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Free and Inexpensive Images to Use in Your Business

by
March 27, 2015

 

We all know how important it is to legally use images in your content. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to potential copyright issues. To lend you a hand, we rounded up some tips on how to get free and inexpensive images that you can use without worry.

Free Image Options

When given the choice, we usually prefer getting something for free. If you’re posting content frequently, the royalty costs for images could prevent you from keeping the ball rolling. Follow a few of our tips to get free images to use for your business:

1. Take Your Own Photo

If you take photos of your own items, you have no copyright issues as you own the copyright to the photo. It may save time and money to take your own photo if you can get a relevant, high-quality photo quickly and easily.

2.Use Creative Commons

According to its website, “Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. [Their] free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice.”

This is the site that Carolyn Wright recommends for those folks looking for free photos to use.

You can search for specific images on the Creative Commons site, and make sure you choose “use for commercial purposes and “modify, adapt or build upon,” like this:

Let’s use the example from our previous article on using images legally. When I searched for “Green St. Patrick’s Day beer” and I chose Flickr (you have to search by each site listed), I found many options. When I view the image I want to use, I notice that there are “some rights reserved,” on the bottom of the image.

When I click on “some rights reserved,” I get to this page, which states I need to give the original author credit for their work. This is a pretty common practice.

There are many ways to give attribution. Here is the way you would word the caption (attribution) for the photo above, using the Wiki’s “ideal attribution” language:

Creative Commons Green Beer by ADupnik is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

According to the Wiki, this is an ideal attribution because it includes:

  • Title of the image
  • Author with a link to Profile Page
  • Source – link to where the image was found
  • License – linked to license information

3. Use Royalty-Free Images from the Many Sites That Offer Them

If you do a Google search, you’ll find many sites offering royalty-free photos and images, though Wright suggests that you steer away from them. “Many of them are scams,” she says. “They often illegally take images from other sites. If you end up using an image from a royalty-free site and you find out that it was stolen from somewhere else, you are still liable for the copyright infringement.” However, there are repositories of free stock images from which you can find fantastic imagery, you just have to know where to look.

If these free photo options sound too complicated, or if you can’t find what you’re looking for, where do you go to get inexpensive images?

Low-Cost Photos and Images

There are many sites that offer thousands of low-cost images, many for under $50 each. Here are some recommended ones:

 

We hope these tips will help you as you search for great free and inexpensive images to use in your eCommerce business. What tips can you share?