Find Free Images for Your Blog

Last week I discussed Creative Commons License and what exactly it means in regards to using someone else"s graphics on your blogs. Today I am going to show you how to find some free images that are in compliance with the Creative Commons License.

As previously mentioned, Creative Commons License is a group of copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted work, according to certain specifications that vary from license to license.  Most bloggers, unless you are planning to make money from your blog, just need to find images that have the Attribution or non-commercial licenses.  One way to find images that fit this category is to use Google Images.

While you cannot simply search Google Images and use the images you want (even though a large number of people do), Google does provide you with the search tools to find images that are under the Creative Commons License.

To get started, go to the Advance Google Image Search at

On the search form, you will see an option called “Usage Rights”. The drop-down box gives you the following options:

If you have a commercial website of any kind, you should choose “labeled for commercial reuse” or if you want to actually edit the image, choose “labeled for commercial reuse with modification”.

Here’s are the results for a search for “kitten”, “photo content” and “labelled for commercial reuse with modification”:

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Before you use any photos, you need to confirm the Creative Commons Licenses are correct as noted in the following Google warning:

Again, before using an image, make sure you confirm the precise terms of the Creative Commons License. You can do this by clicking on the image and then click the X in the top right of the corner of the image, so you can see the actual web page the image came from.

This particular image is on the Wikimedia Commons Website (, so the information on the license is easy to find and are shown below:

If you want to use an image from Wikimedia Commons, you can click the “Use This File on the Web” icon to the right of the image.

A screen will pop-up, giving you the location of the image and the proper attribution. If you click the HTML box beside the attribution (as shown below), it will make copy-and-paste code for you.

By using Wikimedia Commons you can make sure you legally can use the image you want in your blog or on your website.  Of course, there other ways to find images with the correct Creative Commons License and next week we going to go over using Flickr for that same purpose.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please ask!