When you are a blogger, web designer, developer, or creating a product for resale, you might need photos for your posts, templates, and other designs, but you can't just use any photo you find on the internet. That would most likely violate someone's copyright and get you into a heap of legal trouble.
So what are you supposed to do if you don't have a camera or any photography talent?
Stock photos? Sounds good, but most stock photos cost money.
Creative Commons licensed photos from Flickr? That could be good too, but that requires a link back and there may be restrictions against commercial use. Can you imagine having to put a long Flickr URL on every t-shirt and mousepad you make? How would you go about giving proper credit on a small 125x125 ad? And if you are making web templates it might not be the best idea to trust people that use your templates to keep the credit links intact.
So where can you get a whole bunch of great photos to use, that don't require a credit link, won't cost you a dime, and allow for commercial use, too?
Fortunately for you, I have done some research into this and found quite a few sources.
Fotolia has a section on their site where they give away free stock photos. The selection is limited, but they change the photos offered on a regular basis. Good for web use. Files must not be displayed in a size bigger than 640x480 pixels. Can not be used in items meant for resale (no printed t-shirts, web templates, etc)
freestockphotos.biz has tons of photos with varying licenses, many of which allow for commercial use, including items meant for resale. Check the license terms included on the page with each photo.
BurningWell.org has nothing but public domain photos. You can do anything you please with them, including items for resale.
Creating Online has free stock photos that are 400x600 pixels in maximum dimensions at 72 dpi, ideal for web use, and the selection of free photos is at the discretion of each photographer. To learn if a photo has a free download version, check its preview page. New free photos are added daily, so check back often. All free photos are covered by their standard license.
Crestock gives away one free stock photo each day. If you hit the site every day, you can build quite a collection. Sometimes they even give away a vector instead of a photo. All material they give away is covered by their standard license agreement. They also have a plugin for Wordpress, that allows you to use many of their photos for free in your blog posts, but it does link back to their site.
Dreamstime offers some free photos (RF-LL), but their standard license doesn't allow redistribution, and they consider print-on-demand items, t-shirts, web templates and other merchandise to be redistribution. They also have an additional limitation for the free photos: the number of copies is limited to 10,000 copies. If you need more than that you have to purchase the photo under the full standard license.
Free Media Goo provides free images, audio files, textures and flash files that you can pretty much do whatever you please with them except use them in propaganda, pornography, or anything suggestive, according to their license.
freerangestock offers photos you can use for just about anything. They request that you give credit, but they also say it isn't required if you don't want to. There is a credit and link requirement if you use their photos as part of a web template, though.
Image*After lets you do anything you want with their photos, as long as you don't use them to set up a stock photo site that competes with theirs.
iStockPhoto gives away one free stock photo each week, under their standard license. They also give away a free vector, video file, and audio track each month. Free membership is required.
KeyStockPhoto has a number of photos and retro images available. Photos are approximately 5" x 7" at 72dpi. They are suitable for all you web and graphic needs. They can be used on your web site, newsletter, advertising, articles, brochures, presentations, reports, promotional materials, print ads, mailers, handouts, packaging, greeting cards.
Morguefile has some very generous license terms that even allow you to sell the images, as images, as long as you have altered it so that it isn't identical to the original.
PDPhoto.org has some really nice images that you can do whatever you please with, as they are all dedicated to the public domain. There are a few sections containing photos that are not public domain, but that collection is a rather small part of the site.
Photogen has images that are good for the standard commercial uses that don't involve redistribution or printing on products for sale.
Photo Rack says there are no limitations on the use of their images.
Pixel Perfect Digital has lots of great images, but you can't use them for items for sale or redistribution, and that includes not using them in web templates.
Do you know of a stock photo site that I might have missed that will allow you to use their images commercially, without credit? Leave me a link in a comment.