Find the Right Image, Faster

How much time do you spend looking for the perfect images for your blog posts? Too much?

Searching for the perfect image for a blog post can sometimes take as long as writing the post!  Try these five tips to save time and find the right image faster.

Know Where to Search

Bookmark your favorite image search sites so they’re easy to find quickly. Keep in mind which ones offer which types of images when you’re ready to search.

Think First & Be Specific

I recently needed an image for a post about fire prevention week. First I searched “fire” and looked through 3 pages of images. Then I thought I’d try “house fire” and looked some more. Finally I realized a “fire extinguisher” would be the right image and in about 30 seconds I found a good one. If I’d have stopped to think first, I would have saved time.

Consider Alternative Keywords

If you don’t find an image that fits in your first search, try changing your keywords slightly. Instead of “cat” try “kitten” or instead of “laptop” try “notebook computer”–brainstorm a bit.  Try to think of what words a photographer might use to describe the type of image you’re looking for.

Be Flexible

Instead of looking for the “perfect” image, focus on finding one that will illustrate your point.

Decide Faster

When you find an image that will work, don’t let yourself keep searching for another 15 minutes just to see what else there is.

Try it, and see if you can save time with these tips!

What works for you in finding images for your blog posts?

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15 Comments

  1. As a photographer I usually have the right images for my posts! :)

    1. I envy you, Ian. Photography skills would sure come in handy… :) I count a photo as good if I manage not to blur it!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… If Google+ or Publishing a Book is on Your 2012 Goals List…My Profile

  2. You’ve read my mind, it takes me ages to find the right picture for my blog… having just finished a month’s free subscripition on Fotolia I am after some more great image websites. Thanks Michelle for the tips!

  3. I really needed this, Michelle! Especially the “Decide Faster” part. Finding photos is something that I dread so much, that I just don’t even use them on my blog. It is just so time consuming, but I will try to use your tips and I will check out the link above. Thank you for posting!

    1. I have to watch myself there, too, Jen. I’ll spend longer looking for the “perfect” image than I do writing the post. Not smart. LOL
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Allow. Sparkle. Inspire.My Profile

  4. nice topic! in the past I always used licensed images. I mean I was always paying for the right image to put in my blogs.

    I understood this was very money consuming, and lately I’m using public domain images only. Well, there’s a huge difference in the quality, but I was spending really too much.

    And I found few public domain images to be also very good, but it’s very uncommon :(

    But if you have money, licensed images are the best choice, those images are huge.
    Manuel Marino recently posted… Book Review for “Prime Suspect”My Profile

    1. It can be tougher to find good free images, but I like http://www.morguefile.com and ww.sxc.hu – there are some nice ones at those sites.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Posts You Loved in 2011 (And My Favorites, Too!)My Profile

  5. Those are great tips! I often use the photodropper plugin (free) which searches creative commons photos and inserts the image and credits for me, it saves SO much time! I will also search random words like colors and see what comes up. I’ve found some great images that way!
    Stacy recently posted… Habit Building Day #4: Can Do Attitude!My Profile

    1. Cool, thanks for the plugin tip! I’ll check that out one.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Make a Difference: KIVAMy Profile

  6. Thanks! I usually include my own photos in my posts, but I love these five helpful tips, especially the second one, about being specific when searching. I find tighter focus = better success.
    Robbie Schlosser recently posted… “The Mikado”, Wedding Reception Music, and Birthday Party MusicMy Profile

    1. Agreed, Robbie! Focus is so important in everything from photos to goals. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  7. I forgot to say that istockphoto.com is the website I prefer for licensed photos. The photographers are very good, also the “less professional” ones, are skilled.

    ok, you can tell me that today’s cameras are impressive, etc etc, but you still need to have that special magic talent to find the place, the light, the angle…
    Manuel Marino recently posted… Learn How to SingMy Profile

  8. Just when I thought I was unique, I discover that there are those who did the very thing that, until 5 days ago, was thorn in my side. I kid you not, I’ve spent over an hour looking for the PERFECT image. Yes, I hold my head down in shame for that one. I’ve removed the thorn – I’ve given myself permission to take a maximum of 15 minutes to find an image. I’ve been using two of your tips http://www.freedigitalphotos.net and
    http://www.123rf.com. They have free and paid. I use free and the images are second to none.

    Thanks!
    Adalia John recently posted… Google: 5 Free Google tools for your business successMy Profile

  9. I just love freedigitalphotos.net ever since I read your other post about images, Michelle! And now I try exactly 2 keywords, no more and I am committed to grab the best image from the first page, no exception!
    This reduced my time spent dramatically, from 30 min to 5 or so.
    Thanks for this great post!
    Delia recently posted… How to create a welcome page for your business on FacebookMy Profile

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