How to Look for Free Stock Images on SXC and Flickr

How to use Flikr and Stock Xchnge for free Creative Commons licensed images.

For this example we will find photos involving cyclists.

**Update** We have created a list of sites that provide free images - Please CLICK HERE to reach the other blog article. Please be aware of photos that require royalties could have no up-front cost.


Flickr is a free service and adaptable search.

The adaptable search allows you to find images with a creative commons license.

A Creative Commons license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work.

In the search bar at the top right of the window, type in the most prominent keyword, eg: cyclist or Bicycle Race.

It will bring up a variety of images.



To adapt the search to find only creative commons images click the advanced search setting on the top right of the screen near the original search bar.


This will take you to a variety of options.

Down the bottom of the screen there will be a section on creative commons.

Tick the appropriate boxes - Please note: Radian Web will not usually modify the content, so only two boxes will need to be selected, as seen below.

Click the search bar and it will display only creative commons licensed images.


Once an image has been found click on it and it will increase???its size and give you the owners description.


To download the image.

Once you have found an image you like to download, select the three dots as seen below.

These three dots:???

And select Download / All Sizes.

This will bring up the picture with important information at the top.


License: It is important to check if there are any rights reserved.

The above example has some rights reserved, check to see what these are. Most of the time they are just wanting some credit for their work.

Download: If you want to download the image at its default large size click this.

However, if you want to change the size to say its original, please select from the Sizes row.

Once you change the size it will resize the picture and the download menu will change.


To share the URL

Go through the steps to download the image. Once you have arrived at the download image window, select the URL and copy to the document.

It is important to follow the steps for the download when sharing the URL as the URL copied from the search, will not duplicate correctly



Stock.Xchng (Now Known as Free Images)


Please note: since writing this blog Stock.Xchng have changed their name to Freeimages (

For this stock photo library you will need to create an account. The accounts are free and don?????t send you junk mail.

Once you have logged into your account, use the search bar for keywords like in Flickr.


For this example we have used the word ?????cyclist??????.


Unlike Flickr you cannot search for creative commons licensed picture.

You should have a page similar to the following.


The first and last rows of image thumbnails, marked as ?????Premium?????, are PAID stock images - clicking any of these will redirect your browser to a different website.


To obtain free photos, look at the thumbnails below the first row and above the last row.


Once a desired picture has been found, click on that image.

It will then display the picture with important information below it, such as:


The important thing to look at is ?????Availability??????.

The above states the Availability of ?????Standard restrictions apply??????.

If you want to look at what this means in greater detail click on it. Otherwise it basically means that it is safe to use for websites. The main restriction only applies if you intend to sell the image, unaltered, as your own.

Other availabilities can be that they don?????t want the picture to be used, want permission to use it first or want the author to be cited.


At this stage it is safe to send the URL.


If you want to download the image, click the orange download bar.
This brings you to the original size of the picture.

Either drag the picture to your desktop, or right click and ?????save image as??????.


Check out our list of free stock photos


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