A Picture Says a Thousand Words — Free, High-Quality Photos for Your Nonprofit Communications

A Picture Says a Thousand Words -- Free, High-Quality Photos for Your Nonprofit CommunicationsPhotographs are a vital tool for engaging overloaded audiences. And when you’re publishing online — be it a blog, e-newsletter or Web site — it’s easy to cut and paste in just the right shot. Presentation skills experts emphasize the impact of photos too — ideally screen size with text overlaid, rather than those deadly text bullet points. Unfortunately, photos can be very expensive, and rights issues a mess to deal with.

My solution of late is Stock.xchng for no- or low-cost photos. Some photos have restrictions in terms of type of use (e.g. not in pornography) and requests to contact and/or credit the photographer. But with those few steps, there are thousands of great photos here, yours for the taking.

Flickr is another great resource. Lots of great photos with few restrictions.

Update
Nonprofit tech experts TechSoup has just released its list of free and low-cost photo sources.  I hold with Stock.xchng as my source of choice, but find some of these recommendations great for specialty images. Take a look at the Yellowstone National Park digital photo file for no-charge nature shots (just inlude the "NPS photo" credit) and Mayang’s Free Texture Library of over 3,000 images of walls, signage, fabrics, nature, stone, plants and more.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 24, 2006 in Graphic Design, Nonprofit Communications, Recommended Resources | 4 comments
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  • I love stock.xchg and use it all the time for presentations and on my blog. The quality of the photos is tremendous, and I can usually find exactly what I am looking for there. It’s not as hit or miss as Flickr, but that’s my other usual source of free photos too.

  • Stock Photos

    Stock Photos

    Animal / Wildlife stock photography Keywords: poppy,bud,flower,nature,bloom,blossom,flora,plant,close up,close-up,closeup,natural,

  • I’m not a big fan of flickr – there’s lots of good photos there, but they are buried amongst too much stuff I have no use for. Besides stock.xchng, I also really like morguefile
    http://www.morguefile.com/
    And http://www.thefreesite.com has bazillions of links to free photo sites, none of which I look at becaus stock and morgue are enough for my needs…

  • I love flickr! You just need to know who are the good photographers and how to search!
    Here’s a tutorial on how to use flickr
    http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2006/09/carnival_of_non.html

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