How To Find Free Public Domain Images For Your Blog

Most of the time I take my own photos for my blog.  Usually I write about a recipe I’ve made or a craft project I’ve whipped up and just snap pictures as I’m going along.  If it’s a subject that doesn’t have a project involved, then I often go to my favorite photo editing site, and just create a graphic of some sort.  I suspect that’s the case for many other bloggers as well.

BUT – from time to time, I have a situation where I would just like to be able to find a nice photo online somewhere that fits what I’m writing about and use that in my blog post. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in that situation too.

For me, that’s often where the confusion begins. I try to do my diligent best and research what exactly all those image licensing terms mean, but STILL feel like I don’t have a good understanding.  I might go to a popular site like Flickr and still feel somewhat unsure of how to interpret a certain photo’s Creative Commons use, or attribution, or Non-Derivative licensing.

So that’s when, in the course of my image licensing research, I came across some info on public domain images and that sounded a little easier to understand and use.

What is the Public Domain?

Creative works that are in the public domain are defined as works for which the copyright has expired or a copyright never existed in the first place.  Many works in the public domain are older, however new items can be in the public domain as well. This Wikipedia article states that “For a creator to release his or her works into the public domain legally, they must use the creative commons license which gives creators a way to waive all their copyright and related rights in their works to the fullest extent allowed under law.”  So you are able to find some newer and nicer stuff in the public domain too as many photographers are willing to simply donate their photographs and release their work into the public domain.

Because works, such as photo images, that are in the public domain have no copyright restrictions, they are almost always free and available to use and alter as you wish without the need of credit or attribution to the author, and in many cases the creator of the image is not even known.

Can You Find Nice Public Domain Images?

So naturally the next question that comes to mind is, can you find any images worth using in the public domain?  I was pleasantly surprised to find a few places online that did indeed have a pretty good selection to choose from. Here are four sites to check out:

  1.  Public Domain Pictures was my favorite of the sites I checked out and has a lot of nice photos from which to choose.  The search method is user friendly and downloading an image is as easy as clicking to enlarge it and then right clicking to do a “save as”.  I’ve checked out several of the photos on this site and they are very nice quality and have all shown the license as “public domain” .   In fact all the photos in the collage graphic at the beginning of this post were from this site.  Be alert, however that the site also shows additional photo options that are from Shutterstock that are not free.

  1.  My Public Domain Pictures is another site with some good photo options to choose from.  You can check out their “About ” page which states that “All personal pictures taken by our members are being released into the public domain”.

  1.  Public-Domain-Photos

The site states that it has 5,000 free photos and 8,000 free cliparts to search through, all in the public domain. There’s a good variety on this site too and you may be able to find what you’re looking for.

  1.  Photos Public Domain

And finally, the site is another one to check out that has photos that have been released into the public domain and may be yet another possibility for finding a photo that fits your purposes

So those are a few sites that may be new to you (they were all new to me!) that can be a good source of free photos for your blog posts and can provide some additional options to always taking your own photos.

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