Where can I find photos for my blog or website?
You’ve crafted your blog post and now your need to illustrate it. “Where can I find a photo for my blog?” your wonder. Well, one solution is the plethora of stock photo sites out there but then you run the risk of your blog looking like everyone else’s.
I mean, how many times do you go to websites and see the same vacuous images of hip young office workers, clustered around a Mac on a conference table in a light, bright, conference room? Everyone’s smiling and they’re solving world hunger (or more likely making world hunger worse).
We’ve all seen those images yet many of us wonder at the incongruity having been in those office buildings where the reality is dark spaces with artificial light and an older, greyer collection of people staring in abject boredom at a meaningless PowerPoint presentation.
So stock agencies give you plenty of often technically well executed images but lots of people use them and they’re becoming obvious to readers who inevitably start to question whether the article or blog is also ‘stock’.
A better approach to unique photos for your blog
Another, and I think better, approach is to reach out directly to photographers and ask permission to use their images.
Now photographers are creative people and they also have bills to pay but many, including myself, license at least some of our images under a creative commons license.
I personally use a CC BY-NC license. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon my work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge me and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
I don’t approve of free images for commercial use – after all, if you need the image in order to make money you should be prepared to pay something for that image. But many bloggers just want an image to illustrate their blog, and are not trying to use the image to sell anything.
Such was the case last week when blogger Adrian Selby reached out to me asking if he could use/purchase a digital image to illustrate a book review on his blog www.adrianselby.com.
Since Adrian wasn’t asking to use the photo for the cover of one of his own books, but to illustrate his review of The Vorrh by Brian Catling, I was more than willing to help Adrian get the image he wanted to use in return for a photo credit.
And it was a simple exchange. Brian essentially said, ‘Hi, I’d like to use one of your images to illustrate a post.’ and I essentially replied, ‘Sure, here it is, please credit me in your post.’
Unique images to illustrate your blog post
So if you’re looking for a unique image to illustrate one of your posts or to use on your website and you find a photo you like on a photographer’s website, send them a note and ask if you can use it. I think most people are just expecting a “No” so they don’t even ask.
While I know many will say “No” I’m confident you’ll find many, like me, who will say “Yes” and you’ll have that unique image that sets you apart.
Of course, it’s best to reach out ahead of your deadline. You’re asking for a favor so give the photog time to respond.
The photo Adrian requested was a shot I took of an abandoned logging railway, cut through a jungle.
Want to use one of my photos?
All of the photos my my gallery are available to you under the CC BY-NC license so if you’d like to use one to illustrate your blog post, make a request through my contact form.
Of course, my photos are also available for commercial use, for a fee, so let me know what you’d like to use and how you’d like to use it and let’s see if we can make a deal. Again, just make a connection through my contact form.