Finding Great (And Legal) Images for Your Website and Social Media What are Creative Commons images?


Images are an important inclusion in your website, blog post, or social media. They will make it easier to get more shares and interactions on articles and social media and create a visually-attractive user experience in your website. Nevertheless, did you understand it’s illegal to make use of some images you discover online in what you are promoting? There are laws prohibiting you from grabbing any image you see online.

In this text, we’ll share learn how to find stock images you might be legally allowed to make use of and share a couple of of our favourite free stock photo web sites.

We live in a world where images are really easy to search out with only a click of a button. Nevertheless, we will’t just use any image we discover online unless we own the rights or have been given permission from the photographer. In the event you use a picture you don’t have the rights to, you possibly can be sued or fined.

In response to copyright laws in Canada, any image taken by any device (camera, smartphone, etc.) is subject to copyright. Which means that if someone takes a photograph, it’s their photo, and anyone else that might prefer to use it has to hunt permission from the photographer.

A photographer just isn’t required to officially register their work to have it copyrighted since when the photo is saved (onto a smartphone or camera roll), it routinely is subject to copyright and is protected under copyright laws.

In the event you’re searching for images on the net for what you are promoting, it’s essential that you simply understand what’s legal and acceptable to make use of and the way and where it’s essential to get permission.

Creative commons is a set of photos, images, and audio files available at no cost use. Works under Creative Commons licences have different conditions of use. For essentially the most freedom to make use of a picture, photo, or audio file, it should be labelled as CC0. This licence means you might be free to make use of it, edit or remix it, adapt and use it for any medium with no conditions and no attribution required.

Authors may set different restrictions on their images, and also you’ll notice these licenced as “CC” with any combination of the below letters after it: 

  • BY: Credit should be given to the creator
  • NC: Only non-commercial uses of the work are prohibited
  • SA: Adaptations should be shared under the identical terms
  • ND: No derivatives or adaptations of the work permit

Need assistance determining what licence you would like for a picture? Try their interactive Chooser Tool to search out the licences that best meet your needs.

What are Royalty Free images?

To search out much more (paid) stock imagery, you possibly can search for Royalty-free images. These aren’t monetarily free images since you pay a nominal one-time fee to make use of every one. Nevertheless, when you’ve purchased it, you should use it as much as you would like (or because the licence permits) without paying a royalty every time to the creator.

How To Find Great Free Images

There are numerous places to search out images to boost your content:

1. Create your individual images: Grab your camera and even your smartphone to capture some images! This lets you be in full control of what the image will love like and leaves tons of room for personalization. Also, having your individual images ensures that the content is original and authentic. 

If you may have some budget, hire a branding photographer to take images of you, your team, and your offerings. You’ll own the rights to those images and your photographer can take images fully on-brand that showcases your offerings and team in a way no stock photo can match. .

2. Find royalty-free images on Google: You may seek for just images on the net by going to and typing in an outline of the image you’re in search of. Then filter results by clicking on Tools > Usage Rights and choosing “Creative Commons licences”

Screenshot of Google search images and the Usage Rights and selecting “Creative Commons licences”

Select the image it is advisable to use and make sure the usage rules. Some could also be CC0 which implies you should use it freely without attribution, but some should require attribution or a limitation on how you possibly can edit or use the photo.

3. Use Creative Commons to look multiple platforms to search out free images: This site is straightforward to look for what you would like and filter results based on the Creative Commons licences. As a bonus, it also includes Creative Commons audio files if you happen to’re doing any interactive media.

Screenshot of Creative Commons search page.

4. Find free stock images online: Using sites akin to lets you seek for various free photos, videos, music and icons which can be royalty-free. Listed here are a couple of more free stock photo web sites with high-quality stock images and media:

5. Graphic design tools: Canva is a free online graphic design software with a built-in stock photo library of free and paid images. You too can upload your individual images. You may add icons, text and other graphical elements to make social media images, website banners and more. Its paid image library is ~$1 per image, or you should purchase the paid plan for$16-19 per thirty days to access your complete library of images, audio, video, and templates.

6. Buy images: Some sites let you purchase high-quality imagery and graphics on your website and socials. Sites akin to iStock will enable you to purchase pictures for as little as $12 per image. Istock has a free trial where you possibly can access ten free images before paying a subscription fee. Their subscription fees start at $29 per thirty days for ten images per thirty days.

In the event you’re ever doubtful, you possibly can at all times check where that image appears online through TinEye. You upload your image or paste a URL of the image, and this tool does a reverse search to search out out where that image appears online.

As we mentioned, you possibly can face legal motion and significant fines if you happen to are caught using another person’s images without their permission. All the time be cautious, and if doubtful, ask the creator for permission.


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