One of the more tricky aspects of using WordPress has nothing to do with the software itself, but trying to find a good image to use as a visual anchor for your posts.
Adding an image to your posts is a great way to draw attention to an article and really make your writing stand out.
Not everyone has a large budget or the skills of photography to find a perfect photo for every post. Personally, even if I had both, I wouldn’t have the time to go out and shoot the specific image I needed.
The biggest boon to finding suitable photography is Creative Commons. Simply put, Creative Commons is a way for artists to preemptively declare licensing for their work. You can license your work under various versions of Creative Commons licenses and folks can use them accordingly without having to pre-negotiate terms.
Most of the time (remember, I am not a lawyer) you can use photos with a Creative Commons license for your work without having to contact the original artist. The catch, which isn’t insane to expect, is that you have to provide proper attribution to the author for their work. Basically, you have to give credit to the original artist.
My favorite solution to find Creative Common licensed photography is Flickr.
Why Flickr? The library is rich, hundreds of thousands of photos, and incredibly diverse, with Flickr users coming from all walks of life from around the world.
They were also one of the first photo sharing services to enable folks to license their photos under Creative Commons. You can search across all of Flickr, and using the Advanced Search Feature, filter to just show photos with a Creative Common license. Here’s an example search for “puppy dogs“.
You can easily see the license for any photo on Flickr in the photo sidebar.
Then, when using the photo, you can add something like this in your post (under the photo, in the post meta tags, or at the bottom):
I hope this is a helpful introduction to Creative Commons and finding strong photos for your posts. If you have more ideas, suggestions, or feedback, please leave a note below.
P. S. There are many more collections and options that have been talked about else ware on the web. Two other useful articles are this one from demosthenes.info and another from Dustin Senos on Medium.