High quality free graphics are hard to come by, but the longer I watch my husband work his photography business, the more I value his inherent copyrights. It’s difficult enough to make a living as an artist without having his work stolen day after day with no recourse.
So where do you find free photos and clip art?
Just because someone has posted a really great photo on his/her blog doesn’t mean it’s yours to copy — s/he might have copied it from someone else illegally. The same goes for images you might see on any social media site, although Pinterest is very good about linking photos straight back to the sites they originate from. For any image, you need to go to the source.
When I’m looking for free graphics, my first stop is to do a Bing or Google search for the name of the image I’m looking for and the words “public domain” after it. That will bring me to a few that might work.
Another option is the Graphics Fairy. She has been collecting vintage images since 2007, so she now has quite a collection to share, and you can search through her images here.
Some other good sources are Unsplash, Free Digital Photos, and Free Stock Photos (all of which ask you to credit or link back to their sites if you use a photo). This helps the photographer and graphic artist to at least brand his/her name, but it doesn’t help your SEO efforts. If you mouse over my featured image, you’ll notice the name of its creator.
I wanted some really clean, business type images for my home page and I wanted to tag my photos with my SEO keywords, so I splurged on credits at 123rf and I am really happy with the photos I ended up with. I don’t have to link back to anyone and I don’t have to pay royalties, thanks to the once-off payment.
All the best with your own search!