Free pictures for your blog

12:43 PM

Be original, dont steal other blogger's picture, take your own, or find a free stock photo website instead.

Once upon a time, blogs were a novelty. Most treated them as online journals, full of ramblings and light on illustrations. Back then, a nice picture was a welcome thing, but not really expected. Content didn't have to be of supremely high quality either, most were happy to have a hundred page view a week, if not less. These were the early days of blogging!

This, of course, has changed. Blogs are now media outlets that aren't taken as lightly. In fact, they have become a business opportunity for many. With specific niches, well researched posts and many pictures to back them. They have to be entertaining, and informative all at the same time.
Having no pictures on them is rarely an option nowadays. Not if you want to get noticed in social medias and get that steady flow of page hits coming in. The content matters, a lot, both in words and pictures.

Seasoned bloggers know it. Keeping a blog takes time and a great deal of effort. It's no easy peasy job. What ends up being published is the tip of the iceberg and the proverbial cherry on top. It is the fruit of intense backstage labour.
There is a lot of thinking, research, drafting, redrafting and writer's block fighting involved with just the writing. Then, there is the picture taking, and the editing to create that perfect illustration. Once all this is done, there is the proofreading before publishing, and all the promoting after that "publish" button has been clicked.

Like most, I spend a couple of hours a day working on my blog...yes that is that labour intensive!

Needless to say, there is nothing more infuriating that seeing your work stolen. I've seen too many of my pictures being used without my permission or even as much as some credit given to me. On blogs, and websites alike.
More often than not those who steal are that breed of bloggers that are new to the blogosphere and thought that there was a quick buck to be made. Until they realised that to get the fame they wanted so badly, they will need pictures to illustrate their often poorly put together thoughts.

And suddenly, it doesn't seem so easy anymore...

Google image searches are not the equivalent of using a stock photo database. Yet many still think it is and that Copyrights aren't serious. That is until a DMCA notice has been served to them, and their SEO ( search engine optimisation) suffers from it. Your search engine exposure is the least you can loose of course. Steal a picture from someone that has the power, time and money, and you could end up having to pay a serious amount of money for your theft. Is that worth it really? Especially when there are plenty of stock photos options out there, legal to use and in many case free.

I do take my own pictures most of the time. That is how dedicated I am to my blog. But if you are looking for something super specific, here is a website that lists the 14 best Free stock photos database on the web. If you are in for something even more serious and don't want to risk having to give any due credit to anybody, you still have the option to pay for your pictures as well.
And, in all cases, should you like to take another blogger's picture. You should ask them for permission first. Explain what you will use the picture for clearly. And, Once you got that permission, ALWAYS link back to the source, with the exact URL, not an approximate.
I had a genius thinking it was ok to credit to, a totally made up URL simply because she was too full of herself copying and pasting a URL of a picture she stole from me. Don't do it, and don't ever think you'll never get caught!

Of course, nothing beats taking your own. And with all phones coming with a more than decent camera there is no excuse not to (a lot of my pictures are taken with my iPad). Not even the excuse of not editing it. There are apps a plenty to do that for you, most of them free. If you can't spend two minutes snapping a picture of, let's say a cup of tea but can spend half an hour finding the right one off Google search to steal, don't dare call yourself a blogger.

You don't deserve that title.

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  1. "Steal a picture from someone that has the power, time and money, and you could end up having to pay a serious amount of money for your theft."
    Well, now that's the problem right there. Most victims of copyright theft don't have the power, time or money in India (or internationally) to fight a copyright infringement case. And unfortunately many of the plagiarists in India are the big newspapers & entertainment publications.
    Anywho, I finally got a smartphone.
    I have been avoiding 'smartphones' ever since they came out because I felt they were just a substandard mini laptop & I really did not want to be 'connected' ALL the time. (I mean I had to wear a 'beeper' - remember those from the 1980's?- during my entire medical residency & be 'on call' 24/7).
    So I got the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom!
    I love it because it has this camera that's even better & more convenient to use than my old Nikon Coolpix camera.
    And it has a built in zoom lens (SQUEEEE!!!!)

    1. My pictures, watermark included appear on all kind of crazy websites and blogs. I wish I had the power to sue really because it is getting ridiculous. I even had the picture of my Bnagalore kitchen appear on the website of a home developer. Fortunately for me they were hosted by GoDaddy and they served them a DMCA notice. Which prompted them to contact me to apologise and let me know they outsourced the website building to a company who was the one who committed the theft :-(

      Yay on the smartphone! I know what you mean both by the beer and the fact it is annoying to be connected 24/7. I switch off the internet on my phone often, and tend to mute apps because I hate being disturbed all the time.
      The only thing I really use my phone for is taking pictures on the go. My next phone's main criteria will be the camera, everything else, I could not care less about. Right now I have a old HTC Desire that has a Ok camera, in the sense it takes fine pictures in broad day light, but it starts being grainy in lower lights.


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