As we live in the Internet era, more and more people start a blog through which to communicate with the world. If you are one of them, you probably know already that besides interesting ideas and original written content, you also need some media insertions such as pictures, art clips or videos.
Time: Ongoing process
Materials a camera/mobile phone with a camera
Your own camera
Taking snapshots is the best way to get images for your blog. This way you don’t have to worry about copyright or other legal issues, and you don’t spend money purchasing stock photos. So, if you plan on building a blog, it is advisable you carry your camera with you every day and take pictures of objects, people and scenery each time you find something interesting. You are dining out? Take a snapshot of the dish if it looks yummy.
You go for a walk in a theme park? Take a picture of the rollercoaster. Or maybe you want to immortalize the insane smile of people driving the bumping cars.
You forgot your camera? Use your mobile phone. Then, use your imagination to associate your pics with the articles you write.
There are topics you cannot cover with your own snapshots. When such a case appears, think about creating a graphic. The best option is Adobe Photoshop, but the license can be quite costly and the software itself is rather complex. PixBuilder Studio is a similar tool that you can download free of charge and use to create illustrations and to process your pictures.
When the two above mentioned options fail to provide the desired results, you can appeal to creative commons. These are royalty free images you can use under certain conditions. For instance, most of them require attribution. This means you have to credit either the author or the website you downloaded the image from. Only few of the royalty free images can be used for commercial purposes, and some of the authors forbid users to alter their creations. Thus, you might be unable to crop the image if you want to center it on a specific object, or to add visual effects.
Wikimedia Commons is an important source of royalty free images, especially if you need pictures of specific places. Here you might also find some public domain files that you can use freely.
Flickr is also commonly used. A great tool they provide is the HTML code that allows you to embed the image straight into your blog, without download and without overloading your servers. In order to find the HTML code, click on Share (above the picture) and then on “Grab the HTML/BBC code”.
If you don’t want to waste time checking the license for each item, use the advanced searched to find creative commons items.
Although less rich than the first two, Morguefile and SXC offer a greater freedom that I personally appreciate. Most photos on Morguefile do not require attribution and the same goes SXC.
Another great website where you can get free images for your blog is FreeDigitalPhotos. They charge reasonable prices for large files, but there is also the option to download 400 pixels files for free.