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How To Find Images For your Website – Without Getting Sued

There’s no doubt about it, images are a great way of adding a bit of visual stimulation to your content. 

They help to break up that great wall of text on your page and will encourage your visitors to stick around.

As you’re here looking for places to find pictures, you obviously know all of this so I won’t bore you with 101 reasons why you should be using them (lucky you).  

So that begs the question, where do you find them?

“Can I use Images From Google?” Heck No!

Absolutely not, let me say that again…No!

Not unless you want to be sent to prison for twenty years.

Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but if you use pictures from the Internet for personal or commercial use on a public website, you’ll certainly land yourself and your business in hot water and could end up being sued for thousands of dollars, pounds or euros (delete as appropriate).

On top of that, if the owner of the image reports you to Google or other search engines like Bing and Yahoo, they’ll remove your website from the search results and you won’t have any chance of ranking in the future.

Free Image Sites, They’re Okay Right?

There’s plenty of websites out there offering free images for personal and even commercial use.

Here are a few of the most popular ones;

  • Stocksnap
  • Pixbay
  • Free images
  • Newoldstock
  • Unsplash

But just because they tell you that you can use them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually can, not legally anyway.

You see, the people who upload the images to these websites waive their right to any kind of copyright claims.

That’s all well and good, assuming that the person who uploaded the image is the original owner in the first place.

If not and the actual owner finds out, you could still find yourself facing a lawsuit if you’ve used the picture without their consent.

It’s worth reading the terms and conditions carefully of the website before downloading images because as you can see below, popular free image site Pixabay is absolving themselves of any responsibility should the worst happen.

Pixabay terms and conditions

A snippet of Pixabay’s terms and conditions

And guess who that leaves directly in the firing line should the worst happen?

Yep, YOU!

Whilst you could go your whole life using free images and never encounter a problem, there is always that risk, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Purchasing Images, The Safest Way

Sure, purchasing them may set you back a few dollars, but it’ll cost you a heck of a lot less than a lawsuit!

I’ve listed a few popular sites below and the good thing is, you’ll usually be covered by the company should someone take you to court for using an image without permission (always check the terms and conditions before using the website to make sure this is the case).

Don’t Forget That Phone In Your Pocket…

The best kind of images for your website are pictures of you.

Well, not just you, but it’s a great idea to have an image of you on your site as people like to know who they’re doing business with.

You could also upload pictures of staff, company vehicles and photos of previous work.

Again, all these are great trust building elements that could make all the difference when it comes to the customer picking up the phone or not.

It’s so easy these days with smartphones that are just as good, if not better than some digital cameras to take your own snaps.

Even if you don’t have one, I bet you know someone that does.

Over To You

If you have any questions about using images for your site or you’ve found a resource that’s a little bit different, I’d love to hear about in in the comments section below.

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