Mini Guide: How to Source Beautiful Action Images

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Legally Source Images for Your Social Actions

When looking for the perfect image for your action, where do you go? Can you simply Google image search what you’d like and drop it into your action? While many people who publish online take this route, it is illegal and they do get into legal trouble from time to time.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way! There are tons of great options to source your images legally. Some are even free and provide you with beautiful, high-quality images. Let’s take a look at the legal ways to source images.

Sourcing Images the Legal Way

Free Resources

Search.creativecommon allows you to search sites like Google Images and Flickr for creative commons images all in one place. With 13 sites to pull from, this is a treasure chest of free images.

Death to Stock Photo Enter your email address into their form and receive a new pack of high-quality, beautiful images every month. These are free to use online and on social media. Each month’s pack has its own theme and usually includes about a dozen images.

Free Images and StockVault are both free websites that allow you to search for free stock photos within their databases.

Affordable Resources

iStock is run by Getty Images and provides affordable stock photos. You can choose to pay per download on a credit basis, or opt for a subscription.

ShutterStock Offers three levels of plans: free, pay as you go, or subscription.

Premium Resources

Getty Images, Corbis Images and Big Stock provide some of the most beautiful, high-quality images around. But they come at a price. Starting anywhere from $100 to a few thousand per image, these sources aren’t cheap. More often, this is where you come to splurge for a big campaign or project.


Once you have your image, you’ll need to attribute it. This can either be done on the image itself or in the image caption. Each source will have its own attribute system, so be sure to read the fine print. Usually, it will call for you to list the title, author, year and source, but this can and will differ.

Attributions can be easily added to images with tools such as Pixlr.

Sharing your Original Images on Facebook

Do you take your own original pictures? Do you attribute them before you publish? If not, you should be.

Here’s an example from UNICEF and Sierra Club. As you can see, each image includes the organization name and logo. Now, when folks share your image on social media, they are also sharing your cause.

sourcing images unicef

sourcing images sierra club

What are your favorite sources for images? Let us know in the comments!