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Finding Images for Research

Finding images for your research can be tricky. This guide has links to resources that will help you navigate sites that have images you can use.

Clip Art and Stock Photos

Stock photos or clip art can help take your posters or presentation to next level by using art as a visual representation of your words or ideas.  It can also keep your audience engaged in your presentation.  Here are some website where you can easily find stock photos or clip art for free:

  • Black Illustrations: A collection of illustrations of Black people that have been built to be used on your websites, web applications, mobile apps, and anywhere and everywhere else.
  • Blush: Another Pablo Stanley-led creation described as a design tool that's easy to use, affordable, super-fun, and most importantly, helps people uncover their creative powers. With Blush, you can easily create and customize stunning illustrations with collections made by artists across the globe. 
  • Everystockphoto:  Is a search engine for free photos from many sources.  You can search by license type in the advanced search feature.
  • Google Image Search Search tools feature allows you to narrow results by usage rights.  Choose the appropriate setting (most common academically is the “free to share or use” option).  If you are going to make changes or adapt the photo choose “free to share or modify” instead.  You would also want to narrow your search by Type:  Clip Art.  This will narrow your search to include only clip art images.
  • Humaaans: Mix-&-match illustrations of people with a design library made by Pablo Stanley. You can change the hairdos, tops, and bottoms of the illustrations, rotating and repositioning as needed. 
  • Mixkit: A collection of stock video clips, stock music, sound effects, and video templates. All available for free!
  • morgueFile:  Contains stock photos and images with free usage rights.  Be sure to read the license agreement on the photo prior to use.
  • NappyStock photos of brown and black people for free. As of May 13, 2021, all photos posted on Nappy are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. 
  • Pexels is a free stock photo and video website and app that helps designers, bloggers, and everyone who is looking for visuals to find great photos and videos that can be downloaded and used for free.
  • Shotstash: A collection of free stock photos for creative professionals. Many photos can be used for personal or commercial projects. There is also a great selection of photos that look great on mobile devices and resources for photographers.
  • Unsplash: Over 2 million freely usable, high-resolution images brought to you by a generous community of photographers, with partners like BuzzFeed, Squarespace and Trello being powered by their API.

Guide credits

Grateful acknowledgement is given to California State University Northridge for allowing us to reuse the content on their Finding and Using Images Guide.