Trying to find the right photo for your latest flyer or blog post can be tricky, and many of us head to Google and “borrow” one of the images that appear in a quick search. What you might or might not know is that using those images might just be illegal.

That’s right – illegal.

What’s more, if you pick an image that belongs to someone else and use it without permission, then you could find yourself on the receiving end of quite a hefty fine for copyright theft.

There’s an easy way avoiding copyright theft: get permission! This might mean paying for the rights to reproduce the image, getting written consent from the copyright owner, or making sure you use images which are released under a Creative Commons (CC0) license which allows you to use the image without accreditation. Always make sure to check the license – some licenses may allow you to use the image, but only if you include credits to the author.

But where can you find such images? These sites are some of our favourites:

1. Unsplash

Unsplash is a fantastic site with thousands of high-resolution images and a great search feature. Unsplash is one of our go-to sites when looking for free stock images. All the images are released under the Unsplash license, which allows you to use the images for free without accreditation (although crediting the author is always appreciated!)

www.unsplash.com

2. Pexels

Pexels provides high-quality, completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, meaning they can be used without crediting the author. Photos are tagged, meaning you can use the search feature to find the perfect photo.

www.pexels.com

3. Freely Photos

Freely Photos is a site full of faith-filled photos for churches and Christian organisations. All the photos are issued under the CC0 license, meaning you can do whatever you want with them.

www.freelyphotos.com

4. Creationswap

Creationswap provides a mix of free and paid-for graphics and media from church designers. The site contains everything from flyer templates to powerpoint slides to logo designs.

www.creationswap.com

5. StockSnap.io

StockSnap.io is full of high-resolution images, with new photos added weekly. All images are released under the CC0 license and can be searched using the search bar.

www.stocksnap.io

6. Lightstock

Lightstock is perfect for churches, offering a wide selection of “Cheesy-Free Christian Stock”. The site contains a vast range of images and videos (and vector graphics) which you can purchase at a very reasonable rate. Each week Lightstock release a free image and vector of the week – well worth keeping an eye out!

www.lightstock.com

7. YouVersion

The popular Bible App contains a clever feature where you can make your own Bible verse images. Check the copyright on the images, but if you’re looking for inspiring daily verses, this might be well worth a look.

www.youversion.com

8. Foodiesfeed

If you’re looking for excellent photos of food, perhaps for a breakfast meeting, coffee morning, or curry night, Foodiesfeed is packed full of yummy-looking photos of food, drinks and ingredients which will bring your next project to life.

www.foodiesfeed.com

9. PicJumbo

PicJumbo is a free stock photo site created in 2013 by designer & photographer Viktor Hanacek. There you’ll find a range of interesting photos which can be searched or browsed.

www.picjumbo.com

10. Negative Space

Negative Space is another site offering beautiful, high-resolution free stock photos under the CC0 license.

www.negativespace.co