Getty Images Now Offering Free Stock Photos For Blogs

Bloggers! Don’t you hate it when you’ve written the perfect piece for your blog, only to have to tarnish it with some cheesy-but-free-to-use clip art?

You could always just not include a photo… but on top of limiting your SEO, your blog just won’t be as eye-catching. While there’s always the option of taking your own photo, that requires talent, time, equipment… *yawn!* forget that. As a last resort, you could always pay for stock photography. Wait, what? Pay? Not likely, say many bloggers.

But have no fear… Getty Images has announced that starting March 6, 2014, it will give bloggers access to 35 million stock photos for FREE. This drastic move was made in an attempt to resolve the stock photo giant’s problems with online copyright infringement.

“The move is an abrupt change in business model for the photo service. Instead of relying on licensing fees for its stock photos, it plans to make embed codes public for the majority of collections on site. Those pictures will come without a watermark and will contain an image credit linking to the company’s licensing page. But most importantly for Getty, the practice will provide a new form of revenue.”


So what’s in it for the world’s largest photo provider? By providing embed codes that can be used on WordPress, Twitter, and other social media, Getty Images can now collect user data and run advertising within branded, embeddable frames, very much like YouTube has been doing.

For my first use of this service, I decided to acquire the embed code for this photo of a handsome man with an indifferent cat:

[getty src=”170402447?et=87L3QH30H0uyedju9WK0zw&sig=QvUbN5bYQrPE56eFg7Ei8ptYXz-qTsNy7AbtGPWQOOU=” width=”464″ height=”439″]

To try out the new  free embed codes, follow these steps:

1) Visit the official Getty Images website
2) Register an account
3) Search and select a photo you like
4) Click on the embed code symbol, which looks like this </>
5) Copy and paste your embed code and enjoy your free, professionally shot photo

Getty Images mentions that you’re not allowed to use the embed codes for commercial purposes. Most business blogs – like mine – are free to access and give away loads of wonderful free content, but they might be indirectly promoting a product or service. So I’m not sure how long the Mister and Indifferent Cat will last LOL.

EDIT: I contacted Getty Images via chat (an awesome feature, by the way) and this is what the service rep, “Molly” had to say: “If an image on our site has the “Embed” icons  next to it , then you can use the Embed feature to publish the image to your website or social media page  for editorial use only without having to buy a license. All other usages of the images require the purchase of a license. As long as the images are being used to illustrate the blog posts, then you are covered.” Here’s the link she provided explaining the terms in more detail.

Hope you found this post useful. Remember, if you need help launching or improving your blog, I train and design in WordPress and I also ghost write for small business blogs.




  1. setawellnessandskinclinic on March 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I have a couple of questions; if the image goes directly on the blog can you save it on your computer, for further use?
    Also if I am basically using the blog for commercial purposes, i.e. selling myself and my services can I use these free images?

  2. Nishi on March 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Hi Seta! You are meant to use the embed code to publish the image to your website, blog or social media page for editorial use only without having to buy a license. All other usages of the images require the purchase of a license. As long as the images are being used to illustrate the blog posts, then you are ok.

  3. Janine Dalton (@janinedalton) on March 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Nishi – this is really cool! Photos/images are almost *always* an issue, so this sounds like it will be really useful for many bloggers! Next stop: free photos for commercial use! Just joking!!
    ps. I’m going to share this on my various social media – thx for the content. 🙂

  4. Nishi on March 12, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Ha! Thanks for sharing Janine!