3 Favorite Photo Sources for Presenting

flickr photo 3787704589 courtesy ‘virgirm’

Finding the right photo to express your message can be a challenge. If you avoid using photos because you don’t know where to find them, this will help.

My 3 Favorite Photo Sources for Presenting


PHOTO SOURCE #3: iStockphoto

  • Inventory: Professional and plentiful
  • Cost: Low to Medium
  • Benefits: Fantastic search capabilities
  • Caution: Lots of posed, overused, cliche images

I tend to go to iStockphoto when after I’ve exhausted my other searches. I know I can find a high quality photo, but I prefer the more candid and casual shot, and these are more posed and sometimes overused.

The search capabilities are unmatched, however. You can search on orientation, content, color, whether or not there are people…you name it!

Hint: Stay clear of the images with the ‘fire’ icon – it indicates downloads – if you want unique you want a less popular image!

PHOTO SOURCE #2: stock.xchng

  • Inventory: Amateur and Unpredictable
  • Cost: Free
  • Benefits: Free, a brother/sister site of iStockphoto
  • Caution: Read the usage restrictions for each photo!

Often this is the site I go to when I’m trying to fine-tune my requirements. I do a quick search here and see what appears. These photos are less professional, but sometimes that’s just what is needed.

Hint: Try the ‘Randomizer’ tab to discover images you may never come across using search.

PHOTO SOURCE #1: creative commons on flickr

  • Inventory: Amateur, Professional, Creative!
  • Cost: Free
  • Benefits: Free, authentic / candid, unique
  • Caution: Know your Creative Commons guidelines

This is my number 1 source for authentic, real, candid, creative, and unique images. Often these are better quality and more artistic than the iStockphoto images. What I love most about flickr creative commons is that I am able to support and promote photographers through attribution.

Though the images are my favorite, I often have to spend time exploring to find just the right one. Though there is advanced search, you are at the mercy of the community to tag the images. I do find, however, that the time is well spent.

Photo Search Tip

There are endless sources for images. I work with these three 80% of the time because they have provided me with results. The reason I limit my search, and a caution to you – it is easy to get ‘lost’ in searching for and viewing photos. The images are compelling and an hour or more can slip away before you know it. Set boundaries for yourself. Limit the number of sites and/or the time you will spend searching.