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“I’m a visual thinker, not a language-based thinker. My brain is like Google Images.” – Temple Grandin

Bad, good, or indifferent most of us tend to be like Ms. Grandin and think more visually than not. Perhaps that explains the power of images and why research indicates that they affect us emotionally. Awhile back, we posted on the importance of adding visuals to your blog. Today, we are going to continue that thread with tips on finding and adding images to your social media. Later this week, we’ll bring some statistics to shed some light on where to use images and when.

Finding Images

The best images are ones you’ve created yourself since those are free from license, royalty, and copyright issues. Not a photographer? That’s okay. There are now multiple resources for getting great images.

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Free Images

  • Flickr
  • Wikipedia Commons 
  • Google Images
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • deviantART
  • Microsoft Office

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How to Search for Free Images

  1. Go to you desired site
  2. Type in your search criteria (for example: bus). This will pull up every image that has been tagged with that word(s)
  3. Look for the Advanced Search tab (in Flickr it’s in the top right corner, in Google Images it is the gear icon in the corner)
  4. Select your parameters – if you want an entirely free image select the Creative Commons box or Free To Use or Share. This will pull up every image that is available for your use. However, even after you find your perfect image, you must further verify the copyright rules that apply. In most cases, you will simply need to attribute the work to its creator. In some cases, you may have to request written permission prior to use.
  5. Save the image to your computer (along with the link and/or photographer’s name)

Not So Free Images

Sometimes searching for the perfect image is a complete time consumer. If you plan to use images on a regular basis or commercially you may just want to pay for them. The following sources offer amazing, quality photos with various pricing ranging in pay as you go to monthly plans:

  • Shutterstock
  • iStockPhoto
  • Fotolia
  • Getty Images
  • Dreamstime
  • Pixmac

Adding Images

  • Clean, crip, clear – no blurred or out of focus shots unless that’s intentionally part of the photo
  • Sizing – be sure that your photos are the right size for where you use them. Either re-size your self or if you use Google, you can click on More Sizes to get the best resolution for the size you need
  • Be interesting – be intriguing, be thought provoking, be emotional. Be anything but boring when it comes to the photos you select. At the end of the week we’ll share why this is so important.

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Are you already using images or still stuck searching for the right ones? Leave a comment, find us on Facebook or give us a Tweet.

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