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Finding Free Images on the Web

                                                                            by Alice Ho​

When creating web content, we like to use images to flesh out the text, highlight something cool, or illustrate something difficult to explain. However, it takes time to create images and we can't always publish copyrighted images without getting permission from the photographer or artist. Luckily, there are more and more photographers or art creators who are willing to share their work on the web.

Here are just a few websites offering thousands of free images for people to use even for commercial purposes:

Creative Commons (

Creative Commons allows the creator to "retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work." You can use the images in CC as long as you give the author credit.


Flickr hosts millions of images that are licensed under a Creative Commons license or are in the public domain. With, you simply enter the URL of the Flickr picture page you are interested in and will generate the ready-to-use HTML code. It will also display a brief and easy license summary, so you don't get in legal trouble.

Free photos in public domain:

Pixabay ( – This site has over 1.1 million free images and videos shared by the community.

Pexels ( – All photos on Pexels are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. They are free for any personal and commercial purpose.

Morguefile: ( Over 350,000 free stock photos for commercial use.

National Gallery of Art ( NGA Images is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images..

New York Public Library Public Domain Collection (

There are more than 180,000 items in the NYPL digital collection that are in the public domain. That means everyone can enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways. The Library now makes it possible to download such items in the highest resolution available directly from the Digital Collections website.

Public Domain Collection
   Explore what's in the Public Domain Collection using its visualization tool

If you can't find images in the above websites and want to create your own, the following websites can  help you create professional images:





Here is the link to the PowerPoint presentation that helped me write this article:

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