At NLE Resources, we field inquiries from rabbis, educators, and nonprofit professionals asking us all sorts of questions.
One particular set of questions that we have been asked on more than one occasion is, “Where can we find free high-quality pictures to use for our flyers, websites, etc?”
“Is there a place online to find great free images to add more visual appeal to my classroom or enrich our email newsletters?”
These questions are certainly important. After all, whether you’d like to build a fancy set of slides for a presentation or need quality photos to enhance a flyer or illustrate a section on your website, you may end up spending hours until you find just the right photo. Usually, you’d turn to stock photos, which can also end up costing you a pretty penny.
But, it’s not always necessary; there are a good number of really great free alternatives you can use instead.
Let’s start with one called: IM Free. This site provides a curated overview of freely available photos, all available for commercial use. All photos are grouped and tagged, and usually released under a Creative Commons license. Overall, there are literally thousands of available items which you can use right away.
Still looking for more pictures?
Gratisography, Unsplash and Picjumbo are all relatively new sites and are worth bookmarking. They feature a growing collection of free high-resolution pictures that you can use for commercial and private projects.
You could also use Google CC Image Search to search for images that you can use under a Creative Commons license. Plus, Bing now allows you to search images by usage rights as well. All that you need to do is type what you are looking for and choose your desired license in the drop-down menu.
If you are looking for great free images without any specific topic in mind, head on over to Pixabay.com Editor’s Choice section for inspiration. Another site, PhotoPin.com also has a great collection of free quality images.
We’ve saved the best and most famous resource for last.
For many years, one of the greatest sources for quality pictures from around the world has been Getty Images. Since its founding, Getty Images has charged upwards of hundreds of dollars for one single photo. If you wanted to use a Getty photo, you paid Getty for the rights to that photo.
On March 6th, 2014 that all changed.
The stock-photo agency noticed its photos increasingly appearing on social media and blogs that hadn’t paid for the rights.
So, the Seattle-based photo agency decided to make a huge portion of its photos free.
How does it now work, exactly?
“Think of YouTube and their embeds,” says Craig Peters, Getty Images VP of Business Development, Content, and Marketing. “Users can go directly through the Getty Images webpage and grab the necessary HTML code from there.” Embedding images is easy and looks something like this:
The fact that Getty’s Images are now free for Twitter, Tumblr, and blogs will really impact how nice your site and social media accounts can look.
We hope that you’ve found this roundup helpful. And, don’t forget to read our earlier blogpost that is already helping rabbis and organizations when it comes to design called, Meet Canva: The Graphic Design Tool Every Organization Must Know About & Use.