Images and Copyright
It is a nightmare – you get all creative and you want to include images in newsletters, emails, invitations, advertising material – but where can you get free of cost, free to use, even free to modify good quality images?
The good news is that there are actually quite a few places you can find them – and a lot more than will be listed here. These are just a few popular, uncomplicated options. If you know some more, send them in and we will publish an updated list in a future newsletter.
In every case you can assume you are not allowed to resell or redistribute the unaltered images, and other inappropriate uses that you shouldn’t be considering anyway.
Pexels. From their licence page: “All photos and videos on Pexels are free to use. Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the photographer or Pexels is not necessary but always appreciated. You can modify the photos and videos from Pexels. Be creative and edit them as you like.”
Burst. This is provided by Shopify but can be used by anyone. From their terms: “Some Content on the Website and the Application is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 license https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ (“Creative Commons Content”) … Some Content on the Website and the Application is made available for use under a nonexclusive license (“License”) to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, display and use such Content (“Licensed Content”) in accordance with these Burst Terms of Service. You are free to adapt and use the Licensed Content for free for commercial and noncommercial purposes …”
Canva. Canva is different because it is a template based design website. It does offer a free account option, and free images can be accessed. But unlike the above options, it is not free site-wide. Be warned that it isn’t as simple an option as the above websites, but it is included because so many people around the world love it.
Apart from general searching and website checking, I have also used a page offered by buffer.com, listing lots of places to find free images. You can check this page for yourself.
Information in this article is provided in good faith, based on first hand information from each website at the time of writing. Terms and conditions can change, and ultimately everyone is responsible for checking such things for themselves.