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Picture Sources

Cheryl's Musings: Picture Sources

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Picture Sources

iStock_000011338536Large Pictures. They’re fun.  They make a piece of writing more appealing, make a blog post look more professional. But…most images you find on the Internet are the result of someone else’s creativity. Just as you and I don’t want to be plagiarized, neither do the artists and photographers who share their images on the web.

If you’re *not* an artist or photographer, though, where the heck do you find photos to spice up the appearance of your blog? Here are a few places to look.

  1. On the Flickr Creative Commons, a number of photographers offer their work for free—as long as you give them credit.
  2. iStockPhoto offers a wide variety of stock images for sale. If you’re looking for a specific and hard-to-find photo, this is a good place to look. You can purchase an extra-small image for 1 credit, or about $1.50.
  3. iStockPhoto* also offers a free image of the week, such as the one above, and free vector images of the month. What, you ask, is a vector image? It’s a graphic image made up of shapes and lines—which doesn’t sound nearly as cool as it looks. Here’s the November free vector: 

    These guys are a little tricky to use—you have to have vector editing software such as Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, or CorelDRAW if you want to change the image at all. I went the low-tech route: downloaded the file (it’s a .zip file), unzipped it, and opened the “.jpg” thumbnail image instead of the actual vector using Picasa photo software. I’m sure there’s a better way, but this worked and took zero extra time!
  4. stock.xchng is another stock photo site—on which most of the images (or all?) are free. (with certain restrictions. See the fine print here.) I haven’t used this site but might have to start doing so. Despite their somewhat alarming fine print, they’re affiliated with another well-known stock image company, Getty Images, which gives them the stamp of legitimacy.

* There are numerous stock photo websites; iStockPhoto is the one I’m most familiar with.



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