How to Find Royalty Free Images

29 January 2018

How to Find Royalty Free Images

Many people are looking to enhance their websites with images that have a high resolution. Though this seems like a good idea, these people are under the impression that they have to be fancy photographers with loads of expensive equipment to get access to these pictures. The internet has many sources that provide access to photos of higher quality. These free legal images are in fact readily available.


Categories of Images


Before starting to browse images for your site, it’s important to develop an understanding of the content you’re looking for. Many different types of images are available, and other websites offer photos along with animations and vectors. Although you may know about these images, you might not know about the legality and uses.


Royalty Free Images


Just because they are royalty free does not mean that these images are completely free. Royalty free means that these are openly available for use by people that initially pay a licensing fee. After paying the fee, you have access to as many images as you want for as long as you want. There is also no limit on how many projects you use these images on. It’s important that you read the fine print, though. These images can be subject to Terms of Use from the website, so make sure you read every detail. Pay special attention to any restrictions that the website has put in place.


Copyright Regulations


Laws relating to copyright are in place to protect music, visual art, writing, and the creators are protected under copyright laws in 160 nations and the U.S. Copyright Act. These laws apply to any photo or video that you find on the internet on any source. Copyright infringement can be accidental and still be a crime.


Preventing Infringement


You are in violation of copyright if you violate rights of an image’s creator or the person who legally holds an image’s rights. Direct involvement in infringement cases does not mean that you aren’t guilty. If you know that you are violating rules, start encouraging people to violate the copyright on images, or use an images that legally did not have the right to publish an image, you are guilty of infringement.


It’s important to know the sources of your images, and ensure that the website you’re obtaining them from is reputable. Reputable sources will include legal protection. This legal protection will be either obtained for free or can be purchased for a very small fee. Protections like this could be called indemnification.


Using Stock Photos to Legally Get Royalty Free Images


There are so many websites that allow access to stock images. Some of the free images are not necessarily print quality, but these are also in a very wide distribution. If the images are for website use, these are probably fine to use. Just look up websites that are made for stock images. Shutterstock, Stencil, Pexels and Pixably are good sites to start with. Once a source is verified, you will need to use very specific key words to find what you are looking for. The websites that carry them most likely have licensed them so that they can be used generally and anyone can use them. If not, you will need to contact the owner and let them know where and how you will use theses images. However, this is very rare.


Once you have chosen a photo for your site, you can typically add metatags to it to make it more visible and searchable by browsers. Since images will usually be related to your content, it’s best to use your keyword in the photo’s metatag as well.