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Where Can I Quickly Find a Photo for Class?


We all like to use photos in our presentations. Finding ones that are open to the public is difficult and of course we want to model to our students the ethical use of web images.  Instead of giving you a huge list of sites you could try, why not search a bunch of great free photo sites all at once? 


For this, give StockSnap a try.  Enter the word or phrase for an image you're looking for and it'll search a bunch of photo sites for you.






However, in case you'd like to use's a brief animation on how to find images that are "Labeled for reuse" on the web:






Google's image search using "labeled for reuse" is fine (especially if you forget the StockSnap URL, but the choice of the images probably won't be as good. 



Frequent Commenter

While working on an OER Grant last year I found Flickr Pics, Vimeo and Wikimedia Pics all contain open resources that are searchable by media type and can be screened for CCBY citations that insure they are open to use. Quick instructions for each follow here:


Flickr hosts millions of Creative Commons-licensed images. Notably, Flickr provides a separate Creative Commons licensed videos collection

  • which makes the filtering process easy too.
  • Finding the license information of each Flickr image may seem a bit complicated at first glance but it is actually quite simple. Please follow the directions below.

How to search for a CC licensed image in Flickr

The best way to search for a CC licensed image in Flickr is using the CC licensed image collection. Go to Click See more under each license collection.

Type your keyword in the search window. After locating the video with your prefered license terms, check the license information.

The CC license notice is linked to each respective license deed.

License Setting

All CC licensed images in Flickr are released under Version 2.0.

Sample Attribution

Elephant@Amboseli by Xiaojun Deng is licensed under CC BY


Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository that is completely dedicated to providing educational media that are released either in the public domain or under Creative Commons license.

  • The website may not have a fancy look, but its simple structure allows users to easily find license information of the images and adopt them.

How to search for the CC licensed image in WikimediaThe easiest way to search for an image in Wikimedia is using the search window.


  1. You will see the list of images available matching the keyword.


  1. Click one of the images. To check the license information, scroll down the page. You will see the licensing information under Licensing.


License Setting

All images are either released under CC licenses or in the public domain. There is no default CC license, so you have to double check the license information.

Sample Attribution

Cognitive Thought Model (Instructional Design) by Kathy Bradley @Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.



Vimeo hosts millions of Creative Commons-licensed videos. In addition, Vimeo provides a separate Creative Commons licensed video collection which makes the filtering process much easier.

License Setting

Vimeo hosts videos released under all 6 types of Creative Commons licenses.  To learn how to check the license setting of a Vimeo video, please see the directions below.

How to search for a CC licensed video in Vimeo:

There are two ways to search for a CC licensed video in Vimeo.

First, go to and type the key word in the search box on the right top of the screen. All of the matching videos will appear. Click More Filters from the left frame:

Click the desired CC license collection. The videos with matching CC license will appear.

Another way to search for a CC licensed video in Vimeo is using the CC licensed video collection. Go to and click Browse all 1M videos link under each CC license collection.

From there, click the magnifier icon to search within the collection. The search window will appear.

After locating the video with your prefered license terms, check the license information. Click the “more” link under the title of the video.

The About page will appear and at the bottom of the box with CC license elements which is linked to the respective license deed page.

Sample Attribution

psychogeophysical inscription device by pickledfeet is licensed under CC BY





I also use Pixabay which is sometimes hit or miss because members can submit their own images/illustrations. But, the photos are free (to use without fear of copyright infringement through Creative Commons Licensing). I've found useful images for many uses/projects. The quality of the images is typically pretty good too!

pixabay.jpgPixabay's homepage on Feb. 8, 2018





Love Pixabay! I use it all the time and yes, you don't always get the greatest image, but I usually find something suitable.