Top 3 “Go To” Stock Image Resources

There are many great stock image resources out there but you shouldn’t even consider them until you’ve searched these three databases first. Best part is, none of these require you to sign up or submit your email address!

1.) Wikimedia Commons

My personal favorite, this database features over 30M freely usable stock images, illustrations, sounds and video to which anyone can contribute. If you are familiar with Wikipedia you will find the Wikimedia interface easy to work with.

Wikimedia features over 30M freely usable stock images, illustrations, sounds and video to which anyone can contribute.

Finding free media in the Commons is simple and to the point. Use the search box to find specific items or drill down by category using links from the homepage. If you are just looking to build your stock library there are some great places to start like picture of the day, featured pictures, and the community portal.

Get even more media and stay up to date by accessing Wikimedia Commons content via RSS feeds. You can also submit your own content and participate in photo hunts with their monthly challenges.

2.) Flickr Advanced Search

This community is rich with highly skilled photographers from all over the world, many of which offer their images up for commercial and personal use free of charge.

Flickr is rich with highly skilled photographers from all over the world, many of which offer their images up for commercial and personal use free of charge.

Updated daily, you would be surprised what you might find. Start by using the search box and then use the license filter to see which images you can use on your website or blog. You can also filter by U.S. government works which are not entitled to domestic copyright protection under U.S. law.

3.) Google Image Search

If the first two options don’t get the job done you can always use Google Image search to find royalty free images as a last resort.

You can always use Google Image search to find royalty free images as a last resort.

Start by typing a brief description of what you’re looking for in the search box on the Google homepage. On the results page find “Usage Rights” under the “Search Tools.” From there you can find images labeled for reuse with or without modifications for personal or commercial purposes.

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