Notes on Free to Use Images

About the Find Free to Use Images Search Engine

Free to use stock photographs can be a great resource for artists, as well as for enhancing web design projects. Artists may use reference photographs for further information on a subject, a setting or a scene. It's always a bad idea to use them for a straight copy in art because it is likely many similar paintings exist. (This can appear as though one artist is copying another!)

Some things to bear in mind:

  • Royalty-free does not mean copyright-free - it simply means there is no recurring fee for using an image.
  • Copyright restrictions may still apply to images or photo's offered free to use - e.g. the copyright holder may grant you permission to use the image for referencing artwork.
  • In the public domain usually means copyright restrictions no longer apply.
  • Licensed under Creative Commons does not mean you can freely use a photograph. Some licenses permit you to make use of photographs under certain conditions. Check out Flickr Creative Commons for more info.

The best approach is to always check the terms of use with the photographer and/or the website concerned.

The Find Free to Use Images search engine will search over thirty sites for images that may be free to use. Please take care not to infringe copyright restrictions!