Find free images online – my list!

Images are an important part of the creative side of any teacher’s work.

We need to make use of good image sources that are good, free, and easy to search through. The trick is to know what sources to recommend to students.

It’s not just about copyright – its about being practical, and showing students the wonderful world of possibilities beyond Google images or taking anything they find that is not actually in the public domain – a vital point as more students and teachers move into online environments of blogs, wikis and more. Including images with postings enriches the experience for the reader and can also help to illustrate or support the writer’s viewpoint.

So adapting the Search Engine Journal collection of 10 Places to Find Free Image, here’s a bit of a list of ones I like.

FlickrCCmy top favourite – and Australian too. This tool searches Creative Commons images from Flickr – no need to use the Flickr advanced search option (though you can do that too). What I love about it is the way it displays a large selection in one view, and the way it randomly chooses a different word to display images each time you visit. That has thrown up some real favourites for me too. FlickrCC lets you edit images right away – though I don’t make use of that function. Flickr itself is free, though you will have to register if you want to upload and edit your own images.

Catch something really amazing – watch the world in action at FlickrVision! Here you will see the images as they are being uploaded to Flickr – superimposed on a map of the world (classic view) or a rotating globe (3D view).

Others worth a try:

  1. offers pictures from around the world, including America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Pacific.
  2. Clip Art for foreign/second language instruction. Basic but still valuable.
  3. EveryStockPhoto is a search engine for creative commons photos, located in Vancouver, BC. They aim to be a community for designers, developers, photographers and other media publishers who want better, easier access to license-specific media on the web. This is a single integrated search, allowing users to bookmark their photos with private and public tags, and increasingly we will be offering advanced searching options, rating systems and other tools.
  4. has over 2000 free images that you can use in commercial and noncommercial work. You are not allowed to sell, redistribute, or claim these images as your own. You can browse by category or search for exactly what you need.
  5. has a large collection of images, audio, textures, and other visual mediums that you can use for free with some restrictions. You do not even have to credit the images. The site also features some amazing digital images if you are looking for something different.
  6. says it is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet (link back and attribution required).
  7. allows users to have non-exclusive, non-transferable license to images. You can search for photos, see which photos are the most popular, and which ones have the highest ratings or the most downloads.
  8. has photos for free download for personal, educational, and nonprofit use. The site is well organized, and it includes categories such as architecture, animals, people, and textures.
  9. The Geo-Images Project attempts to make images (mostly photographs) that are useful in teaching geography more widely available. Navigate via map points on the globe, and capture images around common themes. Love the one on transport! and community is cool too!
  10. offers stock photographs in high resolution digital. With over 55,000 images, divided into several categories, they are sure to have something you can use. The thumbnails are small, but your search results display quickly, and the photos are of top quality. (The term “morgue file” is popular in the newspaper business to describe the file that holds past issues flats. Although the term has been used by illustrators, comic book artist, designers and teachers as well The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. This is the world wide web’s morgue file)
  11. Pics4Learning collection is intended to provide copyright friendly images for use by students and teachers in an educational setting. Lesson plans also included.
  12. Stock Exchange offers high quality images taken around the world by amateur photographers. If you have an interest in photography, you can even submit your own pictures. There are various searching options and over 100,000 images. The photographers establish the terms, so read the fine print, but most pictures can be reused immediately.
  13. TurboPhoto provides free stock images from 10 categories all of which are in the public domain.
  14. UVic’s Language Teaching Library consists of about 3000 images useful in the teaching of basic vocabulary in a variety of languages. Its purpose is to provide a set of those graphics most basic and useful for low-level language-teaching, and at the same time, to make them as easily searchable as possible. Transparent an matte images included.
  15. Riya – Visual Search provides royalty free images. Riya contains images of People and objects. Each of these also contain subcategories.
  16. Wikipedia: Public domain image sources – though in this case you will need to check the copyright.
  17. Yotophoto is now indexing well over a quarter million Creative Commons, Public Domain, GNU FDL, and various other ‘copyleft’ images.

For a full Photography Toolbox you shouldn’t go past Mashable’s 90+ Online Photography Tools and Resources.

If you have other reliable favourites, I would be glad to add them to this list.

Photo: Are you ready?
  • 15 thoughts on “Find free images online – my list!

    1. Pingback: Free images and photos : RS Teacher

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    5. Thanks for pulling this list of resources together, Judy. Your list of photo resources is itself an incredibly helpful resource. I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I’ve found countless valuable insights and tips on your blog. Thanks for all the time and energy that you invest in sharing here! –Paul

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