Free Photos Directory
Where to find images you can reuse and include in your work
Target audience: Cause organizations, nonprofits, NGOs, journalists, general public
Sure, you can eye millions of photos on photo-sharing sites like Photobucket, SmugMug or Buzznet. But where can you find photos you can use? For instance, on your website or in your multimedia slide show, video or project.
It’s a theme we often return to: Don’t do all the heavy lifting. Let the community help. (If you’re looking for video footage to include in your work, see our Free Video Directory. For music, see the Free Music Directory.)
Stock image agencies like Corbis and Getty Images are tailored for professional print publishing, not grassroots video production. Coming on fast are a slew of low-cost websites that aggregate amateur photos. For a few dollars, you can snag high-quality photos for your production at sites like iStockPhoto (at $1 to $3 per photo, the quality is higher than at many of the free sites). See our accompanying story, Top 10 sites for free or low-cost photos.
For many, a more satisfying option is to snag photos for free. In recent years a number of free, grassroots image clearinghouses have cropped up to give incumbent image agencies a run for their money. Be sure to read each site’s terms of service before grabbing a photo and incorporating it into your own work. Some of the best include:
You’ll want to start exploring at this landing page, which offers images with these licenses: Attribution, Attribution-No Derivatives, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives, Attribution-NonCommercial, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike and Attribution-ShareAlike licenses.
Dozens of other sites offer images with a wide range of reuse options. Here are a few:
Sources: This piece borrows from our friend Robin Good’s writeups at his Masternewmedia blog. (Thank you, Robin.)
• Socialbrite: Free Video Directory: license-free video, music and sounds
• Socialbrite: Free Music Directory: license-free music and sounds
• A few more free stock photo sites (Photoshop Support)
Note: Most images found through image search engines are copyrighted.
Please comment on, correct or expand upon this article.
• Top 10 sites for free or low-cost photos (Socialbrite)
• Free Music Directory (Socialbrite)