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Not all images you find on the Internet are free to use. However, some have licences that detail how you may use them. Others require only that you pay a small fee or email to ask for permission. Before using an image, be sure to check the copyright limitations or permissions for use.

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Free stock photos

These sites offer access to free images. Some have specific licenses that tell you what you can and cannot do with the images (for example, deconstruct, use for commercial purposes, etc.) Some require that you ask permission of the creator first. Check the information for the individual photo that you want to use.

  • freeimages: "freeimages" includes licenses that specify how you may use the image and who to contact for permission, if needed. Not all images are created by professionals but images are of good quality and the site is easy to use.
  • Creative Commons–licensed sites: Creative Commons lists websites that offer free images for your use. Each image has a specific license. Check the license for usage details.
  • Creative-Commons licensed photos on Flickr: Flickr is a free, photo-sharing website. This webpage lists photos that have licenses that specify usage rights. Photos can be submitted by anyone so not all have been taken by professionals.
  • Open Photo: Easy to use website that offers photos that are free to use. Licenses for each photo specify usage rights.
  • EBSCOhost SMART Imagebase (Scientific and Medical ART Imagebase): A collection of 10,000+ high quality illustrations and animations depicting anatomy, physiology, surgery, diseases, conditions, trauma, embryology, histology, and many other topics. To access, go to the Magazines and Journals webpage.

Royalty-free, low cost stock photo websites

These are sites that allow you to purchase images cheaply. You can then use these images in your own projects. Some require you to create a login (free) and purchase using a credit system. Many sites offer photos for as cheap as one or two dollars each.

  • Big Stock Photo: Over 1 million professional quality stock photos for purchase for one to two dollars U.S. each.
  • Dreamstime: Over 1 million professional quality stock photos for purchase for one to three dollars U.S. each.
  • Fotolia: Over 2 million professional quality stock photos priced from one to three dollars U.S. each.
  • iStockphoto: Over 1 million professional quality stock photos, images and videos priced according to resolution.
  • Shutterstock: Over 2 million professional quality images available by subscription.
  • FreeImages: Large variety of professional quality photos and images priced according to resolution.

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Citing Images