How to Use Flickr for Free Images

How to  use Flickr for free images for your blog.  Flickr has thousands of images available under the creative commons licenseUsing someone’s picture for use on your website is stealing. It is not only illegal, but ethically wrong. Unfortunately not everyone is an amazing photographer with years worth of photo’s to pull from.I love photography and for the most part can use my own images, but sometimes no matter how hard you search, you just don’t have the right image and don’t have time time to take something new. For those times I turn to Flickr.

Flickr is an online photo sharing platform that is used by thousands of people, many of whom mark their photo’s for commercial use under a creative common’s license. Based on the license marked by the photographer their images may be used for various purposes.  A detailed list of licensing can be located here.

The trick is making sure to always search under the right license and to provide proper attribution to the owner of the image.

To use Flickr you will need to create an account. I think that step is pretty self explanatory.

One you have created an account using the following steps to choose and download a useable image:

Using Flickr Creative Commons

1.  Run a search based on your photo needs.  You will often need to run multiple searches so be creative.  The searching function is only as good as the labels done by the photographers.

Using Flickr Creative Commons2.  Once you have run your search click on the Advanced Search features.  You will need to do steps 1 & 2 after each search.

Using Flickr Creative Commons3.  Personally I always choose “Commercial use and mods allowed”, I like to be able to make minor adjustments occasionally and don’t want to find the perfect image and then not be able to add writing or do other modifications.

Using Flickr Creative Commons4.  I know it sounds redundant, but always double check your licensing before moving forward.  Sometimes Flickr is finicky and I’ve had it revert back to regular search without my noticing.  Always, Always, Always double check.

Using Flickr Creative Commons5.  Download the smallest image you need for your purposes.  Since this is for web usage I typically download the small or medium sized images.

Using Flickr Creative Commons6.  I always write a quick thank you note to the photographer with a link to my blog post.  Personally I think any photographer wants to know their work is liked and appreciated.  I’m on a budget and don’t always have time to shot my own images, so I really appreciate people who share their work.

This is always a great opportunity to get a nice back-link to your site.  I have no idea how highly Google rates Flickr (particularly since it is owned by yahoo), but I’m assuming it doesn’t hurt.

7.  The last thing I do is to always include a photo credit link at the end of each blog post.

Photo Credit:  James Cridland