Adding Great Images to Your Blog Posts... The Legal Way!

Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts
Where to Find Copyright Free Images. By Lisa Hill, "THE SMART CHOICE!"

photography lightsAdding Great Images to Your Posts... The Legal Way! This is not a new topic, but it's one that needs to be repeatedly addressed. But I'm going to take this a step further. Rather than just tell you what's acceptable and what's not, I'm going to provide you with a list of web sites where you can search and find photos that are Copyright Free, aka Royalty Free, aka Public Domain, aka Creative Commons. << These links are to verbiage definitions.

For a brief tutorial, you should know that you cannot just grab photos from anywhere on the internet and use them in your blogs. You have to assume that all images are copyrighted by the owner, unless otherwise specified. (The same as music and videos) But there are many sites that are filled with photos in the Public Domain. A Public Domain/Copyright Free/Royalty Free images can most likely be used in your blogs. But you must read the fine print. Most copyright free sites will have a disclaimer, stating that you must provide credit to the person who took the photo, and/or a link back to the originating site or photographer.

A couple more factors to keep in mind when looking for copyright free images...books on shelf by Jon Sullivan

  • Just because you see the word "Free" does not mean the image is copyright free. It just means you don't have to pay to use the image.
  • Be careful not to click away from the site where you were searching for copyright free images. One of the sites I use makes you check if you want to search that particular site, or the entire internet. And the default check is in the internet box. You must be careful to check the "site" box before you search for the image you want.
  • You should have multiple sites through which you could search, because sometimes it can be very difficult to find just the right photo or image to match your subject. I personally like to place images that pertain to certain paragraphs at random intervals throughout my post. 

OK. Now we're ready for the copyright free list of photo, clipart, and image sites. I use Firefox for my web browser (Booo Internet Explorer), and have tons of folders for all my sites of interest. My Images and Clipart folder is one of the largest folders in my "Xmarks"; formerly known as "Foxmarks". It has taken me a LONG time to accumulate these sites! I hope you enjoy them  =)

One more tip: I like to save large quantities of images to my computer before I need them (in folders and sub-folders). This prevents me from having to desperately search for the image I need when I'm in a crunch for time. To save the image, I name it for what it is, the add a hyphen, and the name of the site or original owner, so I can give the proper credit according to the rules of the originating site or owner. FYI, my favorite photographer of copyright free photos is Jon Sullivan. I have no idea why this guy lets his photos be used for free. As far as I'm concerned, he could be making good money for his work!

Lisa Hill real estate agent

Adams Cameron Realtors

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

Comments (66)

Bernadine Hunter, SFR, ACRE
Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realty - Pickerington, OH
"Finding Solution to Your Real Estate Needs"

Thanks for such a comprehensive list.

Dec 10, 2010 03:53 PM
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.

I would encourage people to read the Terms of Service of those providers listed.  Often times they will allow you the use of free photos for personal use only.  Commercial sites AKA business blogs often have to pay.  I haven't used any of those since I pay for my stuff, but I encourage people to read the Terms of Service.

Dec 10, 2010 04:17 PM
Kimberly A Norgard
Devlin McNiff Halstead Real Estate - East Hampton, NY

Thank you so much for sharing and taking the time to write out all of those links.  I'm definitely going to look into them.  I'm very excited about it.  Thanks again.  Kim

Dec 10, 2010 04:34 PM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Lisa ~ Thank you for sharing all of your sites for images -- what a treasure trove of information!  I'm bookmarking this post and will refer to it often.  Thanks again!

Dec 10, 2010 05:30 PM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Bookmarked. . thank you for taking the time to put this list. .

Dec 10, 2010 10:03 PM
Robert Schwabe
EXP Realty - Orange Park, FL
Orange Park Real Estate

Lisa - Thanks for sharing the links to find images. I'll have to bookmark this page.

Dec 10, 2010 10:16 PM
David O'Doherty
Raleigh Realty Inc - Clayton, NC
Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC

Lisa, what a list I am a little gun shy about using others work so I take my camera with me whenever I can.

I will bookmark this, Thanks

Dec 11, 2010 12:11 AM
Joel Gwillim
CIR Realty - Condo Specialist - Calgary, AB
Associate - REALTOR®

Great post Lisa, thanks for all the links and information.   It's definitely and up and coming topic.  I also prefer to take my own photos, but of course that isn't always possible when you're writing a post about something less tangible.    Many of the free photo sites are difficult to navigate with poor images, but I will definitely come back to this next time I need one.    

Dec 11, 2010 12:54 AM
R.E. Renée Hoover, Salesperson
Century 21 Geba Realty, Milford, PA; Licensed in PA & NYS - Milford, PA
Poconos, Pike, Wayne, Monroe Counties, PA; PA/NYS

Lisa, Thank you!  A very "Smart" post from a "Smart Choice!"  This is terrific and great of you to share.  Bookmarked.

Dec 11, 2010 01:08 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Lisa, I noticed this was first posted on May 1, 2009 and recently featured. Good information has staying power. Thanks.

Dec 11, 2010 01:15 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Lisa, I am going to bookmark, reblog, read, reread and enjoy this post. Thanks for all the tips.

Dec 11, 2010 03:43 AM
William U. Regan
HomeLife New World Realty Inc, Brokerage - Toronto, ON

Thanks for all the info

Dec 11, 2010 05:17 AM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Thanks for this list of sites, Lisa. And a good reminder from Melina in #47 -- ALWAYS check the Terms of Service to be sure they allow commercial use.

Dec 11, 2010 05:52 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Lisa, a great wealth of links in this area. Thanks for putting that together for us all.

Dec 11, 2010 08:22 AM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Thanks for the links. These are helpful. I'll bookmark this post.


Dec 11, 2010 09:51 AM
Troy Gregory
First Team Real Estate - Ladera Ranch, CA

Thanks for the links Lisa...I will definitely check these out!

Dec 11, 2010 10:27 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Troy- Make sure you check all the links. It's been a while since I posted this. Good luck =)

Dec 11, 2010 11:18 AM
Michael Johnson
Carolina One Real Estate - Goose Creek, SC
Metro Charleston SC

Excellent post and wonderful list of places to find copyright free images.  Thanks!  Merry Christmas!

Dec 11, 2010 11:19 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Wow. Not sure what suddenly drew so much attention to this old post, but I'm glad you're all enjoying it. Just double-check everything. I wrote this in 2009 :-/

Dec 11, 2010 11:21 AM
Betty Knowles
Southwest Missouri Realty - - Springfield, MO
TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate

Thanks for the list Lisa, even if you did write it in 2009. :)

Dec 11, 2010 11:34 AM

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