Pictures? Why Do I Need Pictures?

I’m an art school graduate, and in many ways a visual person. So when Kathleen and I discussed ways to improve the Nose last year, one thing we agreed on was that pictures are a good thing: They make the site look nice, they’re more interesting in social media links, and they’re fun. So most posts here now come with pictures. But how does a small website get pictures to use? And how to do it legally?

I’m a bit of a painter and photographer, but I can’t make images for each post. The biggest source of free, legal images on the net is on Flickr. The site lets you search for pictures under the Creative Commons license–When you search for images on Flickr, there’s an option to search for those only. I prefer to look for images that, rather than being literal representations of the article, are more peripherally related to the topic and interesting enough to pull you in.

I asked some folks on a Facebook group to suggest some blog post titles for this article.

Mommyblogger by Day, Dominatrix By Night: It Pays the Bills and Gives Me Plenty of Time for Crafting and Cuddles!

Searching Flickr for the full title will come up with very little. But what about searching for individual words? The search string “crafting cuddles” gives me this photo:

Towel Bugs

Oddly, “mommyblogger” returns photos of women with their children, at restaurants, and several photos of trucks and engines. Also this. I’m not brave enough to search for “dominatrix” (or, at least, not brave enough to tell you about it) so let’s say that search didn’t yield anything useful.

The Hell With the Internet! Telegraph Enjoys Artisanal Revival

I found something pretty quickly this time, a picture of a worker on a telegraph pole:

BDUK Cumbria St Bees pole7

(Ironically for this “title”, the wires are carrying fiber, but whatever.)

A query on “hell” found this gem:

Welcome to hell.

There’s also a rugby team called the Hellfire 7’s. You may not want to look at this picture. (Flickr can be as absorbing as Wikipedia or, as Ceil recently found, TV Tropes.)

Sheep Diaries: Life In The Field

After wading through many photos of vineyards and grape-stomping barrels and glasses of chardonnay (I don’t understand that either), I found some lovely pictures of sheep. This is my favorite:

Miniature sheep grazing, Granton Vineyard

Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Seadoo: Primates and Watercraft, a History

Flickr has a whole mess of photos of monkeys. There are happy monkeys, suspicious monkeys, angry monkeys, and adorable baby monkeys complete with heartbreaking stories. But searching on “monkey do” turned up this striking picture:

The Gesture ...

I tend to prefer images that are horizontal, so they look better with the site’s layout, but you can do what you like. (And sometimes, the perfect photo stubbornly insists on being taller than it is wide.) Embedding images in your post isn’t hard, since Flickr writes the code for you and explains how to do it all here.

It’s considered polite to leave a link in the comments on Flickr when you use an image like this. Every so often, I go through the site, click through to the photos, and do try to leave a nice note with a link.

Neil Fein is a freelance editor who specializes in novels. If you’ve written a manuscript or are getting close to finishing, you can get in touch with him here. He rides his bicycle as much as he can, and he paints and draws when he can. He’s also a musician who plays in a Celtic fusion band.

Photo credits can be gotten by clicking through to the Flickr photos. Thanks to Julie Goldberg, Carmen Ferrigno Jr., and Ceil Kessler for title suggestions.


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