I have sat through FAR TOO MANY presentations recently that have had PowerPoint presentations with images that look like they have been ripped off Google Images. And read even more blogs with images that looked like they have come directly from the same place.
I’d just like to remind you that taking images without permission from Google Images, or anywhere else on the internet IS ILLEGAL. And yes, people have been fined. A mate was telling me recently he was fined $5,000 by Getty Images for using a pic he hadn’t paid for. And this American blogger was fined even more.
Given how many royalty free image libraries there are, there is really no excuse. You can get great quality images for free – legally! – or for a small cost. I’ve listed a few below:
• Shutterstock – paid – but free if you’re a member of the Professional Speakers Association
• Unsplash – many truly stunning free images
• Pixabay – free
• iStock – paid (an annual subscription is the best value)
• The New York Public Library has a fantastic free collection but the search function isn’t great
• The British Library has just made over 1 million images available via Flickr
If you need some support to make gorgeous images for social media posts, blogs or presentations, and are on a budget, check out a tool such as Canva or Easil. Canva and Easil are also connected to royalty free image libraries with free and paid images. One of the things I love most about Canva and Easil is that they are both Australian. Canva also has a phone app (only iOS at this stage). Other smartphone apps include Wordswag and A Beautiful Mess, for creating quick images on the go (such as for Instagram) – you can use your images or their images.
Obviously, the best way to ensure you don’t end up in any image stoushes is to take and use your own photos – as I have with the image in this post. And with the high quality images available by merely using your smartphone, you really have no reason to nick a pic someone else took.