Finding images for your site is tough, right? Stock photography is, without question, expensive. Especially for those of us running small-time blogs that generate little-to-no revenue. Taking images from Google Image Search is easy, sure– but, also kind of actually illegal to do.
So, what’s the alternative?
Last week, Getty Images announced the ability for people to now embed some of their massive stock library, at no cost, on personal websites, blogs, and social media platforms. Getting Getty Images free, in my opinion, is a huge deal, but, does come with some drawbacks, because of course it does.
First, Getty isn’t exactly releasing its entire inventory to the general public. In fact, it’s a relatively small number of images that are being made available through the embed feature (beggars can’t be choosy). To find these images, bookmark this page. There’s a small link on the bottom of the left column that will take you to a filtered search page, designed to look only for free embeddable images (although, I’ve found, even that isn’t completely limited to embed images). This is the best method to start your search, as, at least from what I’ve seen, there’s no clear “embed” filter available within the advanced search features of the site.
Once you’ve found the perfect photo, hover over it. If you see an image that looks like this: <>, it’s yours to embed.
Again, the full Getty Images library is not available for embedding, but there is a decent selection from what I’ve seen.
What concerns me about using this for blogs, for instance, is that there’s no guarantee for longevity of this program. Getty Images could decide to pull embeds at any time in the future; if you lose images from older posts, you’d be forced to either go back & update, or be stuck with broken image links. Neither situation is ideal. Hopefully, even if the embed feature goes away at some point, Getty won’t kill old embedded images.
Acquiring some of the great stock photography on Getty Images, free, in my opinion is sometimes worth the risk of losing this in the future. However, I wouldn’t rely on it 100% for now. That’s just too much to potentially have to go back & change in the future. What about you?