sick to death of ho-hum stock photos? there is an alternative. . .

March 8, 2012 by

our insatiable appetite for photo content

Everyone doing business online and producing content needs photos.  Lots of them.

They give personality to our websites, make our blog posts more readable, and are the life-blood of Facebook and Pinterest.

But this need for photos is a hungry beast!  And it's often hard to get past the cliches on the stock photo sites.

Have you seen more than enough of


  • clean-cut businessmen wielding laptops or spreadsheets
  • extremely healthy young women eating extremely healthy food
  • Pillsbury doughboys pointing arrows or running up stairs?

creative commons photos you can use legally

There is a way around this problem:

Compfight is a photo search engine that gives you instant access to a vast universe of images that you'll never find in the stock photo world.

I'll admit upfront, some of the photos are amateurish, and many aren't available for download.  And sometimes the search results won't bring up what you're looking for and you're better off at one of the stock photo companies.

But more often than not, if you're smart with your search terms you'll find original and inspiring photos that will boost your online presence from the ordinary into the memorable.

And did I mention the photos here are FREE?

The key is learning how to use the compfight filters.  They'll fast-track your searches and keep you on the right side of copyright laws.

This short video will show you how to search on compfight and how to legally use the photos you find there.  And remember - please respect the licenses.

I'd love to hear about your experiences of finding good photos (or not!).

[update 5 April]

Compfight now has a WordPress plug-in which allows you to search and add photos from within WordPress.  Photo attribution is also added automatically.  The plug-in settings allow you to set default sizes for small, medium and large photos, as well as search parameters.  The search thumbnails make it a bit hard to see the images clearly without adding them to the post, but that's a minor inconvenience.

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