Basic photography is one necessity for bloggers. A blog post with at least one photo gets more engagement compared to one that has none. People are more attracted to photos than just reading an article that’s all words. Photos helps you gain more reader retention and longer reader duration.
I’ve always been fond of photography. Taking pictures of surroundings and taking selfies are a few of my fave things to do. I currently own a Nikon P100 Compact SLR camera and it serves me well but I don’t carry it around all the time. Most of the time I just use my phone camera, which doesn’t exactly have the best resolution. For better blog photos, I usually take a day session taking pictures with my Nikon. But lately for the past couple of months, I haven’t even touched my DSLR and I’m left with stock photos from my phone that aren’t really the best quality. They need a lot of editing and even after that they don’t come out the way I like them to be. Which is why I’ve resorted to free.stock photos online.
Using stock photos from the internet is easy but there are a few things and rules that you need to follow to make sure that you are using them legally. In this article you’ll learn just about everything you need to know about stock photos and where you can find the really good ones that are perfect for your blog.
A search engine like Google allows you to search by images. Just select the category for images, type in your keywords and you’ll get results for a lot of different or similar photos related to your keyword. It’s really so tempting to just copy the image to your desktop, edit it a little and use it as a featured photo for a blog post. It’s so easy to do that, but search results for Google images aren’t all free. In fact, most of them have copyright, which means no one else but the owner can use them. You may also notice some images have watermarks on top of the image or an attribute or website link on one corner of the photo. These images also have copyright.
If you somehow came upon an image that has copyright and used it on your blog, that would be a crime because that is taking something you don’t own, otherwise known as stealing. Some photos on the internet may not have copyright but that still doesn’t mean you can use them for free.
If you really want to use a photo right off the internet, track down the real owner or photographer of the photo and simply ask to use it. If the owner says it’s ok then that’s cool. If the owner says no, then just forget about it. You don’t want anyone coming after you and suing you for using something that’s not yours.
Free For Commercial Use
If you don’t want to be dealing with illegal situations, the best thing to do is to look for stock photos that are free for commercial use. Yes, there are such photos. It’s usually download ready and there is an indication that it can be used commercially. You can find these stock photos from photo sharing websites, or other sites like Wikipedia.
Free for commercial use means that you can use it for anything commerce. You can use it for your blog or your business, you can use it for ads, or you can use it for just display. But you still can sell it as your own to make profit directly out of the image.
Keep in mind that free photos sometimes have attribution requirements. A good example would be the photos from Wikipedia. They don’t own most of their photos. These are usually uploaded by individual contributors or photographers. Most of these are free for reuse and you don’t even need to contact the uploader or the owner to ask for permission. You can easily download the image or directly link to it. But a lot of the photos on Wikipedia although free for reuse, requires attribution. This is something you need to be careful about when using free photos off the internet. Attributions are used to acknowledge the original owner of the image. You can usually see this when you click on a stock photo and if it requires an attribution, the site will give you the attribute. You will need to add the attribute to the image when you publish it on your blog post.
How To Add Attributes To An Image
An attribute is an alternative name of an image. You can simply add this by editing the html codes of your blog post before publishing it. If you’re using Blogger, simply switch to html and search for the codes of the image on your post. It will usually look like the code below.
To add the attribute simply add alt=”attribute” after img so the code now looks like the one below.
img alt=”attribute” src=”image.jpg”>
After that, you’re all set. You’re now using the free image legally.
Some images may also not require an attribution. This is probably the best choice of free stock photo. It’s hassle free. Just download the photo and use it to anyway you like on your business. Again just don’t sell it as your own.
Where To Find The Good Ones
Here are a couple of stock photo website where you can download great high resolution photos for free. They all have wide variety of images so you can choose the best for your blog.
Disadvantage Of Using Free Stock Photos
Like I said, using free stock photos is easy. It’s also very convenient as you get to choose from a wide variety of images that would fit your blog brand perfectly. However, I find that anything that’s free always have disadvantages. And for stock images, the disadvantage is unoriginality. Of course, something that’s free for everyone to use means that everyone is using it, especially if it looks really great. Tendency is some other blogger out there is also using the same images for a blog post.
Using stock photos is great and has a lot of benefits, but if it’s possible, it’s still best to use your own photos for your blog.
Have you ever used stock photos before? Let me know what you think of this post in the comment section below.