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Free or Low-Cost Photos for Your Website and Blog

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blogging-frequency-benchmarks-1.jpegHaving high-quality photos on your website and blog is a no-brainer nowadays. Plain black text on a web page is not going to catch someone’s eye. We don’t care if you are the next James Joyce or Stephenie Meyer — people love a good picture and that’s what they want to see. However, finding high-quality photos that are affordable can be difficult, especially when you are on a tight budget. Below are some of our favorite low-cost or free photo sharing websites.

Where Can I Find Free and Low-Cost Photos Online?

We've discussed how vital good content is. Well, content isn't just the written word. Photos and video are too. When searching for free or low-cost photos online, check out these photo sharing sites:

Creative Market: Creative Market is a design marketplace that offers high-quality design elements, graphics as well as stock photos. Choose from more than 940,000, reasonably priced photos.

Unsplash: You have creative rein with Unsplash's free HD photos. This free photo community offers a variety of stunning images from people and landscapes to landmarks and nature.

Bigstock: Bigstock offers more than 54 million royalty-free photos, videos, illustrations and vectors.

Burst: Powered by Shopify, Burst's free stock photos fall under the Creative Common License, which allows free use of images for commercial. use.

Death To Stock Photo: Death To Stock Photo delivers free high-quality images to your inbox every month. Each collection has a theme, such as the office, nature, travel, etc.

Free Digital Photos: You can download free, premium stock photos from this FreeDigitalPhotos.com. The smallest size photo is free, but the price increases as the size of the photo goes up. Photos and illustrations are frequently updated.

Photo Pin and Creative Commons: Photopin.com offers a variety of photos and illustrations through Flickr users who offer their photos under a Creative Commons licese. These photos come at no cost. You can download any size for free, as long as you attribute the author of the image where you intend to use it. With so many photos, and many of them not being professional, it can be time-consuming and tedious to find the right picture.

Morgue File: The name is misleading because many think there are only death-related photos available here. The fact is that morgue also means a reference file in a publishing company. In newspaper offices, morgues are where old photos and print editions were stored before the digital era. You will find a good selection of free photos at morguefile.com.

Wikimedia: There are millions of sounds, videos, photos and illustrations to explore and use on Wikimedia Commons. It is a media file repository for Wikimedia Foundation projects. The same wiki-technology is used so anyone can edit it. It is free and copy, using and modifying files as long as the terms specified by the author are followed. This is usually crediting the source and author, photographer or illustrator.

Other low-cost photos: There are also sites where you can find low-cost photos. One is Fotolia where you can pay as you go or take a subscription. Depositphotos offers the same payment plan with a choice of daily or monthly subscriptions. At PhotoDune, you can buy and sell royalty-free photographs with sale prices that start at $1 based on size. iStockphoto, Dreamstime, Shutterstock and 123rf also offer stock photos at affordable prices.

Of course, don't be afraid to put yourself out there and post your own photos!

Do I Need to Credit the Author or Photographer?

When reusing someone else’s work, ALWAYS pay attention to the terms of use. If you use someone’s photo on your blog and neglect to credit the author, you could be served with some hefty fines. Always read the fine print and make sure using someone’s image is legal.

Questions and Final Thoughts

 What websites have you found that offer affordable, high-quality photos to use on your website and blog?


Personal Branding Strategy


photo courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN / Free Digital Photos

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