1. Public Domain images are free to use however you want. For instance, pictures taken when working for the U.S. government or any pictures that you can download from a government website are automatically public domain.
     
  2. Right Protected images are bought for a certain length of time for a certain project. These images are usually negotiated beforehand with the photographer, and for a fee, you will have exclusive rights to the image during the arranged time period. While good for big businesses, these are not very effective for website designs.
     
  3. Royalty free images are also purchased, but after the one time fee, you can use the image however you would like. However, other websites can also purchase the same image

There are a variety of places that you can choose to download pictures.
Online image banks are often the easiest, though you can also choose some search engines to help you find the perfect image that you are seeking.

  • Flickr.com allows you to share, store, search, and sort your photos. There are always plenty of images available for you to use. Flickr is free, though you will have to register if you want to upload and edit your own images. The photographers establish the terms, so read the permissions carefully. If you use someone else’s Flickr image, it’s always in good taste to link back to its source.
     
  • Bigfoto.com offers pictures from around the world, including America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Pacific. Each main category has subcategories, for instance “aviation,” which allows you to choose from pictures in a certain theme.
     
  • Fotogenika.net has photos for free download for personal, educational, and nonprofit use. However, you cannot use them commercially, sell them, or claim authorship. The site is well organized, and it includes categories such as architecture, animals, people, and textures.
     
  • FreeDigitalPhotos.net has over 2000 free images that you can use in commercial and noncommercial work. You are not allowed to sell, redistribute, or claim these images as your own. You can browse by category or search for exactly what you need.
     
  • FreeMediaGoo.com has a large collection of images, audio, textures, and other visual mediums that you can use for free with some restrictions. You do not even have to credit the images. The site also features some amazing digital images if you are looking for something different.
     
  • MorgueFile.com offers stock photographs in high resolution digital. With over 55,000 images, divided into several categories, they are sure to have something you can use. The thumbnails are small, but your search results display quickly, and the photos are of top quality.
     
  • SXC.hu offers high quality images taken around the world by amateur photographers. If you have an interest in photography, you can even submit your own pictures. There are various searching options and over 100,000 images. The photographers establish the terms, so read the fine print, but most pictures can be reused immediately.