How Do I Find Images?

Watch these one minute videos to learn how to find Creative Commons licensed images through Flickr and Google Images.

Using Advanced Search in Flickr | Using Advanced Image Search in Google Images

Using Advanced Search in Flickr
Learn how to set your preferences in Flickr to access Creative Commons licensed image choices which have been designated by the owner to be shared or modified.

  1. From the Flickr homepage, click on the blue "Search" button to go into the Advanced Search page, then make sure "Everyone's Uploads" is selected from the drop-down menu to the right of the search button.
  2. Click on "Advanced Search" to the right of the blue "Search" button to set your search preferences to retrieve creative Commons licensed images.
  3. To select ONLY image owners offering content for re-use, check the box at the bottom of the page that says "only search within Creative Commons-licensed content."
  4. If you want to change or alter an image, also check the box that says "Find content to modify, adapt or build upon."
  5. Now you are ready to search. Back at the top of the Advanced Search page, search for your chosen keyword(s).
  6. On your search results page, click on a thumbnail image that interests you and you should see the copyright licenses chosen by the owner to the right of the image.
  7. You may now use the image in your project or paper with correction citation.
  8. The copyright licenses should reflect one of two options:

    • Labeled for Reuse: image can be reprinted in a project or paper with a proper citation.
    • Labeled for Reuse with Modification: image can be altered for a project or paper with proper citation.

Note: Creative Commons images generally cannot be used for commercial purposes, including anywhere that the user would profit financially from using the image.

It's that easy to find legal images to use! Good luck with your searching and don't forget to cite images as you would text.

For more assistance, Ask a Librarian or visit the Best Bets Image Guide!


Using Advanced Image Search in Google Images
Learn how to set your preferences in Google Images to access Creative Commons licensed image choices which can be shared or modified.

  1. From the Google homepage, click on the "Images" in the upper left-hand corner.
  2. To the right of the "Search Images" button, click on "Advanced Image Search" to set your preferences to retrieve creative Commons licensed images.
  3. The second to last choice is called "Usage Rights". You can select either "Labeled for Reuse" or "Labeled for Reuse with Modification" from the drop-down menu.
  4. "Labeled for Reuse" should be selected if you simply intend to re-print the image in a project or paper. "Labeled for Reuse with Modification" should be selected if you intend to alter the image for a project or paper. The commercial choices should only be chosen if you will be profiting financially from using the image.
  5. Once you make your selection, enter your search keywords at the top of the page and click "Google Search."
  6. On the search results page, click on an image thumbnail that you would like to use. This will take you to the image's website. If you click or X out of the image and scroll down to the bottom of the site, the image owner's Creative Commons license should be displayed.
  7. You may now use the image in your project or paper with proper citation.

It's that easy to find legal images to use! Good luck with your searching and don't forget to cite images as you would text.

For more assistance, Ask a Librarian or visit the Best Bets Image Guide!