Beautiful Images for your Publication

Where to find fantastic photos on a budget


Image Credit: Nicola Perantoni

You’ve written some incredible, compelling content, but you feel that it all may be a bit … dry? Adding imagery to your publication can be a great way to:

  1. Tell your story in shorthand
  2. Convey a mood or tone
  3. Engage and delight your readers
  4. Create a sense of structure
  5. Provide an interesting background for text and charts

There’s lots of ways you can acquire great images – from hiring a professional photographer or illustrator (the best way to get exactly the images you need) to purchasing stock artwork.

However, if you’re on a small budget then there’s plenty of places where you can get free images, either with no strings attached or with requirements for credits or link-backs.

Caveat: Licensing

Always back sure you read the small print when using imagery you acquire from the web. Check the licensing to make sure you meet all the requirements for using that image – whether it be adding a credit link, or only using the image for non-commercial purposes. Don’t use images without permission – it will only bring you negative publicity and legal action.

Free images from stock sites

E.g. iStockphoto


Some stock photography sites give away free stock images. You don’t get to pick and choose, but over time you could build up a nice library.

Embedding Images

E.g. IMGEmbed & Getty Images Embed
A relatively new idea, embeddable images are images you add to your publication the same way you’ve add a YouTube video, by pasting in an embed code. There’s not much room to play around with them and they’re online only, but they can be useful for adding to a story.

Don’t forget to check the licence – for example the above image can’t be used for commercial purposes.

Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr has lots of great images that are free to use, under a Creative Commons licence.


Image credit: iAudioguide

You’ll find the option under advanced search. Be sure to credit the creator accordingly.

Freeimages (formerly Stock Exchange)

Freeimages has a massive library of images, of varying quality. There’s several different licences in use, for example contacting the creator first, or non-commercial only, so be sure to check before you use them.


Every 10 days, Unsplash release 10 beautiful images that are free to use.


Image credit: Vee-O

Browse through the archives for some amazing shots. (Though some of the photos have become so popular they are almost clichéd!)


Morguefile has a huge number of images that are free to use anywhere, but the quality may vary.

Have you any useful sources to add to the list? Let us know @makewoopie

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