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Where to find images for your website and blog

Posted by Peter Saunders on Monday, January 27, 2014

A question I'm often asked by clients is where to find images for their newly designed website and blog. Sure, content is key in blog posts, but a high quality picture can add visual impact to your post, as well as serving as a visual incentive to drive visitors to click through to the post when it's shared via social media.

Where to find images for your website and blog

A question I'm often asked by clients is where to find images for their newly designed website and blog. Sure, content is key in blog posts, but a high quality picture can add visual impact to your post, as well as serving as a visual incentive to drive visitors to click through to the post when it's shared via social media.


Google Images and copyright issues

It's simple to head over to google images, type in a keyword, and find a whole host of images that you can simply save to your computer and then add to your blog. Unfortunately a lot of these images are copyrighted and could land you in trouble if you use them without permission.

Some images have the © Copyright symbol on them which is a clear indication you should probably avoid using them, or at the very least use them with a credit link back to the source of the image. Other sites often have a copyright notice in the footer of their site declaring all images on their website are copyrighted. The footer notice is something that you can only see by following the image to it's source from google images and checking the site footer for copyright notices.

Trying to work out which images on google images are fine to use can take a lot of time and be somewhat of a nightmare. If you do find a copyright notice you can email the site owner to ask permission to use the image. This can be a slow process and you may not even get a reply if the site is popular. If you do receive a reply, it's likely the site owner will ask you to link the image itself or a credit link below back to their website in exchange for using the image. Keep in mind this can drive traffic away from your blog as your readers may click the link, leaving your site and visiting the site that owns the image you have used. If the image owner sees the image and isn't happy with it's use, more often than not they will simply email you to ask you to remove the image from your blog or website. This can become more complicated if you have generated income through the use of the image, you may be forced to hand over a percentage of your earnings to the image owner, or risk legal action.


Royalty free stock images

The simplest and easiest way to avoid the hassle of copyright infringement, and driving traffic away from your site with credit links, is to purchase your images for a small fee from a stock photo website. I regularly use and recommend istockphoto . The images on istockphoto and other stock sites are royalty free, which means you're free to use them on your blog and website however you'd like. You can also edit or manipulate the images to suit your needs. Stock sites also offer higher resolution versions of images so that you're able to use them on your printed leaflets and brochures as well as your website. There are millions of images on stock photography websites and much like google images, you can simply type in keywords and browse thousands and thousands of images associated with your chosen keywords. All you have to do then is select an image, purchase it, download it, and then add it to your blog or website. Istockphoto also has a nice feature that allows you to fine tune your keyword image search by colour. This is extremely useful if you're looking for an image to work with specific brand or blog colours.

Other stock photography sites includes dreamstime, shutterstock, and fotolia. There are many more but I'm only personally recommending sites I use myself. I find istockphoto tends to have the highest quality images, a greater selection and better search tools, so they are the company I use most often.


Do you know of another great stock image site? If so, leave a comment and let me know!

 


About the author

Peter Saunders is a multifacted graphic designer that has worked as a designer, printer and print finisher. All three jobs have given him an excellent understanding of everything involved in creating print marketing. At After Hours Creative, Peter splits his time between graphic design, getting his hands covered in ink, operating foil presses and taking naps on his adobe cushions (only when working late, he's not lazy!). Peter is the go-to guy for any artwork queries or anything related to print!

Peter Saunders is a multifacted graphic designer that has worked as a designer, printer and print finisher. All three jobs have given him an excellent understanding of everything involved in creating print marketing. At After Hours Creative, Peter splits his time between graphic design, getting his hands covered in ink, operating foil presses and taking naps on his adobe cushions (only when working late, he's not lazy!). Peter is the go-to guy for any artwork queries or anything related to print!

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