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A good presentation can be made even better by choosing unique and relevant images, and using them in creative ways. Instead of resorting to stock images of “business people” for your next presentation, check out some of these resources to find photos that grab attention and enhance the visual impact of your content.

Flickr: In terms of the sheer volume and variety of images available, Flickr is easily the best image resource on the internet. And even better, many Flickr images are available under a Creative Commons license, which means that images can be used entirely free, and in many cases, images can be altered to fit the user’s requirements. The database is extensive, but is fully searchable.

Gratisography: One of the best places to find unusual images composed and created by a professional photographer, including superb shots of nature and wildlife, people, places, and objects. All images are high resolution and can be downloaded for free, with no attribution required (although the owner of the images, Ryan McGuire, states that attribution is appreciated).

New Old Stock: Sometimes, modern photos aren’t quite right, and if it’s vintage images you need, New Old Stock is the ideal place to find them. All images are free and derived from public domain sources.

Photl: A searchable database of more than half a million photos, all provided free of charge, with no attribution required, although high resolution versions are available for a small fee. There’s a wide variety of images available, including generic stock photos as well as more unusual images. Free users are limited to total downloads of twenty megabytes per day.

Public Domain Archive: This site has an excellent range of images, and as they’re all in the public domain, their use is entirely unrestricted. All images can be downloaded and used free of charge without attribution, and can be modified in any way.

Using and Attributing Free Images

There are so many places to easily find good quality images, there’s no need to risk breaching a photographer’s copyright by using their content without permission. And while it’s easy to breach copyright if you don’t know the correct way to provide attribution to the owner of a photograph, it’s just as easy to learn what the correct procedure is.

There’s really only one rule for using images: first and foremost, any instructions that artists provide for using their work should be followed to the letter, including obtaining specific permission when it’s required.

Many photographers will actually provide potential content users with details on the correct way to give credit for their work. On Flickr, for example, photo uploaders specify how they want people to credit their work, and all that’s required is to link the to photographer’s work and the license under which they provide it.

And finally, if you find an image you want to use, but you can’t find out who it belongs to, or don’t get permission to use it, then don’t use it.