How To Get Photography For Your Blog

online images Why would you bother adding photography to your posts? I’ll tell you why:  Adding different kinds of media to your blog is more engaging.

Photography can make your post more appealing to the eye and while your content is still the main element, you have to admit that a big chunk of plain text can be a little intimating sometimes.

Maybe you already know this but think finding good stuff is pretty hard or it takes too long. This post will tell you where to look and some things you need to consider in the process.

3 things to consider when looking for photography online:

1. Licensing

creative commons Most of the free-to-use image content online is protected by Creative Commons licensing. When searching services like Flickr, you have to look for the licensing specifications. In some cases you’ll find the term “All Rights Reserved” which means you CAN’T use it unless you get approval directly from the source.

On the other hand, if the content is classified under “Some Rights Reserved”, it means you can use it but there are probably some requirements. In most cases the content source will even allow you to make some alterations to the image.

2. Proper Credit

One thing that’s always required is giving proper credit to the source. Creative Commons specify the right way to do it but it usually means including the name with a link back to the page on your post. Please don’t ignore this, it’s not fair… and bad karma for sure.

3. Google Images

Some people think getting photography is as easy as searching Google images. I’m sorry to tell you that it’s not the case as these images usually belong to somebody else and it is hard to identify the source. Searching for images on Google can also be very time consuming and frustrating.

Free Content Sources

Flickr Probably the source used by most bloggers out there. One thing you can do in order to filter your search to only usable content is adding the term “creative commons” in front of your keyword. As I said before, content on Flickr is protected under this license and you can find the specification at the bottom of the right sidebar.

Also, make sure to check out the size options as it usually provides you with the original size.

Stock.Xchng It carries both paid service content from iStockPhoto and free content. Not as popular as Flickr but sometimes easier to find content related to your search keywords.

Stock.Xchng has its own licensing policy, make sure you give it a quick read.

Paid Services

iStockphoto The big difference with free content is the quality of the work and sometimes the ease of browsing their libraries, which most of the time are huge.

One more thing I will mention is that some of these services are very affordable and worth a try. You can pay for them as you go or get an annual subscription. To give you an example, the image at the top of this post is from iStockPhoto and the cost was less than $1.00.

Here are some of the main ones:

Be The Source

With some basic knowledge and a decent digital camera, you can become the content source. Experiment with taking and editing your own pictures. Be careful with this, specially if you blog for your business or promote your work, don’t compromise the quality of your blog AND don’t post pictures of your cat… unless your cat is super cute, of course!

Photo Editing

Another aspect you should consider is photo editing. I know what you’re thinking… I don’t know Photoshop! You don’t need to. Most likely you won’t be doing any heavy work but simple things like resizing, cropping or adjusting the color a little. You don’t need Photoshop for that kind of stuff.

Your computer probably already came with some basic editing software but now you also have web-based applications that are very user-friendly such as Picnik or (the online version).


Final Word…

Take photography seriously, it can play a very important role on your blog. More importantly, make it a fun process…

Are you using other services or tools? Share them with us in the comments section.

Happy imaging!

  • mizzle

    Thank you for the great explanation. I am always trying to explain this to people in my blog classes. My favorite thing to tell them is TAKE YOUR OWN PICTURES 🙂 I also like the images from

  • Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

  • Thank you for this responsible article. There are so many people who do not understand that when a shot has an “all right reserved” they need permission from the photographer to use the image. People need to understand that another person's photography is not always “free for the taking”.

  • Thanks for the comment Nancie. Not only source credit is an essential part of the social web but I can tell you that I have started online relationships with people because of it.

    Also, this is not just about photography but with all kinds of content. Following you on Twitter now…

  • laurademeo

    For a long time, I have been wondering how you get such pristine photos…. and now I know! Thanks for sharing. I'll have to try Flickr for uploading images. I have really cute cats and honestly wanted to figure out a creative way to feature a “cute” photo of them!

  • Cute cats are the hottest thing on the internet, make sure they can do tricks and you'll go viral…

  • simontooley

    You always make it simple and easy. Thanks!

  • gabrielmeissner

    Usually I use Flickr to find quality images for my blogs. The advanced search presents a feature that permits to search only for images under a creative commons license. That´s really very useful.

  • Thank you for this post. It speaks to many of my concerns. I have always seen photography as an integral part of a blog post. Will check out your links.

  • Hello Kola, I'm glad you find it helpful. Stay in touch.

  • thanks for all the great content here! Just thought I throw out another site for photos which is similar to stock.xchange offering free and low cost images. I also love Picasa for photo editing. A good friend who loves photography is also a nice bonus 🙂 and it makes crediting the owner pretty easy.

    I look forward to learning a lot more from your site