Where do you get your website images from?
One thing we all need for our websites is amazing images! In these days of short attention span and continuous scrolling, we need to make our content visually pleasing and easy to absorb. So we start the hunt for the pictures.
Are you unintentionally an image thief?
I know it’s tempting to turn to Google Images or other places online and simply download it for your own use. It’s so easy. It’s online, it must be free to use!? Anyone putting their pictures online can’t expect them not to be copied, can they?
If you’ve been thinking this (or not thinking at all!), then I have a not-fun fact for you:
You always have to consider copyrights
- Even if you found the absolute perfect picture
- Even if you only have a tiny little “insignificant” website
- Even if you think it’s not a big deal
- Even if you can’t see any copyright info
Unless you find information that the image can be used freely, you need to assume that the image is protected by copyright. This article from copyrightlaws.com gives more details on how you can find out if an image has copyright.
If you use a copyrighted image, you may be fined – A lot!
We’re talking hundreds and even thousands of Euros (put “photo copyright penalties” in Google, and get a shock). Yes, you may get fined even if you don’t have a big online presence. Even if you remove the image. Even if you plead and pardon.
What to do when you need website images then?
- Use photos that you have taken yourself
- Use images from one of the many free websites that offer royalto free images (list of these below)
- Use images from a stock photo provider
Signing up for a stock photo site is more costly, but it sure is less expensive than the fine, which in the worst case can put you out of business if you are starting up and money is tight.
A paid stock photo subscription ensures you:
- License to use the images you find in their database
- Professional images in high definition
- A large selection in many categories
If you feel you can’t afford a stock photo account…
Here are some great resources where you can search for royalty-free website images:
It keeps changing, so I do my best to keep this list updated.
The downside is that these sites often don’t have such a wide selection of photos, they are full of ads for paid photo sites, which can get confusing when you click on them thinking it’s part of the free selection, and sometimes the search function is not too great, and for some images, it still may be required to credit the photographer.
So, as we say in Norway: “Keep your tongue straight in your mouth” (meaning: Concentrate hard so that you don’t make a mistake! 😉 )
Need help with your content in terms of what to write and what to put where? A good start is my Website Planner to get an overall picture of what your website needs.
Excellent post – and very helpful too. It’s very important to raise awareness of copyright. Thanks, Vibeke.
Yes, it is! Many don’t know. Happy you found it helpful 🙂
Vibeke Foss says
Haha, yes, he’s a love! 🐦
He tells me off when I work too much 😄