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One thing I was worried about when I started my blog was copyrighted pictures. I read countless articles of how people can get heavily fined for using pictures under copyright. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you cite the source. Out of fear of being fined, I figured I would have to take every picture myself (I am not a very good photographer). That is until I discovered “the public domain.” Yes, there are kind and wonderful people out there who will allow you to use their photos for free!

There are a few public domain websites out there, my recommendation is Pixabay. Pixabay is where I got my snazzy background, as well as the other higher quality photos on my blog.

Before using Pixabay, I would recommend reading this FAQ section.

Unlike some public domain websites where you have to search by clicking on category after category to narrow down your search, Pixabay works like a search engine.

For instance, if you wish to search for a “castle”….


And that’s it!

Note: if you use a public domain photo, look for this “CC0 Public Domain” to make sure it is okay to use.

Wikimedia Commons is another popular place to find photos in the public domain, however, not all photos are in the public domain. In other words, make sure you check first!

Before, when I would I write book reviews and post them to my blog, I was hesitant to use book covers. Book covers fall under the category of “fair use” when used for review purposes. But, in order to be safe, I tend to only post thumbnails from Goodreads. I found that by not inserting the book cover, I was not doing the review justice. Part of the reviewer’s role is to promote the book. A book cover will say 1000 more words and stick in the mind of the potential reader than if I were to use a generic image that I believed represented the book.

Here are some more examples of the wonderful photography on Pixabay:

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