30 Days: Resources For Free Photos

Want something that does not require a fee and has no copyright use restrictions? One way is to look for public domain photos on Wikimedia Commons, a sister site to Wikipedia. There are many photos there whose licensing has been set as “public domain”.

A way to search Wikimedia Commons for public domain photos is a power search on Google. For example, to just search Wikimedia Commons for public domain farm images, use the following:

site:http://commons.wikimedia.org/ public domain farm

When the search results come back from Google, narrow the items by clicking on “Images” in the upper left of results list.

Important! Not all resulting images in the list are really public domain. You will need to double check the Wikimedia License section below the image to be sure.

Here is a 30 second video that shows the steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgevpJkkNg8

Public domain images may require attribution. This can only be determined in how the public domain image has been released. Learn more at Welcome to the Public Domain.

Another avenue to free pictures is to use Creative Commons photos that are licensed as Attribution (CC BY ), Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA ), or Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND) because they allow for commercial use. Flickr has many photos that can be searched for a specific Creative Commons license. Important note: Using some of the Creative Commons licenses requires you correctly attribute the image.