Monday, September 2, 2013

Social Media Monday—Where Do I Find Pictures for My Blog?

Right on the heels of the questions about what to write about come those asking where to find good images for a blog. Everyone who knows me even a little knows that I’m a stickler about copyright, especially when it comes to borrowing (stealing) images on the internet. So where do I find pictures for my blog?

You may not like my answer. The truth is, I take a lot of my own pictures. I do it because it’s hard to find some of the images I want to illustrate the points I make. But don’t worry, I’ll give you a couple of places you look AND some tips on creating your own GREAT images.

It’s easier than you think, trust me on this!

Things You Need:
  • First, a camera. It doesn’t have to be a fancy, expensive camera. Chances are, your phone will take the kinds of photos you need. Certainly an inexpensive digital camera will do a great job.
  • Second, eyes that see the world around you. Think about it, how often do you need a picture of a bridge, a path, a gate, or even a bird. There’s no reason to go somewhere else for photos like these. Chances are what you need is all around you, you just need to be more aware of your surroundings.
  • Third, the ability to think outside the box. A lot of times what you need is not just a picture, but a graphic image, like a word or symbol. Don’t panic, you can create those too, with just a little bit of imagination.

Putting it all together:
The key to taking your own photos is to keep a camera with you at all times. This isn’t as hard as you think, after all, who goes anywhere with a cell phone? For a while, you may feel like you’re playing catch up. That bridge you needed to illustrate last week’s blog is outside your car window today. That’s okay, go ahead and snap the photo. Before long, you’ll be ahead of the game. With practice you’ll begin to anticipate the images you need.

Now that you’re armed and ready to capture the photos you need, what about the graphics? Well, do you have paper and a printer? Then you’re in business. Let me show you.

I needed an image to illustrate the phrase, snippets of time. So I printed out the word time on a sheet of paper, cut it apart, and took a picture. I inserted it into a word document and used the format picture tab in Microsoft Word to blur the edges and change the color.

You can also use an online tool I love, to make word clouds. There are other places to make these, such as Taxedo. But I haven’t had as much luck with it as with abcya. The IMAGE word cloud is one I made with ABCYA.

Where to download and buy images:
I also promised you I’d share places to get images. My first choice, after taking my own photos, is to visit the gallery at Microsoft ClipArt

There are other places to download free images, but they all have different requirements. Some ask you to link to the site, some link to the photographer, but they’re all different so be sure to read the requirements.

When I want to buy images, my go-to site is The images are top notch and you can buy them in groups to save money.

Now it’s your turn. Where do you turn for pictures to illustrate your blog? What creative solutions have you found for the images you need?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. Hi Edie -

    I like The Stock Exchange. Not only have I found graphics, but also inspiration for future posts. I've taken some of my own photos, but I'm a terrible photographer. It's not my gift. :)


  2. I've used You have to link to the site and the photographer, but that's easy to do.

  3. Yikes! Cuff me and send me directly to jail. I have taken (stolen) pics from the internet without linking or giving any credit. Thanks for this information. I told you I was somewhat GREEN to the writing industry. I have added my own photo's and will do more of that. Thanks so much. I love you insights.
    Warm Regards,

  4. For my non profit Bible story ministry I use 2 free sites:

  5. Thanks Edie for hounding us on how to do things the right way. I've been using what I thought were the free images in Dreamstime but now I wonder if I'm doing that wrong. Oh my. I'll try the ones y'all suggested. Thanks!

  6. I most often use my own pictures so that is not the problem. My question is if a person is in the picture do you need a release form. A form where they waive there rights and give you permission to use the picture. In the military that was not an issue as it was all duty related. I am pretty sure you do not need one for public events, parades,etc. If the picture is of one individual it might be different. Just curious about your view on it.

  7. Thanks for this article! Where to find photos for my website was one of the first concerns when I started my own blog.

    I thought I'd pass on my favorite sources for photos: my friend Kaitlyn Barkely's website, which is full of great pictures that anyone can use as long as they don't remove her watermark.

  8. I like taking my own photos as well but I haven't thought of carrying my camera with me every time I go out. I will do that.
    I also have used several of the sites mentioned. Lately, blogger is not downloading my free photos (not even my own!) It will download one and rarely anymore. Is this s glitch with my computer or a problem with Blogger? It's been highly time-consuming and frustrating.