Most of the thumbnail type photos associated with our Podcasts and many of our other articles come from a stock photography site. It’s a pretty good source in that they have pretty much anything you could search for, the photos are high quality, and there are usual several different examples of each concept, but it costs money. It’s not terribly expensive, or we wouldn’t use the service, but over the course of time, with several podcast episodes and articles, the costs add up.
“So just use Creative Commons or public domain stuff!”, you say? Well, there can be several potholes for that approach. The first of which is that many people who upload photos marked as “Creative Commons” licensed images, often to sites like Flickr, don’t understand even the basics of Creative Commons. If they don’t like how their picture is used, they could balk and possibly claim you stole their photo. Your case for Creative Commons licensing can vanish as soon as they delete the original image or change the licensing info after getting educated.
More importantly, though, a huge, gigantic, overwhelming majority of public domain and Creative Commons photos just suck. The age we’re in comes with cameras on every phone, every tablet, and many dashboards and motorcycle helmets, among other places. With the popularity of sites like Instagram and Hipstawhatever, with their dramatic filters for “artistic effect”, we’ve seen a surge of self-proclaimed smartphone artists who tag their shots with every keyword possible, making image searches daunting.
Thankfully there seems to be an emerging trend of photographers uploading images to their website for the public to use free of copyright restrictions. For those of us who make websites, these people are saints!
One of these saints is Ryan McGuire, with his website Gratisography.com. Currently on Gratisography, there are over two hundred images free to download for personal or commercial use and new pictures are being added weekly. The quality of the images is astounding, especially for the price!
Have a suggestion for our “Thumbs Up!” department?
Please feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!