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Awesome FREE Photos From Getty Images - Here's How

You have searched for images that will set you apart and are coming up empty. Better yet, you hope to find free images or graphics.  Maybe you have resorted to "borrowing" them from another website (which is most likely theft).  No one notices and "everyone" is doing it, so you take a chance.

Enter Getty Images, the authority for all things photo.  Getty Images flipped a switch and 35+ million photos are available for free. (Some restrictions apply)  As with anything free, there are a few limitations.  "Free" rarely gives you much power or control.  It does open new doors that were previously open only at a high price (or thieves). 

Getty Images has better quality and more creative graphics and photos available than a typical stock image.  Many images on Getty's website simply rock!

When you are creating content for a website, blog or social media and attempt to stand out as unique, searching for images to express your thoughts and compliment the content is difficult.  Clipart or stock photos are functional but don't impress since they are available to everyone.  They fall short of making an impact. You have looked at Getty Images before you don't yet believe that paying $25 to $700 for one image is "worth it".  With their new program, you now you have access.


They are only available by using the embed code they provide on their website.

Not all images are available to embed.

The size of the image can't be changed (According to Getty and others but I did it below.)

They include a logo and social share buttons.

The image you embed also includes an option for your readers to embed the image on the readers website.

Every image is automatically linked back to the original image on and viewers who click the image will be directed to the Getty website to have an opportunity to embed or buy.

Not for commercial purpose.  (Understand terms of use here.)

Common sense: There may  come a time when Getty Images changes the rules.  Advertising may be inserted later down the road.  The image may or may not be available long term.  (Leaving a blank in place of the image.)

I selected a random page on Getty Images.  Out of the 100 images on the page, there were only 27 which had the option to embed on a blog or in social media. These 27 out of 100 available for embedding were random.  You will need to mouse over each image to look for the embed icon.

Here is where you can copy the embed code and "borrow" the image - free:

getty images free photos

And here is how it looks:

There will be photos on the same page with no embed option available which keeps you searching to multiple pages.

Here is an example of an image without the embed option:

getty images free photos2

Here are more examples
of photos embedded from Getty Images:

"Controlling Spouses"
(I did change the size on the image by editing the html)

"I Wish I Had a Dog!"

Do you need better quality images but have a limited budget?  Getty Images certainly has new options.  Since most of the images do NOT have an embed option, you will search many that will not qualify.  While other photo websites offer a way to filter the images based on price, Getty Images does not offer this option.  You will review each image one by one by moving your mouse to find "the one".

Is there potential value by using Getty Images?  Yes.  Is it a win-win? There is a possible win-win, but it requires a little thought.

Here is the fine print from Getty Images:

Embedded Viewer

Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer. Upon request, you agree to take prompt action to stop using the Embedded Viewer and/or Getty Images Content. You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetize its use without any compensation to you.

I like the new plan from Getty Images and appreciate the approach they are taking. If you have not yet experience Getty Images, it is worth a try.  Be sure to start the clock and note how much time it took to find the images you selected.  

The best solution may be to simply keep your camera handy and whenever you see something worthy, grab the photo and snap a shot.  You photo will be one of a kind and it costs you... nothing.  Take more photos.  Create something unique.  

Topics: Free Photos Inbound Marketing