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Images can really make or break your blog. If your images are poor quality, dark or pixelated, it really detracts from your blog and your posts.
But it’s not always easy to take your own image for your blog. Maybe you’re a horrible photographer (I am…). Sometimes, you might need to rely on stock photos for the best blog images to use.
And you can’t just grab any old image off Google. You can get into some big old trouble if you use someone else’s image without permissions. Just don’t do it.
Where to Find Images for Your Blog
So, to find beautiful images for your blog that will keep you all legal, you’ll want to look for two different kinds of images. You’ll be able to find both free and paid images. Keep in mind that there are some great free images available for you to use. However, they may not be as high quality as paid images and lots of people are going to be using those same images on their blogs.
1. Creative Commons Zero Images
There are all kinds of intellectual property license types. Some totally restrict you from using an image for any purpose. Some licenses allow you to use their images as long as you include a credit and link back to the source.
Other images, particularly those licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) can be used for any purpose, including commercial. You can also alter the images and use them.
There are several great sources for Creative Commons Zero images including:
- pexels.com – My personal favorite. They “collect” Creative Commons Zero images from other sites across the web. They have the largest selection I’ve seen of CC0 images I’ve seen online. You can easily search the millions of images on this site or browse by things like color (I do this a lot when creating mood boards and demo sites). When you sign up for a free account, you can also create collections of images which is quite handy. You can also select to download different image sizes.
- unsplash.com – The Unsplash site looks eerily like Pexels. Or maybe it’s the other way around. You’ll find many of Unsplash’s images on Pexels but their site has some features that I like. Unsplash also lets you create image collections. It’s also ad free (unlike Pexels) which I like.
- pixabay.com – Pixabay is another site for CC0 images. Again it looks a lot like the Pexels and Unsplash sites. You can sign up to create collections as well with this site.
- Styled Stock – Styled Stock has a small collection of feminine stock photos.
Any of these 4 sites offer CC0 images with more added each day.
2. Premium Stock Photos
Paid stock photos are another way to get great images for your blog.
While you may not be able to afford to use paid stock for all the images in every one of your blog posts, these images are great for use for things like hero headers, promo boxes and more.
I like to buy themed stock packs that match my blog style. I will remix the images by cropping them and using them in lots of different ways. I can get a lot of mileage out of a collection of 12 – 20 photos. This also gives my blog images a very branded, cohesive look.
A few of my favorite sources for affordable paid stock images include:
- Creative Market – I spend way too much money on my CM habit. But they have so much pretty! They also have some really great photographers who offer stock photo bundles for a reasonable price. If you search for “styled stock” you’ll find lots of beautiful images for your blog. My favorites include:
- Twigy Posts – Lots of great bundles. You can get images for about $1-3 each in a bundle of 4 – 20.
- Kate Max Stock – Kate Max sells bundles of about 8 – 24 images. Her images usually average about $1 – 2 per image in the bundles.
- Her Creative Studios – This shop offers a mix of single photos and photo bundles. The bundles are definitely a better deal.
- Springs & Co. – This shop specializes in some really well styled and branded bundles. You can get images for about $1 – 2 in the bundles. Some bundles come with as many as 35 pictures!
In fact, here’s a collection of my all time favorites from CM:
Powered by Creative Market
- Haute Stock – Haute Stock is a membership-based stock photo site. An annual plan is $299 or $99 for 3 months. I can totally spend that much on stock images at CM. The library includes over 2000 beautiful images with more added weekly.
- Styled Stock Society – Styled Stock Society offers the option of buying image bundles a la carte or purchasing a membership. Bundles run about $1 -2 per image. The annual membership plan is $199, the quarterly plan $69 or you can go for the lifetime plan at $299. They have 23 bundles currently in their collection with 9 – 40 images per bundle.
There are definitely other places online to find great stock photos but these are by far my favorites.
Need Some Images for Your Blog?
Check out the free and paid sources above and give your blog a stylish look with amazing stock photos.