We will use Flickr, which has thousands of Creative Commons-licensed photos.
Visit and search Flickr
From your web browser, visit www.flickr.com.
In the search box on the top right, type in the search term of the image you are looking for, then Enter or click Search Everyone's Uploads.
Click Advanced Search
You will see your search results.
On the top right, click Advanced Search.
Narrow down to Creative Commons-licensed content
Scroll down the Advanced Search page.
- Check Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content.
- Check Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon.
- Click Search.
View a photo you may want to use
- Note that you are now viewing CC-licensed photos only.
- Click a photo to view it. (We are using this photo as an example.)
View the selected photo and its license terms
When the page has loaded, right click the image.
- Click Some Rights Reserved to view the exact terms of the Creative Commons license. (Refer to next step.) If you use the photo, you must abide by these terms. At minimum, a Creative Commons license will require you to attribute the work.
- If the photo is suitable and you agree to the license terms (refer to next step), you can download the photo for re-use. There are different sizes available, depending on the dimensions of the photo which the photographer has uploaded. Click a suitable size photo for your slides or notes. (The numbers refer to the width of the photo.) Then you should be able to download the photo.
The Creative Commons license
This is the license in the example above.
Important: If you choose a photo with another type of Creative Commons license, you have to agree and fulfill the conditions of that particular license, which may require more than just attribution.
Find out who owns the photo
So, the photo is suitable, you are comfortable with and agree to the license terms, and you have downloaded the photo.
- The Flickr display name here is Axion 23 (partially obscured by the menu). The display name is located next to the user's avatar/icon.
- To find the user's actual name, mouseover the avatar/icon and click the down arrow on the side. You will see a menu, as shown above. Click Profile. In this case, you will note that the user has not provided his/her actual name on the profile.
Attribute the photo and thank the photographer
You can attribute the photo in several ways. It is good to include as much information as you can, without distracting from your photo.
Alternatively, if you do not want to set up a Flickr (Yahoo!) account, you can leave a comment on the photo page in Flickr (if the user allows anonymous comments).
Disclaimers and FAQ
This guide does not constitute legal advice.