Photos consistently get the most engagement on social media. In fact, last year SocialBakers found that 93 percent of the most engaging posts on Facebook were photos while just 3 percent were plain status updates, 2 percent were links, and 2 percent were videos. Clearly, posting photos is a good idea, but sourcing images for social media isn’t necessarily a simple matter especially due to concerns about copyright infringement. Use this list of image sources to start your search for photos to share.
- Shutterstock – It is a leading global provider of high-quality licensed photographs, vectors, illustrations and videos to businesses, marketing agencies and media
organizations around the world. Working with its growing community of over 55,000 contributors, Shutterstock adds tens of thousands of images each week, and currently has more than 35 million images available. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Berlin, Chicago, Denver, London, and San Francisco, Shutterstock has customers in more than 150 countries. The company also owns Bigstock, a value-oriented stock media agency; Offset, a high-end image collection; Skillfeed, an online marketplace for learning; and WebDAM, a cloud-based digital asset management service for businesses.
- Flickr – The Commons: Flickr has partnered with various institutions to catalog the world’s public photo archives. Some of the participating institutions include: the Library of Congress, the British Library, National Media Museum, New York Public Library, and the National Maritime Museum. Whether you’re looking for photos of the British royal family, wine bottles, railroads, or old-fashioned bicycles (or anything else for that matter), you’ll likely find some amazing vintage photos to share in The Commons collection.
- MorgueFile – Though its name conjures up unpleasant images, the MorgueFile is loaded with beautiful images. Though photos in the MorgueFile section are all free, the MorgueFile website also contains royalty-free stock photos that you can purchase from iStock, Getty, Dreamstime, DepositPhotos, and Fotolia.
- Wikimedia Commons – Another site loaded with photos, Wikimedia Commons allows users to submit their photos under a Creative Commons license. You’ll want to make sure to look at the license to ensure that you adhere to any attribution requirements. Some may restrict commercial use.
- Ancestry Images – This highly specialized site contains images of antique prints and maps, all of which are offered for free.
- Wylio – Wylio bills itself as a free picture finder for bloggers. You’ll need to sign up for a free account, but once you do, you can search for free photos that have the right type of Creative Commons license for your needs. What’s more, you can resize the photos by dragging a slider and Wylio will automatically include all appropriate license details and attribution within the photo itself. You can either download the photo or get an embed code. Either way, the photo will be properly attributed.
- PhotoPin – PhotoPin allows you to specify the license type desired (commercial or non-commercial) as well as enter search terms. From there, it will search Flickr’s Creative Commons selection. It also includes attribution, but it is not embedded into the photo. You will need to download the photo as well as copy and paste the HTML attribution into your blog post.
- Canva – Want to make your own beautiful, share-worthy images? Canva is an easy-to-use design tool where you can drag and drop photos into place, add text, and more. Though it’s free to use, there are charges for some of the photos that are offered.
These are but a few of the many options available. Start by bookmarking your favorite image sources and use them regularly to create more engaging social media posts.