Bloggers know that a picture is worth a thousand word, the right images can make or break your story, this is of course the case for all blogging platforms, but is specially valuable for Medium. Medium writers tend to use a lot of exceptionally beautiful pictures in their stories, these pictures help give them the attention they deserve and need. Here are a number of sources that I go to when looking for images for my Medium posts
This isn’t only a fantastic source for images, it also comes with a built in image editor, you can look up images with specific dimensions, use pre-made templates, add a pattern for a background, add icons and illustrations, and even add styled text. All of this, including the images, is completely free of charge.
That said, not all images on the platform are free, some images need to be purchased for 1$ each, which is a ridiculously cheap price to pay for the right image and image rights.
Since we’re talking about web-based image editors, an honorable mention goes out to Pablo, it’s a much smaller project by Buffer that does pretty much what Canva does, but doesn’t have as many features, it does come however, with a free image library of 600+ images.
Unsplash is another fantastic source of high resolution images, but not just any images, we’re talking breathtakingly artistic photography that you’d be happy printing and hanging on a wall. One thing I love about Unsplash is their weekly email shot, subscribe to that and you’ll start getting free-to-use images in your inbox every week. This is a sample of the type of images you’ll find in your inbox.
Yes, you read that right, Google. I’m not condoning ripping off other publications and using their images, however, at times, you’d need images that you won’t be able to get elsewhere, like data visualizations for example, and here’s what to do.
Look those up through Google’s image search, reach out to the publisher and explain what you’re writing about, and why this image is important for your piece, ask for permission to use the image and link back to his piece, you’d be surprised by the generosity of some bloggers out there who would gladly give you access to their designed images.
Flickr is another beautiful source of images for your Medium story, use it before Yahoo decides to shut it down. Flickr’s image database is huge and you’d pretty much find images about everything you can imagine, taken by professional photographers and amateurs. Using images from Flickr however comes with a small legal trick, not all images on Flickr are open for use, so when you’re looking for images on Flickr make sure that you look up the license, and choose images under the ‘All Creative Commons’ license.
Magdeleine’s library might not be huge, but it’s defiantly unique. The website, which was founded by photographer Tim Marshall, promises one high resolution image per day, and sometimes that’s all you need. Also, like Flickr, make sure you check every image’s license before using it.
MyStock is a website run by a small editorial team. They have a huge collection of real life photos, all these photos are collected and published by professional photographers, and they’re all unique, which means you cannot find them on any other directory, and the best part, you do not require any permission or license to use photos from this website.
Wikimedia Commons, another website from the Wikipedia group, has a collection of photos, audio files, and video files you can use. Depending on your niche you can find excellent images here, all of which are public domain and don’t require any licensing fee or even attribution.
Bonus source: Giphy
I didn’t want to include this in the above list, since Medium does not support GIF -yet-. But if you’re looking for images for a blogging platform that does support GIF, like mine. Giphy is an excellent source, specially when you’re seeking something humorous.
The above list is by no means a definitive one, it’s just a list of my favorite places to look for images to use, if you can think of any additions to the list, I’d love to hear about them. There are hundreds of other sources out there that are excellent, just as long as you avoid cliches the likes of Shutterstock.