Turning inner space into outer space

July 10, 2014

Free images are plentiful if you know where to look

Ragdoll cat with cropped ear

Every list of social media tips includes a point on the importance of pictures for retweets, likes and sharing, but where do you get them and how do you make sure you can use them?

It’s tempting to jump into Google and do a search on images, but that route is fraught with peril. Many of those pictures are copyrighted, and you can get into trouble if you use the wrong one.

For that reason, I usually wind up at Free Images. Everything there is indeed free. The only catch is that you are sometimes required to let the owner know you are using the picture. All that entails is firing off an email.

Still, there is no reason to limit yourself to a couple of sources. Bing, for example, is the only search engine that allows you to filter down to public domain images only. You can do what you please with pictures you find this way.

A directory of free image sources at The Edublogger has this and many other great tips. It’s aimed at teachers needing pictures for their students’ projects, but can easily be adapted to anyone needing images.

Another fantastic source is Getty Images — the quality is stunning. The catch here is that you link to their pictures rather than placing them on your own server. If the link is ever broken, there is not much you can do about it.

Image credit: Ragdoll cat with cropped ear from Photos Public Domain. Why a cat? The Internet loves cats.