Claire Bradford:The easy guide to sourcing web pictures

If you use pictures on your blog, website or promotional materials on a regular basis, reading this column is about to make your life a lot easier and save you money.

First of all, if you have been using pictures you found on Google Images, stop it now and go back and take them off your blog or website, or you may find yourself on the receiving end of an irate email from a photographer or even getting fined. It’s just not the ethical thing to do.

Most bloggers or website owners pay for their pictures from the online image banks, commission a photographer or take their own pictures.

That is all very well if you have the cash to spend or the time and equipment to take all the pictures you need.

And if you don’t? You go looking on one of these sites:

www.morguefile.com – searchable, beautiful, high resolution pictures contributed by photographers and artists available for download and reuse.

Some of the pictures require the photographer to be credited underneath the picture, but this is simple to do.

www.pixabay.com – this website describes itself as ‘a repository for stunning public domain pictures’ and you can freely reproduce the pictures without attribution.

www.photopin.com – this site searches Flickr for Creative Commons licensed pictures, and you can select commercial or non-commercial licensed images.

Once you have found your image, the correct attribution is made easy, as photopin provides you with a code to embed which does it all for you.

And if you want to change the size or shape of the picture, add writing to it, make a collage out of it or turn it into a poster or flyer? Then you visit one of these sites:

www.picmonkey.com – resize, touch up, collage and edit your photos until they’re just right.

www.canva.com – this is the site that’s getting graphic designers nervous as it takes you step by easy step through the process of creating stunning artwork.

All of these sites are free, thanks to the generosity of the artists who donate their work and the site creators, so do remember to pay it forward in some way.

Want more blogging insider info? There’s still time to book onto ‘Blogging for Your Business : The Straightforward Guide’ later this month. Go to www.straightforwardcoaching.com/events