Most of the time I take my own photos for my blog.  Usually I write about a recipe I’ve made or a craft project I’ve whipped up and just snap pictures as I’m going along.  If it’s a subject that doesn’t have a project involved, then I often go to my favorite photo editing site, PicMonkey, and just create a graphic of some sort.  I suspect that’s the case for many other bloggers as well.

BUT – from time to time, I have a situation where I would just like to be able to find a nice photo online somewhere that fits what I’m writing about and use that in my blog post. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in that situation too.

For me, that’s often where the confusion begins.  I try to do my diligent best and research what exactly all those image licensing terms mean, but STILL feel like I don’t have a good understanding.  I might go to a popular site like Flickr and still feel somewhat unsure of how to interpret a certain photo’s Creative Commons use, or attribution, or Non-Derivative licensing.

So that’s when, in the course of my image licensing research, I came across some info on public domain images and that sounded a little easier to understand and use.

How to find free public domain images for your blog

What is the Public Domain?

Creative works that are in the public domain are defined as works for which the copyright has expired or a copyright never existed in the first place.  Many works in the public domain are older, however new items can be in the public domain as well.  This Wikipedia article states that “For a creator to release his or her works into the public domain legally, they must use the creative commons license which gives creators a way to waive all their copyright and related rights in their works to the fullest extent allowed under law.”  So you are able to find some newer and nicer stuff in the public domain too as many photographers are willing to simply donate their photographs and release their work into the public domain.

Because works, such as photo images, that are in the public domain have no copyright restrictions, they are almost always free and available to use and alter as you wish without the need of credit or attribution to the author, and in many cases the creator of the image is not even known.

Can You Find Nice Public Domain Images?

So naturally the next question that comes to mind is, can you find any images worth using in the public domain?  I was pleasantly surprised to find a few places online that did indeed have a pretty good selection to choose from. Here are four sites to check out:

1.  Public Domain Pictures

How to find free public domain pictures for your blog

PublicDomainPictures.net was my favorite of the sites I checked out and has a lot of nice photos from which to choose.  The search method is user friendly and downloading an image is as easy as clicking to enlarge it and then right clicking to do a “save as”.  I’ve checked out several of the photos on this site and they are very nice quality and have all shown the license as “public domain” .   In fact all the photos in the collage graphic at the beginning of this post were from this site.  Be alert, however that the site also shows additional photo options that are from Shutterstock that are not free.

2.  My Public Domain Pictures

How to find free public domain pictures for your blog

MyPublicDomainPictures.com is another site with some good photo options to choose from.  You can check out their “About ” page which states that “All personal pictures taken by our members are being released into the public domain”.

3.  Public-Domain-Photos

How to find free public domain pictures for your blog

The Public-Domain-Photos.com site states that it has 5,000 free photos and 8,000 free cliparts to search through, all in the public domain.  There’s a good variety on this site too and you may be able to find what you’re looking for.

4.  Photos Public Domain

How to find free public domain pictures for your blog

And finally, the Photos-Public-Domain.com site is another one to check out that has photos that have been released into the public domain and may be yet another possibility for finding a photo that fits your purposes

So those are a few sites that may be new to you (they were all new to me!) that can be a good source of free photos for your blog posts and can provide some additional options to always taking your own photos.

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Improve Your Blog Photos With Vinyl Backdrops – replay photos

I”ll be the first to admit that I’m not a professional photographer.  I do my best to take nice blog photos, but I also feel like something of an amateur when it comes to good photography. And some days when I’m on Pinterest I start feeling like even more of an amateur!  What to do?

Well I try to always keep learning more about how to improve my blog photos, but having the right tools helps a lot too.  That’s why I decided that adding some vinyl photography backgrounds to my arsenal of photo tools might be a good plan.   I read a positive review of these a few months back saying they were easy to store (they roll up), they don’t wrinkle (they’re vinyl), and they’re great for food photography (you can easily wipe up wet spots and accidental spills).  Plus they look great in photos too!

Using vinyl backdrops for blogging photography

Not having to worry about wet spots and spills sounded great because one of my most used strategies has been to prop up a couple pieces of posterboard and then pin a roll of gift wrap to it that has a plain tan reverse side.  This has made a pretty good backdrop but a paper surface isn’t quite as durable and is more prone to wrinkles and spots.  Here’s a picture of that setup, and how a finalized photo on that backdrop looks.

Blogging photograph backgrounds

But now I have my new vinyls and have already found them to be quite practical and useful. {I easily wiped up my first spill}. I ordered my vinyl backdrops from the Swanky Prints Etsy Shop and chose a 3 pack in the 2 ft by 2 ft size.  This particular Etsy shop has lots of different sizes and combination of products available.  They also offer a 20% off code to new customers.  (I don’t have any affiliation with this Etsy shop – I just like their products!).

Here’s my first time giving them a try for a make your own spice blend post on my other blog. . . .

Examples of using vinyl photography backdrops

So if you’re looking for a new way to improve your blog photos,  you might want to consider trying some of these background vinyls. Not only are they attractive, they’re practical and durable too.

Need some more inspiration for blog photo backgrounds?  Check out these links with great DIY ideas for better photos:

1.  Create your own backgrounds for your pics

Includes 7 ideas for creative homemade backgrounds using paint and everyday items like glue, salt, and paper doilies.

2.  DIY backdrop from wooden pallets

A pretty impressive little homemade photo studio made from wooden pallets.

3.  10 household items that can improve your food photography

See how every day items like cookie sheets and parchment paper can be used to give a boost to your blog photos.

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