With all the holiday promotions being sent out, are your stock photo purchases adding up more quickly than expected? Are you frustrated with your stock photo credits expiring? If you want your images for free, there are legal ways to get them. You just need to know where to look.
Stock.xchng – The idea behind stock.xchng was to create a site where creative people could exchange their photos for inspiration or work. The site has evolved into a sizeable community of over 2,500,000 registered users and around 400,000 photos online. Tip: Beware of the “premium” search results at the top and bottom. Those are not free. The results you want are under “Results on SXC.hu”.
IconFinder – An excellent source for shiny clip art images and icons with transparent backgrounds. Tip: To ensure you get images that are cleared for commercial use, be sure to select “For commercial use” under the License Filtering dropdown at the top of the search results page.
Bing – You may have used Google to find a lot of your images, but taking images from there is sometimes akin to stealing because privately owned images are mixed with the public ones. Bing has a great license filter to help you locate images that are legally safe for you to use. Simply type your search term, click on IMAGES in the top navigation, and locate the “License” dropdown to select “Free to use commercially”. Tip: The other dropdown filters help narrow down your results by locating specific colors, sizes, or image types.
Bear in mind that it is often more difficult to find what you want within free resources. Images are sometimes tagged incorrectly, resulting in irrelevant images. With patience, perseverance, and a diligent eye towards licensing terms, you may never have to pay for images again!