August 22, 2011, Posted by Kevin Mullett in big stuff, internet tools, little stuff, marketing tools, photography
Stock photography sites, services, and articles that discuss them are plentiful across the web. I decided to put my own spin on it by sharing a list of tools I have discovered over the years for searching out images and photography in general. These are multi site photography searches for when you are looking for stock photography for web design, blogging, presentation slides, fun, and for marketing projects. While some of these are free stock photography searches, always check the license details. And if you are looking for actual stock photography agencies, see my stock photography mega list.
Before we get started on our search for stock photography, I want to provide a brief overview and reminder that paying close attention to the various forms of copyright law can save you a lot of grief and money in the long run.
- Public domain means that the photographer has waived his rights and is opening it up for anyone to use with no expectation of attribution, disclosure, or remuneration or that it is an old photograph past the copyright statute which us is often set as the lifetime of the creator plus (50-75) years. Copyright statue varies so please check carefully.
- Works of the United States Government is a more rare designation, frequently unknown, and are also free to be used with out the need for backlinks, credit, or remuneration, but must be checked carefully.
- All Rights Reserved. You have to pay someone to use it, if in fact they are willing to allow it be used.
Search across many stock photography sites at once:
- http://shotspy.com — with options after the search
- http://www.veezzle.com — *some free
- http://www.stockphotofeeds.com — receive an RSS feed of new stock, by terms, from selected stock agencies. Bonus Chrome extension.
- http://www.spffy.com — search stock sites, flickr, youtube, and NASA.
- http://www.geolocation.ws — Creative Commons Photos from Panoramio, Flickr, and Wikimedia commons.
- http://www.spiderpic.com — Searches many stock agencies for the same picture to help you find the site with the lowest price.
Search flickr: (NOTE: Just because you find an image does not mean you have rights to use it! Always confirm usage rights.)
- http://www.flickr.com/groups/freeuse — just like it says. Free for use, period.
- http://compfight.com — search flickr, including creative commons with options.
- http://photopin.com — search flickr for creative commons work, and select embed code that displays correct attribution.
- http://www.zoo-m.com/flickr-storm — search flickr, including creative commons with options.
- http://www.behold.cc — search flickr, including creative commons options.
- http://labs.ideeinc.com — search flickr by color, visually by tag, and by similarity to an image you upload.
- http://flickrcc.bluemountains.net — search flickr creative commons with minimal options.
- http://wiki.worldflicks.org — search flickr pics by location (clunky interface)
Other search tools: (NOTE: Just because you find an image does not mean you have rights to use it! Always confirm usage rights.)
- http://search.usa.gov/search/images or http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Graphics.shtml — license is not real clear on this page. Check carefully. Much of this will fall under the special “government works” license.
- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page — freely usable images, check individual license.
- http://weblist.me/Copyright-friendly-image-search — copyright friendly image search. Check licensing.
- http://openphoto.net — search includes creative commons
- http://www.burningwell.org — photographer donated public domain images. That means free.
- http://www.public-domain-photos.com — public domain.
- http://www.photl.com/en — very unique photography that promises to only be available via this site and is free with daily limits.
- http://www.tineye.com — a reverse image search for sites using an image, maybe even one of yours.
- http://www.bad-neighborhood.com/free-image-meta-search.htm — search multiple “free” sites.
- http://www.bad-neighborhood.com/creative-commons-image-search.htm — search Google and Flickr for Creative Commons images.
- http://wylio.com — appears to search images from flickr, allows you to size them, BUT they provide a link so use with caution.
- http://image-swirl.googlelabs.com — more for fun and image relationship, but try it.
- http://picz.us/ns — an RSS feed from major stock agencies so you can follow new photos.
- http://www.whichstockagency.com — many tools, searches, and info about stock photography.
- http://www.picsearch.com — search options: by color, orientation, aspect, black & white, animations, faces, and size.
- http://www.sprixi.com — monthly fee just to use the search feature, pulls from flickr and others, simple interface.
Good old fashion search engine searches:
- http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search — try advanced options or try selecting jpg and color only or put “by”, “attribute”, etc. You can also use Google search operators like this “inurl:car site:flickr.com”
- http://images.search.yahoo.com — try the advanced options.
- http://picscout.com/imageexchange — free Firefox or Internet Explorer add on for identifying if an image licensing and where it can be purchased from.
- http://s1.imagestamper.com — free tool for verifying you have rights to use an image under creative commons license.
- http://twicsy.com – shows what pictures are trending on twitter.
- http://picniche.com — Online Stock Photo Market Analysis, i.e. search to see how in demand stock photography is for given keywords
- http://www.photodropper.com/ – A WordPress plug-in that allows you to quickly find creative commons and paid images, and correctly attribute them, from the WordPress interface.
Did I miss one of your favorites? Leave a comment below or shoot me a message via @kmullett on twitter. Check out this post if you are looking for stock photography sites. You can also see my photography on flickr.