Where to find free photos and illustrations?

22 Aug

Even though I am an avid photographer, taking often several hundred images a month, from time to time the need for a certain motive arises, that I cannot take myself.  The question was, where can I find inexpensive photographs?  A lot of research brought up a handful of online offers that I like to share with you. Maybe you need a certain image for your website, your blog or your book.  Please see some websites below that provide good deals on royalty-free photographs or even free ones.

Search for free photos

Search for free photos

But what is the difference between free, royalty-free and rights-managed?

Free images can be downloaded without any rules or agreement and are in the public domain. The creator offers his work public and free, there are no legal rights or restrictions for his or her work and it can be duplicated.  Images which have been copyrighted can still be considered as free when they are explicitly announced by the artist to be used, copied, distributed or modified.

Royalty-free images are given the right to use. There is an agreement that the licensee can use the photo without paying additional royalty charges, but it does not mean that the licensee can use the image for what ever he/she wants.

Rights Managed images means a contract between the licensor and licensee, regarding licensing the rights to use photographs, specifying to use the content in a certain way. This can include the length of time, the medium, the size, the format and the location of use. Unlike images under royalty-free licenses, the licensor is in control or has history of the rights granted involving the image. This is a positive for the licensor as he or she can earn more by creating more offers to the licensee such as exclusivity within a specific region or industry.

is one of the largest collection of user generated photography on the web. One finds literally anything on Flickr. Sign up at the Flickr website and open a free account.
offers digital art images that are free for web. Higher resolution versions for print can be purchased. No registration is required and you can sell your own images as well. Lots of graphic art, icons and illustrations.
 is a huge community of (photo) artist – very distinguished from other (commercial) photo websites. Displayed are artistic photos, textures, backgrounds, illustrations etc. Some are free, the rest requires payment contains free photos for personal or commercial use. Register to download these professional images.

More tips for free and inexpensive images in a later post.



Hyper Smash

1 Comment

Posted by on August 22, 2011 in e-book design, Marketing


Tags: , , , ,

One response to “Where to find free photos and illustrations?

  1. CJO Photo

    February 18, 2012 at 12:43 am

    People are also welcome to use the free royalty free photos and images found on CJO Photo


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