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Backstage at the Blog: I is for Image

April 10, 2014

I © A Scenic Route-GreyCan you tell I’m excited about this post?!

Images are one of the funnest parts of blogging for me. My favorite posts are ones where the images that accompany the words have their own story to tell. Feathers flutter into an inkwell. Footprints trail over my thoughts. Eyes stare back at me as I contemplate my characters.Image courtesy of 'Widiwidi' @ Stock.xchng

That’s why I’ve amassed a selection of stock image sites, both free and those with a nominal charge, to feed my image posting fancy. I’ll list some of my favorites here:

Stock.xchng is usually my first stop in an image search. The images are free, supported by ads for iStock images that appear alongside your image search. The quality of the free images is usually quite high. I credit all the contributors of the images I use, even though it’s not always required.

MorgueFile, named after the files illustrators keep as reference material, is the second source I turn to. The images are good, and attribution is usually optional. I give it anyway, both to credit the contributor, and to remove any doubt about the source of the image.Image courtesy of Ingrid Müller @ Stock.xchng

Other free sources I rely on are Free Digital Photos, Free Range Stock Photos, and of course Wikimedia.

Sometimes I need something really special and that’s when I turn to professional sites like Big Stock. There, I can purchase images for credits, starting at 99 cents per credit. The amount of credits needed to purchase the image goes up depending on the size of the image, but if you want a lot of larger images it’s usually more cost-effective to go with a subscription plan for a month or two. Image courtesy of Gregorius GP Buir @ Big Stock

Recently I’ve also found some nice images at Stockfresh, and the prices are a bit cheaper than Big Stock.

I’ve got a bunch more sites, but my word count is getting out of hand, so I’ll direct you to my blogroll, where I list all the image sites I’ve collected over the years.

How about you? How do you use images on your blog? Got any cool image sites to share with me?

(Here’s your link back to the A to Z Challenge Sign Up list.)

Kiss image courtesy of ‘Widiwidi’, eyes image courtesy of Ingrid Müller, both @ Stock.xchng, swan image courtesy of Gregorius GP Buir @ Big Stock
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20 Comments
  1. April 10, 2014 7:28 am

    Thanks for listing some sites. I make my images, except for those of movie posters, book, etc.

    • April 10, 2014 8:18 am

      That’s cool you make your own images. 🙂 I’m curious though: Are there copyright issues with featuring movie posters on your blog? I would love to feature more of them if I can use them legally.

  2. April 10, 2014 8:57 am

    THanks for sharing where you get images. I have a hard time finding good photos, so this is very helpful. I tend to just use my own pictures, or skip using them due to not knowing were to look. I’m trying to do better about that. 🙂

    • April 10, 2014 8:12 pm

      You’re welcome, Danielle! I like it when blogs use their own pictures, and have used my own on occasion as well. Sometimes though, it’s easier to turn to some artists who know what they’re doing. 🙂

  3. April 10, 2014 9:12 am

    I’ve gone from purloining images when I first started blogging to now only posting my own photos. I don’t always have the best match, but I like to use my photos as it makes my blog even more “me”. I’m lucky to live somewhere beautiful. You always have such lovely images on your blog. Well done and thanks for the info on good stock photo sites.

    • April 10, 2014 8:13 pm

      I love your local color style pictures! (It reminds of the fun times I’ve had in Bellingham. 🙂 )

  4. April 10, 2014 11:07 am

    Kirsten – thank you for this helpful post! As a new blogger, I appreciate the resources and continue to be pleasantly surprised at the generosity of other bloggers in sharing what they’ve learned and where we can find resources. I will pay it forward!

    • April 10, 2014 8:14 pm

      I’m happy to share! The free image sites do such great work that I want everyone to know about them. 🙂

  5. April 10, 2014 11:07 am

    I usually use my own images nowadays. I used to use Flickr’s Creative Commons section, but my time is so short and I find that getting the “perfect” image takes me just as long as writing the post! So, nowadays, I don’t, unless it’s a holiday or I’m talking about one of my books and decide to insert a cover.

    As for image sites, I really love Dreamstime.com. The images are high-quality and I like their selection and search engine. They also have a section for free stock images that I sometimes use, especially for my holiday posts.

    • April 10, 2014 8:16 pm

      I know what you mean, Amy! It takes me a long time to get the images right as well, but it makes me happy to see my posts turn out so pretty. 🙂
      I will check out Dreamstime!

  6. April 10, 2014 11:12 am

    To me, part of a good blog is its art and photos. Try Foter for awesome free photos. They boast over 228+ billion images. Some of the best stuff I’ve found is located in their files. Only thing is, I haven’t figured out how Foter makes money:)

    • April 10, 2014 8:19 pm

      Hi Nancy,
      I have Fotor on my blogroll, (I probably snagged it from you anyway! ) but I will take another spin through there to see what they’ve got. I’m glad there is no shortage of free images for me to play with–so many pictures, so little time. 🙂

  7. April 10, 2014 12:16 pm

    I love all the images you use, and I try to include some in my own posts wherever I can because I see how much they add to yours. I try to use my own photos as much as possible, and when I can’t, I’m careful to give credit (or just link to the original source), but I know I haven’t been using images to their full potential. I can’t thank you enough for providing these sources–this opens up a whole new world of possibilities!

    • April 10, 2014 8:21 pm

      You’re welcome, Melinda!
      I’m so glad you like the images I use. It takes a bit of time for me to get them the way I want, but I’m always happy when someone appreciates my efforts. 🙂

  8. April 10, 2014 1:19 pm

    I’ve used can stock I believe to purchase. Most of my blogs on my other site are for my weekly writing group and an image is mandatory. If I can’t use my own photos I will google and give credit to the artist. I also do photo blogs to show off my own photography

    • April 10, 2014 8:23 pm

      I love photo blogs! (No surprise there, I guess … ) And, as a photographer, you’re fortunate to have your own catalog of images to draw from. 🙂

  9. lonitownsend permalink
    April 10, 2014 3:42 pm

    I search Flickr Creative Commons a lot of the time, if I can’t use one of my own photos (or create something using software). I have used Stock.xchng once, on a different site. But I am always leery of stepping on someone’s toes and not giving all the proper credit due, that I usually just cook up something home-grown.

    • April 10, 2014 8:25 pm

      Yes, I’m very careful to give credit as well. At Stock.xchng, most contributors don’t require credit be given, but I always do it anyway. I’m always amazed by the quality of the images and the work that goes into creating them.
      I will take a look at Flickr Creative Commons. 🙂

  10. April 21, 2014 10:46 pm

    Your images are always so well-chosen and artfully integrated into your posts 🙂

    • April 22, 2014 6:53 pm

      Thanks, armchairauthor! It takes me a while to get them right, but when I do it makes me happy. It’s nice to know my efforts are appreciated!

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