5 websites where you can find stunning images that will make your content attention grabbers

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Visuals are critical in the world of social sharing and digital product development, but finding them without spending a ton of dough can be tough if you don’t know where to look.

I’ve been using images in my work for years and knowing where to find great ones has become a lot easier now that I’ve found a few trustworthy places to go, which I’m going to share with you and a few tips on each one.

1. PhotoDune – https://photodune.net/

Photodune website screenshot with arrow pointing at other media optionsI’ve been using this website for years, not only for images, but also for graphics, audio, video intros and much more. When you arrive you will be under the photo media, but you can easily navigate to any of the other types of media I mentioned above by choosing one of the others, like, “Themeforest”, “GraphicRiver” or “AudioJungle”.

One thing to note here is that there are always multiple licensing options, be sure you choose the right one. For example:

Image will be used on the cover of an ebook (free or paid) you’re creating with less than 500,000 downloads – use the Regular license.

Image will be used on a t-shirt and sold on your website – use the Extended license

Images under the Regular license the pricing ranges from $2.00 to $30.00 (sometimes more). But, in general, I’ve never spent more than $7.00 on an image.

The pricing goes up for Extended licensing, for example, I bought an image for a Brainstorming game, BrainBites, and I needed the larger license. It cost me $65.00 which I’ll make back after selling 3 games.

2. iStockPhoto – http://www.istockphoto.com/

iStockphoto website screenshot with arrow pointing at filter optionsThis is another fabulous option, the biggest difference here is that they use a “credit” method of payment, which means each photo is X number of credits to purchase not X number of dollars (although it all goes back to money anyway).

They also have Essential images and Premium Signature images which you can choose from.

For example, if you choose the $40.00 a month option, this will allow you to download 10 of any of the ESSENTIAL images every month (basically $4.00/image). So, make sure when you’re searching you change the filter to only show Essential images just in case you find “the One” only to realize it’s a Signature image (that sucks).

There are quite a few methods to choose, you can learn more about them here: http://www.istockphoto.com/ca/plans-and-pricing

3. FlatIcon – https://www.flaticon.com/

flaticon screenshot of icecream bar with arrow pointing to colour optionsWhat about icon images? Flaticon is my go to for that!

They have over 450,000 icons available for use. Now, you CAN use many of them (about 30%) for free as long as you credit Flaticon every single time…or you can just pay the $9.99/mth to get access to 98% of the icons without crediting them and the other 2% with crediting an outside author (very rare that you’d ever need to).

Plus, you can only download the .png or .svg for free. But, with the paid membership, you can download them in .eps (Illustrator file) or .psd (Photoshop file).

For me, it made sense to pay monthly…it’s only $10 bucks and I don’t worry about all the little details, copyrights or where to find the right one.

I’ve use their icons in websites, membership sites, LMS platforms, e-courses, e-books, and more.

Free or not, you can adjust the colour and size of .png and .svg before you download the icon. If you download the .eps or .psd file, you can adjust it any way you like, of course.

4. Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/

flickr screenshot with arrow pointing to licensingThis is a great place to find amazing photos. But, the most important thing to understand if you’re going to use Flickr is that there are multiple licenses being used, so you have to check every time prior to using the image.

Check on the right right side under the date to see what license the image is under.

Before you use ANY image, be sure you are following the rules! https://help.yahoo.com/kb/flickr/SLN25525.html?impressions=true

5. Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/

pixabay screenshot of guy painting street art with arrow pointing to copyrightsThis one is on the list because you can find some great gems here. It’s less likely, but I’ve found a handful that work for me. You just need a little more patience to go through them.

Of course, be aware of the licensing options, which you can see on the right side of each image’s page. Many of the images are part of the public domain, but some aren’t, so just be sure to double check. https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage

You also have to be a little more careful about these images as some may have some third-party copyrights, especially if they depict someone famous.

If that makes you nervous, don’t use Pixabay, se the other options instead.

There you have it!

Those are the 5 places I go for images when I need them.

One big “DON’T” I want to point out before I close, is this:

As a creative, I understand and respect other creatives and their work. I don’t try to get around copyrights or licensing, nor should you. If someone created something and is allowing you to use it for free and all they ask is that you make add a link directed to them somewhere on your website in order to use it, just do that.

You can see this in action at the bottom of my website, SparkologyLab.com.

Otherwise, it’s considered theft. It’s never cool – ever – to steal another person’s work, no matter how big or small you deem it to be.

google images screenshot with arrow pointing view page sourceAlso, NO, you cannot just use images you find on Google. Google doesn’t own them, it only curates them. If you do see an image on Google Images that you dig, click the “View Page” option to get more details about it, the author, or how it’s being used. It may just bring you to someone’s business website, which means their internal team may have created it or they have purchased it legally for their own use…which means, you can’t use it.

Instead, just don’t try to get around copyrights and licensing images, videos, audio, etc. Just stay above board and respect the creator.

Alright – happy image hunting!

If you have any questions, I’d love to help. Just comment below.

IMAGE USED IN HEADER: by marc falardeau, and can be found HERE under license CC by 4.0

(see how easy that was?)




Amanda Ross is the President of SparkologyLab (SL) and the creator of Brand In A Snap (a division of SL). She loves designing stuff in the digital space, trying different curry recipes, and squishing her puppy, Buffy (the people slayer). The topics she shares about are design how-to's, marketing, and digital tips. You can learn more about her on LinkedIN: www.linkedin.com/in/heyamandar

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