Teacher-authors / tech tips for writers / writers tips

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Free Images

I’m excited to join Raimey Gallant’s #AuthorToolbox monthly blog hop (third Wednesday of each month) with the theme of resources/learning for authors. Posts are related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful. We share our experiences as it relates to these topics. Interviews are also permitted as long as they provide valuable knowledge for authors (i.e. advice.) Straight book reviews are not permitted unless they are reviews of books about writing/publishing/etc.

This month: For Teacher-Authors–Online Legal Photos

A question I get a lot from readers is where to go for free images. Photo sites — especially for teachers — are often too sparse or poorly vetted. And — while we’re on the subject of online images — it needs to be easier to add citations because otherwise, everyone will just skip that step.

Photos for Class, brought to you by the folks at Storyboard That (a premier digital storytelling site that quickly and easily enables users to mix avatars, backgrounds, and talk bubbles to tell a story–like your latest book in comic form) does all of these. Whether you’re a teacher with a class or a teacher-author, you’ll like that it uses proprietary filters to search millions of Creative Commons-licensed photos from the Library of Congress, the British Royal Archives, and Flikr’s safe-search setting to curate a G-rated collection of topical photos in seconds.  There is no log-in, no registration, no fee or premium plan, and a zero learning curve. All you need to know is how to use a search bar and a download button.

Here’s how it works: Go to the Photos for Class website, search your topic:

…and then download the selected photo. Each downloaded photo includes an attribution and license detail.

Note: Photos can be saved with a right-click but that won’t include attribution. You have to add that yourself if needed.

There is no charge, no delay, and lots of choices.

In addition to photos, the site offers suggestions on citing and filtering photos, and a list of the top 250 searches.

Writing applications

This is a great source of high-quality free photos for your book marketing, your blog, or any other place you need pictures for your writing. It’s not as large as Pixabay but focuses on G-rated and kid-friendly. The thumbnails are big and bright. The search bar is prominent, and the results are fast.


More about online images:

Tech Tips for Writers #123: Quick Search for Plagiarized Images

5 Image Apps

What Online Images are Free?

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home, Fall 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

56 thoughts on “#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Free Images

  1. Pingback: #AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Great Internet Shortkeys | WordDreams...

  2. As an author I am always looking for places to get photos for book covers. I have heard pixabay is good for free images, but you have to be careful for ones with people in them. Even if they say free for commercial use, it doesn’t always mean the models gave permission. So scary out there in the world of legal stuff.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, Sarah. Most people don’t think about that. I teach an online class about digital citizenship with lots of info about the legalities of using online media. I’d say about 90% of my students are shocked by the truths!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for these suggestions (and your post back in 2012). I often am looking for photos for presentations and for blogging. While I have a large selection of digital photos I’ve taken over the past 15 years, and subscribe to a few paid sights, I have found that the free “creative common” sights are a plus. I often use “visualhunt.com”. Sometimes, even google is nice to get an idea (google the theme) and then go to my own back of photos. I wish I had those 30+ years of film digitalized.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Since our discussion several years ago, I’ve tried to be very careful about choosing public domain images and always citing attribution. But this info is really helpful, everything in one neat package.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is an outlier. That’s why I wanted to share it.

      I’m reading your book, Cusp of Night. It’s interfering with my writing (meaning I’m having trouble putting it down when I should). Shoot. Great book so far!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh, so glad to hear that! Er, not the interfering with your writing part.

        And I just saw my previous comment. That was supposed to be stock photography sites. Don’t ask me where sick came from, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! This is brand new to me, Jacqui—wish I knew about it during my teaching days. I’m going to play around with this. (A new shiny toy for Pete.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Storyboard That is a great outlet for creating comics but also images with pieces they supply–personalized to your needs. I use it for memes if I want to take the time to create my own.


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