Where to Get Free Images Online: Resource for Kids Entertainers

Every week that goes by is another seven days when kids entertainers get drawn into the digital world that no one can escape these days. Sometimes we need more than just photos of children laughing from the shows we perform. Here’s a resource that we think you will find invaluable over the coming years of your entertaining career.

Download the Free Image Sites Spreadsheet

With this list, searching for images that you may use for your kids entertainment website, social media pages, or promotional materials becomes hassle-free as you won’t need to worry about paying any fee and infringing on copyright.

The sites on the list are either public domain (the images are not protected by copyright so they may be freely used by anyone) or CC0 class image sites (the images have Creative Commons licensing with 0 class). According to Creative Commons, CC0 gives creators “a way to waive all their copyright and related rights in their works to the fullest extent allowed by law” so others may use their works without restriction. That means you can use the images in the CC0 sites anywhere you like–as opposed to paid stock images that you may be prohibited to use on social media. And the best part of it is you don’t need to pay for the CC0 images. Great, right?

A Word of Caution:
Some free image sites run ads from Google Adsense and paid stock photo sites. When looking for images, be sure you are using the search box of the free image site, and not from these programs or paid photo sites. Also make sure that the image you’ve downloaded is a CC0 or public domain one before using it.

The spreadsheet also contains a second tab. This second tab is a handy reference that tells you what some popular paid stock image sites allow and don’t allow.

As an added treat, we also created this short guide that can aid you when getting and using images online.

1. Read the licensing agreement.

If you decide to download an image from a paid stock image site, go over the licensing agreement first before making the purchase. It’s important to be informed about how and where you can use the image to avoid infringing on image copyright.

Here’s a fact: people have been charged $1,000 per copyright infringement. It has happened. Avoid this trouble by doing your due diligence and knowing the licensing agreement that the stock image site enforces.

2. Be aware of license restrictions.

There are instances when despite paying the licensing fee for photos, you need to edit or alter them before publishing them on your website. That means they should look different from the original images you’ve downloaded in some way—either through the addition of text, cropping, or other ways of modification. You may also be required to give proper attribution to the photographer or copyright owner.

Aside from this, some paid stock image sites also prohibit their images from being used in social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And here’s another restriction: you may not be allowed to use a photo of a person if your use would depict the person in a negative light. Again, be aware of the terms in the licensing agreement before downloading any image.

3. Do not copy images that appear in search results.

Found a photo you like on Google or Bing Image Search? Chances are you may not use it on your website. Images are like text content: unless they are in the public domain, you may not copy them from other websites and paste them on yours without permission from whoever owns the rights to them.

4. Respect trademarks and brands when they appear on images.

For images that feature products of a certain brand—even if you got the images for free—it is wise to put a line that states to whom the trademarks belong. Something as simple as “Apple, the Apple logo and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries” would work.

Download the Free Image Sites Spreadsheet

Observe these guidelines to avoid any headaches when downloading and using images online. And if you have other free image sites that you can recommend to fellow kids entertainers, feel free to share them in the comments below.