This means images you find cannot be used in your courses without the photographer’s permission. There is the potential that you could get a “notice and take-down” letter. A good idea is to only use images that are copyright-free–especially if you make presentations that will be viewed outside your classroom and may be shared online.

Fortunately, there are a number of resources for professional quality, copyright-free images.
Here are our top 10 favorites:

  1. pexels.com (free photos and videos)

    A truly incredible resource for free-to-use professional-quality photos and videos from artists around the globe. In theory, this site also includes content from unsplash and pixabay. When you find an image you’d like to download, it is yours for free without signing up for anything. Usually, the photographer will have a donation link where you can donate a dollar or two if you are inclined. You can use and modify the images for free for both commercial and personal use without attribution. VISIT: pexels.com 

  2. unsplash.com (free photos)

    Great site with professional-quality free photos. You can do a search, or the images are also broken into topics like current events, architecture, and health if you would like to browse. VISIT: unsplash.com

  3. pixabay.com (free photos, illustrations, and videos)

    This is a smaller site for photos but is particularly useful if you need illustrations or vectors.  VISIT: pixabay.com

  4. Gettyimages.com (free to link photos and graphics)

    This is one of the best resources for educators out there. It gives you the ability to embed any Getty image for your “non-commercial website or blog,” aka your Blackboard course. You don’t download the image, but instead, you use an embed code, and the image will be hosted from the Getty website–much like when you embed a YouTube video. All images will retain the Getty watermark and link back to the Getty Images site.  VISIT: How to embed images at Gettyimages.com

  5. VectorStock.com (graphics and illustrations, for a few dollars per download)

    This is the web’s largest resource for illustrations that you can modify using a drawing app like illustrator. If you are looking for a chart template or graphics to for your course it is likely worth a dollar or two for the download. There are a few thousand free illustrations, but over 14 million for around a dollar. You do not need graphics software to use the files. Each download also comes with a .gif versions you can just add into a PowerPoint. VISIT: VectorStock.com

  6. ReShot.com (free photos)

    ReShot prides themselves to be the place for high-quality, high-resolution stock photos that don’t look like stock photos. Great for finding shots of people out in the world doing real activities. VISIT: ReShot.com

  7. StockSnap.io (free photos and illustrations)

    StockSnap.io has beautiful, free stock photos and high-resolution images all released under creative commons public domain – no attribution required.  VISIT: StockSnap.io

  8. FoodiesFeed.com (free food and restaurant photos)

    This site is dedicated to all things food, so you’re in luck if that is what you seek. VISIT: FoodiesFeed.com

  9. New Old Stock (archive of free vintage photos)

    A nice collection of vintage photos from around the world. VISIT: New Old Stock

  10. Wikimedia Commons (free photos, images, videos, and sounds)

    This is one of the internet’s largest resources for all things media. It is a tremendous resource for vintage stock and also current events. While the search feature can be difficult, if you are looking for a very specific image (such a model of a plane, a famous building, or artwork) that is not likely to be a “stock photo,” then Wikimedia may be a good option.  VISIT: Wikimedia Commons