Do you want to add beautiful photos to every blog post, without paying a cent and without infringing anyone’s copyright?
Creative Commons and Flickr make it easy to find photos as good as you will see anywhere – for free. If you pay attention to the license terms and chose only the By Attribution license, you can use these pictures in commercial, for profit sites and projects, you can crop or alter them, you can do just about anything you want – as long as you give the photographer credit for the picture.
There are several other types of Creative Commons licenses, but if you stick to the By Attribution only licenses, you are sure to stay out of trouble.
Begin by going to Flickr’s Creative Commons by Attribution license section.
Once there, enter a search term. It can be as broad and nebulous as “snow” or as specific as “Pere-Lachaise.”
To speed your search for the very best photos, use this technique I recently learned from Skelliwag.org: On the results page, look for a small link at the top called “Most interesting.” Click on it to re-order the results according to community votes of what are the most interesting photos.
Whether you want to create a mood or use an exact illustration, you should be able to find the perfect picture for your post within a minute or two. In fact, the difficulty will be in resisting the temptaion to just look at a few more pictures, and then a few more, and then just one more page…
Remember to credit the photographer by name. It’s also good form to use a link back to both the Creative Commons license and the photographer’s Flickr stream.