When you’re creating spec ads, whether on your own or with a design partner (recommended!), you’ll need to find images to use. And, since it’s bad karma to steal other people’s pictures, you’ll need good places to find them.
Now, obviously, you can do an images search on Google and get tons and tons of results in return. The problem is that using many of these images in your projects equates to stealing other people’s work for your own purposes.
Now, practically and pragmatically, there’s probably very little chance of you getting caught. Probably. By why worry about it? It’s often just as easy to find the kinds of images you need on sites that will allow you to use them legally.
Here are four resources (most are free) to get you started on your hunt for fair-use images.
If you’ve just been “borrowing” other people’s pictures up until now, you’ve probably already filched a few from Flickr, but there’s also a way to do it that’s both fair and legal. Head over to their “creative commons” section to find images that the photographers are more than happy to let you use.
The name says it all. You don’t even need an account to download the images on FreeImages. Easy!
Owned by stock giant Shutterstock, MorgueFile has more than 400,000 photos available royalty free that you can use for commercial use. They also have video, vector, and template files, too.
iStock is, as the name implies, a true stock photo site: It sells professional-quality photos. I mention it, however, because some of the photos can be purchased for $12, or as low as $4 when you purchase a $40/month credit pack that allows for 10 downloads.
But, sign up for the mailing list: in 2020 iStock started featuring a weekly complimentary stock photo from its Signature collection. They also offer monthly free illustrations and video clips. The quality of these is stellar, so they may not be images you use right away, but you can save them for later.
Your turn! What other resources have you or your design partners found? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on October 26, 2022