Images are important in creating any type of content. It gives focuses on the topic and sets a perspective for the readers. For journalists, content creators, and bloggers, it is difficult to write about world-related news when you are confined to only one place in the world. It is difficult to write about an event that happened thousands of miles away.
Uploading and downloading works on the internet is a gray area for many. A lot of photographers and artists do not get attribution for their work while many content creators do not acknowledge the origin of the images that they use. Crawlers and browser search algorithms are much stricter now when it comes to reusing works without licenses. A webpage could be taken down for simply re-using an unlicensed image.
This is why it is inevitable to purchase licenses of works from artists and photographers on the internet. Google Image Search even has a feature that links to the licensing of images on their search results. However, not every writer has the capacity to purchase licenses for their works all the time. The great thing is that artists and photographers are willing to share their work online for free, these are called ‘creative commons’.
Here are some websites where writers could get news-related images for free:
If you are looking for any artsy images, then Superfamous is the place to go. The collection does not have that many photographs and does not necessarily focus on a particular topic or genre. However, anyone looking for a show-stopping piece may visit the website to choose from any of the stunning images in the collection. The deal about Superfamous images is that they all have creative commons licenses. This means that they are free to use as long as proper credit is provided.
The best travel moments can never be captured by photographs, but they do come close if taken with great care. Travel Coffee Book is one of the best depositories of travel and landscape images on the internet. It pretty much covers almost every corner of the globe from Asia to Europe. The website was created in 2014 and the owner does explicitly say that the images could be used for free. However, the creator does accept donations or minimal payments from those who are generous enough to pay for as low as $5.
This website is very similar to popular image collections like Pixabay and Pexels. According to the website, the photos could be downloaded and used for both commercial and non-commercial use. They do not require attribution. The images could be used on books, posters, shirts, or whatever. This is as long as the images are not used for any criminal, illegal, or offensive activities. The owners are only very strict about redistribution of the images, altered or not. What they are strict about is selling the image as a ‘stock photo’ on a separate website.
This is a good collection of the ‘non-standard’ stock photo. The images are quite artistic, in a quirky kind of way. All the images are free and could be used even for commercial uses. The rules about the redistribution of the images, just like in Kaboom Pics, are very strict. Images should not be sold by anyone as a stock image, since the images are downloaded for free.
What is great about Death-to-stock is that they have not only images but videos and vectors as well. The images are all unique and authentic. All the artworks could be used for both commercial and non-commercial uses. However, unlike other websites, Death-to-stock is free only for 14 days. Subscription is required for a minimal fee, in financial support of the artists creating all the pieces on the website.
Talk about taking stock photos to a whole new level! These are great photos that are not cringe-y and meme-able like your standard stock images. It features real people and real communities. One of the main goals of the images is to not only represent inclusivity but also practice it. Many of their images, feature models of different races and genders. A lot of their editors, analysts, leaders, and the like are Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, and even Native Americans. The Jopwell collection provides hundreds of free-to-download images that can be used by anyone, as long as proper credit is given back to Jopwell.
All in all
There are multiple sources for images online. The websites indicated above are among the best to use for free images. However, downloading and reusing images are always tricky. For safety, always attribute the sources of an image and backlink to their accounts. This not only helps the artist but is also a nod to respecting their work.
First published in October 2020; updated January 2022