Remember that images are copyrighted, just as text and music are. You cannot reproduce an image without permission from the copyright holder.

  • Do not assume that images on the web are copyright-free and in the public domain.
  • Often the copyright owner is the person who created the image, but not always. Even though an artist may no longer be living, another person may hold the copyright to images he or she may have created.
  • Publications that may have reproduced an image do not hold the copyright to the image, so if the copyright for a particular publication has expired, that does not mean that the image reproduced within is in the public domain.

How to Use Images Online

Just because you found an image online doesn’t mean you can reuse it! Copyrighted images require the permission of the copyright owner. It’s much simpler to use copyright-free images, or images offered under a Creative Commons license. The resources below can help you find copyright-free images to use.

Copyright Free Images

  • Pixabay: Stock images uploaded into the Public Domain.
  • nappy: “Beautiful, high-res photos of black and brown people. For free.”
    Licensed under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
  • Pexels: “The best free stock photos shared by talented photographers.”
    License Information
  • Open Peeps: Hand-drawn illustration library.
    • Free for commercial and personal use under CCO License
  • WOCin Tech Chat: Stock photos of women of color in tech, now free to use.
    Available under a CC-Attribution license.
  • Images of Empowerment: “Free library of images celebrating women’s lives and their work in 11 countries around the world.”
    • Available under a CC-Attribution, no commercial license.
  • Free to Use and Reuse Sets from the Library of Congress: Items from the Library of Congress digital collections that is either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use.
  • Plus Size Stock Photos: These photos are available for all uses and feature plus-size people at home. From looking at their phones in bed to having a glass of wine with friends, this collection is powerful because the emphasis is on what the models are doing, not how big they are while they’re doing it.
  • Disabled and Here Collection: Disability-led effort to provide free and inclusive stock photos shot from our own perspective, featuring disabled BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) across the Pacific Northwest.