March 4, 2012

The Best Places To Get Free Images

Promod Sharmaby Promod Sharma, President 2011-2012

Visuals add punch to your presentations and images are everywhere. Google even lets you do an image search. The problem is that you may be using images that are subject to copyright.

The police aren't likely going to smash in your doors and drag you to jail. The bigger risk is getting caught by the copyright owner and getting a big bill.

If you want to give your presentation in public or to post a recording on YouTube, why take risks?

Stock.XCHNG (click to enlarge)Safe Sites

There are sites where you can find images free for your use. I've relied on Stock.XCHNG for years. In recent months, I've started using This search engine lets you search different sites at once — about 15 million images. The advanced options are handy. I normally select landscape photos of at least 500 pixels by 500 pixels from MorgueFile, PhotoXpress and Stock.XCHNG. In the beginning, you may want to use the default settings.
everystockphoto (click to enlarge)
Check the licenses carefully. You might be able to use the images for commercial purposes without giving credit to the creator. As a general practice, I give the creator credit when linking to images online. That feels fair.

If you don't find suitable images, try different keywords. Be a detective.


You can also get images from commercial sites. You'll get more choice for a price.

SnagIt (click to enlarge)Screenshots

If you want to capture something you see on your screen, there's a powerful tool called SnagIt from Techsmith ($50 US). I use it almost daily for captures and basic editing (e.g., resizing and cropping). That’s how I got the visuals for this post.


Promod Sharma makes many presentations that include visuals. You'll find examples on YouTube on the riscario channel.

1 comment:

  1. Free Images
    I just found your blog and want to say thank you! What an enjoyable time looking
    through so many sites. Thanks for sharing.