Free Images for Commercial Use

Any user of social media will have noticed that it is tweets with images that get the most views and interactions. Reading an article or blog post without pictures can feel like climbing a mountain, whereas having an attractive image in the eye’s periphery is more conducive to a good reading experience.

But how does a content creator get images for their website without infringing copyright? Is there an alternative to stock image sites which charge the equivalent of a meal for two? Here’s how.

  1. Search for your keyword on Google, and choose ‘images
  2. Click on Search Tools
  3. Click on Usage Rights

Here you will see several options, and if you choose one that allows reuse, then you are free to use them. Many of these images are from Wikipedia, whose Wikimedia Commons license allows for reuse.

You can then download them or copy to Photoshop and use them in your marketing campaigns. An even better way to obtain free images for commercial use is rather obvious but done by surprisingly few people. Take your own photographs!

A decent digital camera can be bought for under £200 these days, and most smartphones have camera functionality that produces perfectly usable photographs. The key to a good quality photo is light. Early smartphone cameras took decent pictures, but were let down in anything other than bright conditions.

You may have seen the equipment at a photography studio or film set. No photo shoot is complete without additional lighting, carefully placed so as to enhance the brightness and contrast of the subject. Of course, most design applications and photography software have a multitude of touching-up effects, but there is only a certain amount that can be done to a badly-lit photo without it looking unnatural.