Content 101: Where to Find Photography for Your Blog

By: Eden Hensley; Photos by Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

There’s a saying: act now and ask for permission later. And in many cases, you might be ok. But, when it comes to using photography you find on the Internet reverse that thinking!

So where should you go for photography if you’re not yet a master behind the lens? You have a couple options.

Creative Commons

The least expensive choice is Creative Commons (CC).

But, depending on what you want to do, not all CC licenses will work. To find images you can use for commercial purposes, try CC search. Be sure to 1) select for commercial purposes and 2) check modify, adapt, or build upon. If you’re not doing sponsored content or accepting product reviews, you may not need to limit your search to for commercial purposes; but check with a lawyer to be sure.

All of the photographs taken at Alt Summit by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth are available for you to use. Go here for information about how to use these photographs and where to find them. Additionally, many of our sponsors set up photo booths and make those images available as well.

Stock Photography

Other affordable photography to consider is stock photography. Typically there are two types: royalty-free and rights-managed images.

Royalty-Free Images

Royalty-free images are sold for a flat rate. At iStock. By Getty Images, single credits cost $16 USD, and bundles of 3 credits run $33 USD. Depending on how many posts a week you’re publishing this adds up fast.

These images also come with the risk of finding images you’ve picked on other sites at the same time. The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) explains how images can become overexposed, like Julia who appeared on posters promoting Monroe College and in a Time Warner Cable campaign.

Rights-Managed Images

With rights-managed images fees vary. Size, circulation, duration of use, and where an image is being used affect cost. If you want to avoid an image appearing on another site, rights-managed images with full exclusivity could be a way to go.

For a blog, managing these types of images can become unwieldy as you need to remember when rights expire and need to be renewed or have the images removed from your site. At corbis, online image use for websites or email for three months starts at $45 and $558 for use on one social media platform.

Learn More about Photography Copyright

Using copyrighted photography incorrectly can end up costing you, whether you did so accidentally or willfully, a lot of money, from $750 to $150,000 per infringement. Check out this resource guide for photography copyright that Susan and William Brinson put together to learn more.