Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

The best source of free images for your blog posts

Thirsty catI hope there is no debate among my readers that the value of a contextually relevant and visually compelling image in your blog post is massive. I try hard to avoid publishing a story of more than a few paragraphs without including a (hopefully) impressive-looking picture towards the top of the post. A picture does speak 1,000 words, and can have the effect of powerfully reinforcing your message. It can also be the different between a blog post that someone bothers to start reading, versus one where the reader never gets past the headline. No matter how good a writer you are, a big fat block of uninterrupted text is kind of daunting to most web-oriented “skim” readers (aren’t we all?!).

But if you’re like me, you are very picky about the images you use. You want the piccy that is just right for the story. So having a wide selection to choose from is the first and perhaps most important criterion.

Secondly, unless you’re in the top 0.1 per cent of bloggers who make a living out of it, you’re not flush with cash, and you don’t want to buy the image… you want a “Creative Commons”-type licensing regime that lets you reprint the piccy for free on your blog (maybe with a credit to the photographer, say).

(When I can afford to pay, I either buy off iStockPhoto or Fotolia, the former being my preference.)

Well friend, you’ll be pleased to know I have stumbled upon what appears to be the answer to your needs: a meta-search engine for free high-quality images called Yotophoto.

yotophoto - free stock photopgraphy search engine

Here’s some of Yotophoto’s pitch, from their site:

Everyone has a blog or personal website these days, but most are very text-centric. Including images with postings enriches the experience of the reader and can also help to illustrate or support the writer’s viewpoint… We index various sources of free imagery on the web including Flickr, Wikipedia, Stock.Xchng, Morguefile, Pixelperfect Digital and OpenPhoto. We treat the sites we index as partners and respect the rights of the photographers whose images we index… Our philosophy has always been to cater not just to designers looking for fresh new image stock, but also those who are looking for images of historical, geographic, cultural or scientific significance. For this reason, Yotophoto will find images of varying quality- from historic turn of the century black and whites to modern cutting edge, artistic photographs.

And I’m pretty happy with the breadth and depth of what Yotophoto will find for you. I did a test search for “keyboard” (since it’s the keyword I’d use to find an image the likes of which I use in my current header), and Yotophoto returned 648 results. Not bad at all.

I haven’t had the time to go into much depth on this site yet. For example, I am not sure how smart Yotophoto is about telling the difference between the different kinds of copyright/left licenses a Flickr user can assign to their images… if someone else has more knowledge of that, please drop a comment in below.

So there you go. You now don’t have any more excuses for failing to embellish your blog posts with lovely on-topic images that you’re not breaking copyright to use on your blog posts.

Go for it!

(By the way, when I am not sure how to properly deal with “attribution” on Flickr and elsewhere, I typically link a photo back to that image’s page on the originating site, as I have done with the picture of the cat above. Is that common practice? I dunno for sure.)

flickr, morguefile, licensing, creative commons, fotolia, istockphoto, stock exchng, stock photos, free photos, photography, blog images, blog pictures, blogging, alister cameron


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  1. Posted 12 years ago // Permalink

    I totally agree! you MUST use photos on a blog to make it interesting. And yes, I agree, to always link back the source. Only one time I had someone from Flickr kind of made I used their image, so I promptly removed it. Most “photographers” are flattered. Thanks for the great post Alister!

  2. Posted 12 years ago // Permalink

    Thanks for the resource. I’ve been using iStockPhoto for a while now for my images, so it’s good to know there are quality free ones out there.

  3. Posted 12 years ago // Permalink

    Thanks for the additional resource. I have been using istockphoto (grab their weekly freebies and keep for future reference), stock.xchng and my own photos. This will give me more choice.

  4. Posted 11 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    Regardless of how he’s being used, I like the cat shot. Quite creative and interesting. And cute all at the same time!

  5. Posted 11 years, 9 months ago // Permalink

    haha. Amusing cat. Great and a creative photo. Thanks for the additional resource.

  6. Posted 11 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    I’ve tried a few of these free pics sites before but they only ever seem to give away the small graphical images with an immediate upsell for the size that you would need if you wanted to put them on your site etc, but this site is on the level.

    What a great resource! Thanks for the link Alister!

  7. Posted 11 years, 6 months ago // Permalink

    Great and a creative photo. Quite creative and interesting. Thanks for the resource.

  8. Posted 10 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

    I have a lot of fairly good quality, free photos that I would like bloggers to use:-

  9. David
    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks for the information on free photo web sites. I also found good quality free images at:

  10. Posted 8 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    If you are looking for photos for your blog you may also take a look at image database:
    It contains tons of free and also commercial images under various categories.

  11. Posted 8 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    With iStockPhoto getting more and more expensive (still not bad compared to traditional stock) I use They list a couple of agencies that are cheaper and you can search all in one place.

  12. Posted 7 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    Unfortunately, yotophoto seems to be no longer operating. I have found to be a good source of free photos, though it still doesn’t match the best of the paid-for stock photo sites.

  13. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    I was using yotophoto and loved it but they seem to have stopped their service unfortunately… I find free images on dreamstime, fotolia and 123rf worth exploring

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. * The best source of free images for your blog posts

  2. like reading entry after entry, with no images to illustrate the thoughts. If you don’t use pictures, you’d better write like a Truman Capote, Mark Twain or Agatha Christie! [IMG] Australian blogger / blog consultant Alister Cameron agree’s. “the value of a contextually relevant and visually compelling image in your blog post is massive! A picture does speak 1,000 words, and can have the effect of powerfully reinforcing your message. It can also be the different between a blog post that

  3. […] The best source of free images for your blog posts – There’s no doubt that a striking graphic can improve the look of a blog post. Alister Cameron takes a look at Yotophoto, a meta-search for images that simultaneously searches many sources of free images. […]

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  6. […] While browsing Alister’s blog I found that he has blogged about Yotophoto, The best source of free images for your blog posts. […]

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