It used to be tricky finding images to use in your lists, quizzes and polls. If you’re promoting yourself you can’t just pluck any images out of a Google search. Standard stock images are often bland or clichéd and there are often complicated payment systems. Fortunately there are now two ways you can fill your viral content with vibrant images.
And guess what? They’re both free!

1) Getty Images

Yes. You did read correctly! Getty Images are famous for chasing down people who use their images without payment or attribution but we’ve had their images available on Riddle for months now. They’ve brought out a great new system where you can search through and use their images. They include a back link to Getty Images but that’s a small price (free) to pay for quality content.
This system is especially good for images of celebrities. It’s notoriously difficult to celebrity photos that you have full consent to use but this system makes it easy
One word of caution. You don’t actually download the Getty Images. They are automatically served via their online system. This means they won’t appear when your content is shared on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. So don’t use one for your title (hero) image.

“But the hero image is the most important one! It’s the one that will entice people to share my viral content.”

That’s very true and that’s where the second option comes in.

2) Rights free images

There are now lots of sites offering high quality images that you are free to use to promote your work. You need to check the rules for each site as some require attribution but mostly you can download the images and use them as you wish. We’ve put together a quick list of some of the better sites we’ve seen and used.

7 sites to get beautiful free photos to use for viral content (no attribution needed)

Less than a year ago the search for compelling free images was a frustrating task that everyone hated. You used to have to pay for high quality images or make do with dire images that might as well be watermarked with ‘Boring stock photo’.
Fret no more! Here are a selection of sites offering intriguing images that can be used for all projects.
*Disclaimer: Things change so do quickly check their agreement details before using the sites.

Getty Images – via Riddle!

You can join the A-list with Getty Images’ ground-breaking new service where you can search for images of your favorite celebrity or any topic that comes to mind. The only drawback is that you can’t use Getty images for the title photo of your riddle as social media sites won’t show it when you share it..
Other than that the massive Getty library is at your fingertips – just don’t take Getty images you see on general search engines like on a Google search. They have to include the link you see on the above photo of Shakira.

One of the first free image sites and one of the best. See here for their terms and conditions. As a basic rule – you can use them for anything without attribution, apart from “Identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive, unless they give their consent.” (The title image also comes from Pexels)

All free to use – terms and conditions here

Some amazing landscape images and much more. All free to use. Terms and conditions here

These images are all provided by one person Ryan McGuire. It’s all free to use but you can buy him a coffee if you like.

Regular updates of new photos. Terms and conditions are here. (New Old Stock)

A selection of old photos that are thought to be free of copyright. Some images may need attribution – see conditions here.

You can also make your hero image stand out with using tools like that allow you to easily add design elements.

So what are you waiting for? Get creating today!