“Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Blogdom.

It was ruled by a generous king, named Content. His kind and beautiful queen, Images, faithfully supported and helped him to grow the kingdom – in size, power and influence. Over time it was obvious that at certain public appearances, Images outshone Content’s brilliance; she was renowned for adding more personality, emotion and had huge ‘pulling power.’ This made the king very happy.

However, the queen was cursed with an evil spell. Whenever anyone took pictures of her – without her permission – and used them throughout Blogdom, she turned into a wicked, litigious hag…. ”

Sound familiar?

If you’re a blogger or active on the social networking sites (especially Pinterest, where images are your lifeblood) then this fairy tale could be haunting your dreams – or giving you nightmares!

[For those who don’t know, Pinterest is a site where users can “pin” images, video or other interesting content to digital pin boards. It’s bit like a virtual corkboard … check it out but be warned, it’s very addictive.]

If you’re serious about wanting to create a fantastic Mummy Blog, then you need images. Great images add so much more to a blog post. They add emotion and connect to your readers far more than just the words alone.

If you want to find out what images emotionally add to a blog post (and how they get you traffic) try this post from my fave blogger, Judy Lee Dunn. Or, to get another angle on it – and a cool infographic – of what quality photos add to your blog, read Danny Brown’s post at For Bloggers By Bloggers.

However, finding the perfect image isn’t without its pitfalls. Cost for one, attribution is another and the fact that stealing isn’t nice.

Image attribution – 5-point low down

The internet is all about sharing, but you’re supposed to give credit where credit is due. The same as other professions, photographers deserve fair payment and credit for their work.

However increasing, this isn’t happening. And that’s not nice or right.

To shed some light on this prickly topic, here’s a quick five-point low down on online image etiquette. It’s really as simple as introducing people, crediting them and being polite – just like you’ve taught your kids to be:

  1. Attribution depends on where you sourced the images.
  2. You can’t just find an image on Google Images that you like (or from anywhere on the internet for that matter) and use it. You haven’t been given permission, or paid to use the picture. In the majority of cases that is stealing.
  3. Stealing images online has become a highly litigious arena. You can be taken to court, found guilty and punished heavily. Ignorance is not a valid defence.
  4. If you buy stock images from a site, it’s license free. That means you bought it, own it and can use it within the limitations/conditions of the purchase agreement- read the fine print.
  5. Search out free stock image sites or Creative Commons images that allow you to use them (with attribution). However make sure you click on their terms of use and ensure you are not violating them, as each site (and sometimes image) has different terms and needs for attribution.


If you find an image anywhere other than a free image site, you must contact the site and or the photographer and get written permission to use the image. Any images you find online should be traced back to their original source. Copyright details should be checked when you get to the source. If the original source isn’t traceable, don’t use it.

5 free image sites

To help you in your quest for fantastic pictures, here are five image sites that I’ve used. And as a Mum I love a bargain, so this list just focuses on FREE image sites.

Free image sites help to remove a lot of the guesswork and fear from finding images. They identify if the image requires credit/attribution. But be sure to read the fine print and take note of any attributions/links needed or limits on commercial/public use.

However, be warned. The downside of using free image sites is that you need to wade through a lot of unrelated and bizarre pictures to find the one great one.


  1. Be patient – allow time to look for your ‘perfect’ shot
  2. Think laterally – it’s not always the obvious search terms that deliver the best results
  3. Be flexible – don’t start with a  ‘perfect’ shot in mind; you’ll generally be disappointed


1. Stock.xchng

Now owned by Getty Images, it has a large range of photos and categories to search. Each image has specific terms of use. Each photographer establishes their terms (timing of notification or attribution link needed) per image so read the fine print. Read the general image license agreement.  Make sure you read the ‘Availability’ details (beside the download button) for any notification and credit required. An account (free) needs to be created to download images.

2. Morguefile.com

Images can be used for commercial and non-commercial uses. Read the usage details. Searching is easy, no registration/account needed. No attribution required within usage terms.

3. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This site has a great range of high quality images. Attribution link is required – you must publish an acknowledgement to FreeDigitalPhotos.net and the image creator on the same page or screen that the image is used on. Read the usage and acknowledgement details.  No account needed.

4. Flickr – Creative Commons

We all know this one. But make sure you only use those licenced under creative commons. Proper attribution must be given under the CC license for each image, and some photos are not available for commercial use. Read the fine print. Perhaps try the next site (listed below) for a simpler solution.

5. PhotoPin.com

A new addition to my free image site list that I found through Sarah Arrows post on For Bloggers By Bloggers – and I love it so far. This one searches Flickr for Creative Commons licensed images that can be used with attribution.  Simple to use – search, choose, download (your get image size choices) and attribute. Read how it works. No account needed.


Your turn

What are your favourite sites for finding free images for your online needs? Please add any other suggestions you have into the comments, with a suitable link for us all to share…


Other posts in the series:
Mummy Blogging 101: Try it, it’s addictive
Mummy Blogging 101: 5 fundamentals of setting up house
Mummy Blogging 101: Getting your writing mojo on
Mummy Blogging 101: Write a blog post that stinks …
  • I have just discovered this series of articles and they’re great – and largely still relevant despite being a few years old.


  • Awesome thanks for sharing these links


  • I have read a lot about blogging since joining MoMs, I’ve also thought about doing it and decided it was too hard, too much brain power needed. But with this helpful information, I might just give it a go!


  • Lots of great internet help here for those mums who are lookin to set up,a blog


  • Cool! Its very good to know! Thanks for sharing this article!


  • these sites will be so helpful. thanks for sharing these


  • wow, I never knew it was that complex!


  • Great advice, the web is a very difficult place to negotiate at times so this is really useful information.


  • It all sounds very confusing, glad there’s info here to point us in the right direction.


  • i will image editing and will be trying these free sites. thanks for sharing


  • It’s great that bloggers can use some photos for free as long they give proper credit to the source. A most informative article!


  • Free is always very nice.


  • thanks for these reccomended free sites


  • What an informative article – thank you!


  • I think images are important when blogging


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