Free photos – it’s way easier than you think to find and use them

Many of us find ourselves developing PowerPoint presentations, creating teaching & learning materials, and writing content for our blogs. Typically we grab photos from Google images, and then paste the images into their intended destination.  And we do this without concern about copyright, nor sourcing the image.  What? That can’t be.  We generally source written content and teach our students to do the same, but we’re much more lackadaisical when it comes to photos.

Technology is helping us to find and use open source images for all types of use.  This means you can use the images without worrying about copyright infringement so long as you follow the attribution guidelines.  Below are some sources that you might consider using in the future.

Captioning Photos

When you insert those photos, be sure to describe what is going on.  This supports UDL Principle for Representation: 1.2 Offer alternatives for for visual information

Check out this poster created by the Center on Technology and Disability regarding alt text requirements for 5 different image types including informative, functional, decorative, complex, and image of text.

Photo Sources

The following two sources were found at Ontario Extend’s Curator module for Visual Interest

    • this website is super simple and is my favourite
    • free images for commercial and non-commercial use
    • attributing credit is a nice thing to do, but not mandatory
Unsplash homepage Free photos
  • Creative Commons Search
    • This site is like a one-stop platform or a gateway for all open resource images.  I find it a little cluttered as compared to Unsplash, but you get more options like video and sound.
    • Select a resource e.g., Google, Flickr, YouTube, and SoundCloud
Image of the Creative Commons' search page
Creative Commons’ search page

I also follow where I few other resources that might interest you.  There is an article that lists and describes the following three sources for images, videos, and vector files.

Pexels homepage Free stock images


Pixabay homepage Free stock photos, vectors, and art illustrations homepage Free vectors, PSD, icons, and photos





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