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Top 10 websites for presentation images


Images form an important part of most visual presentations, with today’s digital technology it is easy to take your own photos and quickly place them into a presentation document. However, there comes a time when we need images that are of a professional quality or images of people and locations that would cost too much time and money to justify taking ourselves.

There is an abundance of online resources we can turn to, to find that perfect image for our presentation, and a good or bad image can make or break your presentation. You really don’t want to be walking into that important business meeting with a PowerPoint presentation full of snapshots hastily taken on your mobile phone.

Here are some of the best free and paid photo libraries around.

1. istockphoto

One of the best stock photo libraries around for price verses quality. Images from around 60p ($1). We use this site most.

2. gettyimages

Expensive at £50 – £350 per image ($100 – $600) but has access to some of the best professional photography. We use this sparingly for our corporate clients.

3. google image search

Free images, but you need to obtain permission from the copyright holder.

4. flickr creative commons

restricted rights according to image

5. flickr
A very good selection of amateur images. You need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. We usually find that the owners are really chuffed to be asked.

6. wikipedia

restricted rights according to image

7. corbis

again more expensive than flickr but the quality is generally high

8. fotolia

cheap and cheerful with more images than istockphoto, but let down by slow speeds


Cheap with good range. Navigation is a bit confusing.

10. shutterstock

Need to buy a lot of credits to download.

You may also want to check out the following sites


free images lower quality


free images


free with restrictions

There are places on the web where you can find free images, just make sure you do have the rights to use them. For example on a website like flickr people can upload their own photos and mark them with varying levels of public usage, from none to complete freedom of use using a creative commons license.

Then there are stock image libraries where you purchase rights to use an image. The prices of images on stock photo libraries can vary wildly and you don’t always get better quality photos on the more expensive sites, though they may have that image that suits your needs perfectly. The size and quality of the image will also affect the price. Images are often sold according to pixel dimensions and dpi, and generally you pay more the bigger the image is.

For screen presentations such as PowerPoint slides and websites, you just need to worry about getting the right pixel size; dpi is related to high quality printer output and while you need at least 300dpi for high quality prints, for screen 72dpi is fine. You’ll need to work out which pixel size is right for your presentation. It is best to avoid enlarging images that are too small as this can destroy the quality, though you can get away with shrinking images or cropping them if they are too big.

You’ll also be limited in use of an image according to the licence you buy, and again the more limited the licensing the cheaper the image. The most basic licensing will allow you to keep one copy of the image and to use it in your presentation or web site. Some sites allow you to by the complete rights to an image meaning that only you can use that image from then on, which could stop a rival business using the same image as you.

If you know of any more sites we should add to this list or have any other thoughts about this subject please add your comment below.

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