Free Images for your Marketing

bee pollen

Great marketing needs great images. Whether you are creating a website, brochure, business card or banner, a lot of times you want that perfect image — and you may not want to pay for it through a traditional stock photography resource. And you know that it’s illegal to simply ‘steal’ an image from the internet.

Google Images now has a great filter tool to help you find the perfect image that you can legally use… for free!

We searched for bees and found these results.


The tool searches images that are labeled with “Creative Commons” usage rights. But Google warns, “Before reusing content that you’ve found, you should verify that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse stated in the license. For example, most licenses require that you give credit to the image creator when reusing an image. Google has no way of knowing whether the license is legitimate, so we aren’t making any representation that the content is actually or lawfully licensed.”

What this means is that once you find that perfect image, you should seek the original source and verify that you can use it as intended. Often times, that might mean adding a © and the photographer’s name on or near the photo. The image owner may have other preferences.

sizeWhile hunting through Google Images, be sure to use the Size tool. The drop down lets you filter various images, or specify an exact dimension. Remember that for anything you print, you should use images that are at least 300 dots-per-inch. So let’s do the math… If you need to print an image 10 inches wide, the source image should be at least 3000 pixels wide, plus any needed margin for crop or bleed.

If Google Images doesn’t do it for you, look for free images over at which is a sister company of iStock has lots of amazing pics that range from a few bucks to a few hundred. But ALL of the images on SXC are free, though some require attribution and / or photographer consent.