Editor's Note:You MUST follow the terms the copyright owner specifies.

Photo Download Sites

Most sites contain in their Terms of Use prohibitions against direct linking, redistributing images in collections, and offensive use. Except where noted, download is by right-click.


Very large selection of low-res photos. Category index and keyword search. Occasional classroom use, with credit, is permitted free, but use on tuition-charging educational websites, including distance learning (DL) sites, is subject to charge at nonprofit/charity” rates. Students may use photos in their schoolwork for free, with credit.


Very large selection of high-res photos. Category index and keyword search; download after login. Some have Photoshop images with clipping paths available on request from the artist. Broad permissions for any but commercial resale use. You have to sign up and provide personal info, some of which (name & location) appears on a profile.


Large selection of low-res photos. Category index and keyword search. Use in “homework and teaching aids” is free, and this includes (I verified this by emailing them) use on password-protected DL sites. Other web-based noncommercial use requires a linkback on the home page.


Medium-size (~2500 image) collection of high-res, high-quality “stock” photos of objects. “Presentation Background” category is formatted for PowerPoint. Category index and keyword search; right-click download. Collections marked with (M) require member password. Require a linkback, and subscription to an e-mail list.


Large selection, good quality, high resolution. Category index and keyword search; download as jpg or zip file. Each photo is accompanied by detailed info about the photographer, including a contact link. Terms are kind of hard to find (one link at the bottom of the home page) but usage permissions are very broad. They do include very specific restrictions on objectionable use, including, for instance, that you can’t use the images in any material related to drugs unless it is anti-drug in intent.

Has an obnoxious ad banner with sound, so mute your speaker if you’re browsing in a meeting.


Not free but cheap; price increases with resolution. Very high quality, over 1.5 million images and clips. Search by keyword. Lots of podcast-size video clips for $5 and Flash animations for $1. You have to sign up, get a password, and agree to terms of use, which are quite broad (only resale and obscene use are prohibited).


Yotophoto is a search engine that catalogs various “copyleft” image collection sites. Very useful, and each image has a direct link to its terms of use.


A limited but interesting collection of low-res photos including many antiquities and architectural features. Category index, but no search. Images already have a credit at the bottom, which you are allowed to crop out provided you include the information reasonably close by.


My personal fave, because of their extensive tagging and because you can restrict your search to Creative Commons materials. Search by tags; most available for download in a variety of sizes. You have to sign up and get a password.


Large collection of photos, most available in high-res format. Search by keyword. Many artists ask that you let them know if you’re using their work. No wholesale downloading, resale, or offensive use.


Large collection of high-res images, and they offer to find specialty images for you. Search by keyword. Completely free: the only restriction is on resale and mass distribution. Credit is appreciated but not required. You must create an account and choose a password in order to download. Photos have a link with the photographer’s name. Use in DL sites is specifically allowed per an email to me.


beyond google image search

mel johansson