We know a picture is worth 1,000 words which is why finding the right image to represent your blog post or marketing effort is often so time consuming. This is even truer if you want to be legal—and who of us involved in selling our own digital media doesn't want to be respectful of other rights holders?
You have two choices: buy images from a stock photo marketplace like iStockphoto, or spend an inordinate amount of time poking around Creative Commons licenses on Flikr.
Photo Pin is Fun, Free and Fast
I've been using Photo Pin for about a month now and I find it to be the best tool of its kind. Prior to this I'd tried Google Images, Flickr/Creative Commons and Compfight. Compfight, designed to help find copyright-free images on Flickr (when you remember to click the filter), was a big disappointment despite its mission. Searches seem to begin with copyright-free results but are soon infiltrated with images that have licensing restrictions.
Here's how Photo Pin works:
Image gallery: Instead of a bunch of different sized images you get a neatly arranged gallery. You don't need to keep clicking “next page” when you get to the bottom either. Scroll to the bottom, pause, and it loads up another batch of photos. It works just like Linkedin does when you are looking for new connections.
Preview: mouse over the preview button and an image preview pops-up. On Compfight you need to click each image to see a larger version.
Image Sizes: Photo Pin shows me 8 and 9 sizes to choose from. Compfight shows me 4. I used to have to grab an image and resize it, yet another step.
Attribution: simply copy and paste the code that comes with each image. (Compfight offers this now too, which I believe is a new feature.)
What do you use as a source for free (legal) images?
Image: Photo Pin home page