Why Use Stock Photos?
Photographers spend many years honing their skills, buying expensive equipment and learning how to edit images and so, should be paid for their time, skills and ability. Just like any other artist. Also just because it is available on the internet it does not make it free. The best stock photo sites for clients and customers serve both the photographer and the end user, with clear information about the usage rights of the images. We recommend checking a few out then bookmarking the sites that fit your brand and business.
How Can I use Images Without Getting Into Trouble?
Copyright law, like any law, is complicated so before you use images on your site, blog or business, take a quick minute or two to make sure you are not breaking any laws. In black and white, if you use a stolen image on your site you are liable to be sued. Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and this is not legal advice but it should keep you out of hot water, if you are in any doubt, consult with a lawyer. NEVER google to find an image to use on your site or for a product. Google has a great image search and some images are attributed to use, but it’s not a good way to go. If you are in love with a specific image, the best thing to do it to contact the owner and ask permission to use it. Just because it is on google image search it does not mean it free to use or that it is a public domain image. Always check the copyright rules for each image you use. Some will require credit to the photographer. Others can only be used on non-commercial sites. Social Media Examiner has a great post explaining the ins and outs of copyright. No you CAN NOT google and find an image then give credit and all will be right in the world, it’s not how it works. There is a chance that you have lifted a stolen image – yes, that means you are handling stolen goods! Some photographers are happy to have the credit and link back to the site, others are not. The only way to know what the photographer and the rightful owner wants it to contact them. Don’t think that not giving credit will keep you out of trouble either, with Google reverse image search and Tinyeye, photographers have ways to find their stolen images. If you plan to use an image to make something that you will distribute, educational materials, printed onto t-shirts or mugs, book covers etc. Check the conditions of use before you do it. Often there is a clause about the number of times an image can be reproduced or for commercial reasons you need to buy an extended license. Even when using stock sites it’s a good idea to study the T&C before you charge ahead! Recently we have all seen and heard numerous reports of some unscrupulous photographers planting images on free stock sites then going after bloggers and suing them for illegal use. To cover yourself, ALWAYS take a screenshot when you download your image, capturing the image, site name and licence. ALWAYS read through the Terms and Condition of the site you are downloading images from and pay attention to the licence agreement for each image. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND YOURS ALONE! The legal steps that can be taken against you for using images illegally vary from country to country and may also depend on what the photographer wants, whether that is just to have the image removed, to be given full attribution or to be paid for the time the image has been used. We can’t give you a clear idea of the process because so many different factors are in play. Your best bet is to stick to the rules! Finally, if you looking to create a strong brand then images are important and one way you can do that is to hire a pro to take a set of branded images just for you. This way you can be sure of the ownership of the images and you can create a strong brand.
Unsplash Pixabay Free Range Stock Life Of Pix Cupcake Libreshot Gratisography Death to the stock photo Negative space Finda photo Picjumbo Polarfox Designers pics Nobl Web (has themed packs) Alegriphotos Stock Vault RGBstock (need to register) JEShoots iso republic Free Stock Bara Art Jay Mantri Albumarium Minimography (minimalist photos) Stockified (India) Freely Photos Women In Tech Free Images Live (all attribution 3.0 license) Trunklog New Old Stock (vintage) Free Food Photos (food) Move East Getrefe Stock Tookapic Alana Photo Collections Zoommy Epicantus Freemagebank Imcreator The British Library New York Public Library (public domain) Open Photo Gratisography Startup Stock Photos Free Nature Stock (all nature photos) Raw Pixel Stock Image Point Skitterphoto Creative Vix Good Stock Photos Public Domain Archive Little Visuals (charity donation appreciated) Foodies Feed (food) *
Premium Stock Sites – Also have free images