Where to find copyright free images

As part of the Communications and Events team, we’re constantly on the hunt for the perfect photo. You know, the image with the right subject matter, colour composition, and orientation which basically just screams ‘I’m the one’.

Of course, we don’t want to pay for it. Nor do we want to infringe copyright law by pinching a photo from a random website.

But unless you are a talented photographer, graphic designer or illustrator–yeah, we can just see the Visual and Creative Arts staff smirking right now– creating an image from scratch is simply not an option. And even then, you surely wouldn’t have time to create an original image. Every. Single. Time.

So what is one to do? Well, there are websites out there who provide images for re-use under Creative Commons (CC) licences

A CC licence allows you to use the image for free without infringing copyright. Some have a bunch of conditions attached. For example, you can’t adapt or change the work or use it for commercial purposes.

Some have no conditions at all, like Pixabay. Pixabay is usually our first-stop when looking for an image and is jam-packed with content. Pixabay images have a Creative Commons CCo license. Basically, this means you can adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source.

But in the hunt for the perfect image, you may want some more options. Other sites with copyright free images include: 

Can’t find the image you need? If you don’t mind attributing the source of the work, there’s a bucket load of Creative Commons images out there.

Head to CC Search to find almost all the images on the Internet with a CC licence (be sure to read the little disclaimer on the CC Search page).