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Stock Photography Guide


Stock images can be used as a visual aid to enhance course content, whether it's to spice up a PowerPoint presentation or break a large wall of text. These images typically don’t add any educational value, but rather serve as a decorative option. While Google Images or Flickr are convenient sites to search for stock photography, they don’t always strictly adhere to US copyright laws (visit the DL Website’s section on copyright and fair use). There are multiple search engines that offer Creative Commons licensed images and public domain images that are safe to use.

When to use?

Stock photography images should be used with caution though as they can become cliché or awkward when placed within unrelated content. Since stock photography are for decorative purposes, they typically don’t require alt-text. Use the Decorative image option in Canvas when inserting stock photography images.

Additional Resources

  • A search engine for sharing high quality public domain photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and film footage. Free for commercial use and no attribution required.
  • WikiCommons: An online repository of free-use images, sound, and other media files. It is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Wikipedia: Public Domain Image Resources: A list of public domain resources.