Be careful when copying images from the internet. Generally, images belong to the author and may not be used on your own website. When using such images you might get into trouble because of copyright issues.
However, there are numerous authors who provide their images for free. Such freely available images are not always easy to find. Here are a few possibilities.
Free Image Libraries
- Stock photos that don't suck - a list of websites with very good, hight-resolution photos
- The Best Places to Find Free, High-Res Images for your Website
- Pixabay - A lot of free photos and illustrations
- Iconfinder - Many freely available icons (Note that depending on the license you must give credit to the author on your website)
Google Image Search Filtered By License
In the Google Image search you can click on Search tools | Usage rights and tell it to only display images that are marked for reuse.
However, you shouldn't blindly trust this filter. Always look for a hint on the website about reuse.
Sometimes you will find a license. One of the most common licenses are the Creative Commons. There are a few variants but you will at least have to mention the author.
Contacting the Author
If you find a beautiful image you want to use, but no information is given for reuse, there is still a possibility: Ask the Author in a nice mail if you are allowed to use his/her image. Tell him/her how you intend to use the picture. If you're lucky, you'll get the permission. If necessary, you can also negotiate a small fee.
Stay fair! Always keep in mind that a lot of people earn their living with images. They are photographers, grapic artists, illustrators, etc.
Let's be thankful when images are provided for free and be willing to sometimes pay a little something for it!