Finding Images for Your Social Media Accounts – Where to Look, and Where NOT to Look!
Your lovely new social media accounts need some fancy, eye-catching images, so where do you turn?
I know, it can be tempting to just hit up good old Google. After all, you can almost always find the picture you’re looking for when you use a powerful search engine! And Google is so easy to access, it’s free, and it has that handy “images” tab…
Don’t Do It!!
Stop right there. Don’t do it! No, really. Do NOT use Google to find your images for your social media or your blog. It might seem like a cheap, easy solution, but it’s not.
Here’s the thing. Someone owns that image you just found on Google search, and that someone may not take kindly to your use of their image. While it seems like such an insignificant thing, there are lots of people who either don’t know that their photos are floating around in cyberspace or who have maliciously put their photos up and then wait for the innocent and unsuspecting blogger to use that photo.
What happens next can cost thousands of dollars. These unhappy photographers are likely to sue you and no one has the time or the money for that!
Learn from These Bloggers
Chrystie, a sweet blogger over at Living for Naptime, tells her story here about how her Google search shortcut in search of a photo of green peppers cost her over $7000.
Roni is another blogger who ended up having to completely revamp her website and spent months dealing with a lawsuit she couldn’t afford. She tells her story here on the She Knows blog. Roni’s article has a lot of great information about copyright infringement and how to stay safe while using photos online.
Where Do You Find Photos, Then?
Ideally, you should learn to take your own photos, but I get that not everyone has the time for that! For those times when you can’t do your own photography, there are many photographers who freely upload their images under the Creative Commons License, which means they are allowing their photos to be used for free so long as you give them credit and link back to their site.
Another option is a membership to a stock photo site. Shutterstock is one highly reputable site, but they can be way too expensive for most bloggers. Pixabay is an excellent free stock photo site with a broad range of photos.
I also use Hautestock for beautiful, feminine flat lays, mockups, and lifestyle images that are perfect for social media.
StoryBlocks (formerly GraphicStock) is another excellent choice with a reasonably priced yearly membership.
Canva also has many stock photos. Many of them are free, and Canva provides thousands more for as little as a dollar each! Canva is a great tool for putting your images together and branding them. That leads to another point – always brand your own images so they don’t get stolen!!
Another great tool for image creation and branding is Picmonkey.
What is your favorite source for photos? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!