst offers free photos at high resolution if you sign up to their mailing list. Otherwise, you can still download a lower resolution image. Their collections match well with blogging niches and the photos have a natural feel.
- Wikimedia Commons is not a site I would start at for pretty blogging pics or flat lays. However, if you’re writing about something obscure, it’s highly likely wiki commons will have something for the job. I’ve often used their photos for scientific posts when I’ve needed a picture of something weird like DNA sequencing.
- Unsplash has a similar feel to Burst above, offering gritty, arty photos which may have the perfect feel for your blog. If you’re sharing personal stories, you really don’t want the cheesy, obviously staged stock photos which belong in toothpaste ads, find something more candid Unsplash.
- Free Images is a huge collection of images, which has its pros and cons. You can get sucked into some major scrolling time before finding what you want and the search features don’t work as well as some sites. Still, loads of stuff to download and could be perfect for your needs.
- Canva is game-changing for new bloggers (and experienced ones!). It offers free templates for online graphics, at optimized dimensions for Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy etc. It also has a number of free photos and illustrations you can use. If you’re not already using it, get stuck in!
- Public Domain Pictures offers a slightly random mix of photos… it’s not my favorite resource but worth a look if you’re struggling to find what you want elsewhere.
- Skitter Photo covers a number of categories but has a candid, vacation snap kind of a feel. If you’re looking for something a little out of the usual blog niche realm, give it a go!
Some Paid but Affordable Sites
There are some niches that are more difficult to find pictures for than others. For example, my lifestyle blog covers home decor and interior design. It is difficult to find a wide selection of good free images in this niche. Sometimes it’s best to just cough up a little money and get the perfect image, especially if it’s going to be featured in a header or used for advertising purposes.
Although Canva is free, they offer a premium subscription for extra templates, branding and additional images. They also sell images for $1 (at time of writing this). I have often bought their images because they have a great selection and they’re ready to go in Canva for the perfect pin/banner etc. Spending one dollar to save surfing the web endlessly is sometimes a lifesaver.
Creative Market offer photos, graphics and fonts for sale. I’ve recently been making T-Shirts to sell on Etsy and I bought a huge bundle of fonts to use at a fantastic price. If you’re looking to design your own logo, blog header, t-shirts or printables, check out what they have to offer, it’s pretty impressive! After my purchase I was also given some bonus credits to spend on some free downloads so I feel like I got a great deal.
I have bought a handful of photos from IStock. They are much more affordable than the better known Shutterstock but still offering high-end stock photography. The quality of the photos is exceptional and if you just need one or two perfect photos for your blog header/carousel, I would recommend taking a look!
So there you have it… My ten best free image sites for bloggers, and a few to use for emergencies!