If you’re writing something that you would like a lot of people to see, it’s a good idea to include a photo in your post. It will help your piece stand out in feeds like Facebook & Twitter. If you’ve ever done a search for “FREE STOCK PHOTOS” you’ll know this is easier said than done. Those sites are terrible. Or, if not terrible, then extremely expensive.

However! Just this month, in a dusty corner of the internet, I have found a secret, glittering treasure trove of wonderful photos free for the taking. (I get really excited about this sort of thing).

Turns out Flickr, the ancient photo-sharing service I stopped using over 5 years ago, is actually pretty awesome these days. Not only to they have lots of photo content from semi-pro and pro photographers, they have great search filters too.

It’s pretty much the simplest process ever:

  1. Go to flickr and search for something related to your post or that might evoke an emotion that complements your post. A bunch of photos will come up, but don’t look at them yet.
  2. There is a drop down for license type. Select Creative Commons if you’d like to find photos for your personal site or blog. Select commercial use if you’re using it for something work-related. You are now looking at an inventory of free-to-use photos. Rad!
  3. Filter on large photos, which tend to be taken with better cameras.
  4. Try the filters for “shallow depth of field” or “minimalist”. These photos tend to be a lot more professional looking.
  5. Find a photo you like.
  6. Don’t forget to credit the photographer and mention the creative commons license when you use the photo. I included an example at the bottom of this post.

Happy photo hunting 🙂

Example Search.
Photo by Danny Fowler, Creative Commons