I need a lot of royalty-free pictures of California. Options?
April 11, 2013 3:51 PM   Subscribe

So basically I need to swap out all the art on several websites with photos of California that we have the rights to use in perpetuity (as well as for print). I realize there's the "buy one at a time from Getty" avenue but I have neither the time or resources for that. What I need is a boatload of pics that I can use for commercial use that are all OF California (as well as some general use pics, graphics and art). A very big collection that I can hand to an intern so they can get swapping. I think in the old days you used to just be able to buy a CD-rom of images. Can you still do that? Are there full collections with hundreds of pics? Or are there any free collections that anyone knows about that are just public use for this purpose? My budget for this is not high (no more than a couple hundred bucks) so I'm open to any options possible.
posted by rileyray3000 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried contacting a tourism bureau? They may be able to point you in the direction of a photographer who would sell you a cd's worth of images.
posted by JacksonandFinch at 4:00 PM on April 11, 2013

Public domain images of California- free for commercial or private use.

No personal guarantees on quality or of actual public domain status - I just Googled "public domain images California"
posted by faineant at 4:03 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

If your usage is compatible with the GNU Free Documentation License or Creative Commons CC-BY-SA then you'll find a lot of useful images on Wikipedia. Wikipedia content is generally licensed to allow for commercial use. There may be certain copyleft provisions, but I'm not an expert on that.
posted by ryanrs at 4:21 PM on April 11, 2013

The PD site linked above requires that you link back to their site, if you use the photo. You can try handout from the US National Parks, State of California, etc..
posted by Ideefixe at 4:23 PM on April 11, 2013

Go to Compfight, search for "california," and in the left sidebar, click "commercial" under "license." This will give you more than 628,000 images from Flickr that accept commercial use under Creative Commons. Before the intern uses an image, they should double-check the license on the Flickr page of the image and follow the fine print (attribution required or whatever).
posted by ceiba at 4:33 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Not free, but I've had good luck with thinkstockphotos.com. Search results for California . Probably towards the top end of your budget-- $99 for 5 downloads, $229 for 25 downloads-- but quite a few beautiful photos.
posted by matcha action at 7:27 PM on April 11, 2013

There are over 1100 photos tagged with "California" at MorgueFile.com.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 8:58 PM on April 11, 2013

With a couple of hundred bucks you can do a lot of damage at Dreamstime, which I prefer as it's cheaper than the Getty brands. You can also restrict search on price.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:10 PM on April 11, 2013

If you can use Creative Common licensed photos, Flickr lets you search by license. Searching CC licensed photos that allow commercial use for "California" returns more than 800,000 results.
posted by Ookseer at 10:02 PM on April 11, 2013

Calisphere has primary source material from 120 institutions. I would ask them: small FAQ & contact form.
posted by peacay at 9:15 AM on April 12, 2013

If older photos are ok, try Library of Congress.

NASA also has many uncopyrighted photos.

See also this ask.
posted by fings at 8:16 PM on April 12, 2013

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