Why We Do It

Why Do We Give Away Free Images?

As a professional photographer, I try to earn a living from my craft. But in these tough times, that isn’t always so easy – at least not if you charge “big bucks” for your work (I don’t). Individual or family portraits bring a much smaller fee for the free-lancer or independent than do those created at big studios, but the work can be just as professional and as labour intensive. Wedding packages have come down in price in recent years, and there are simply hordes of photographers out there trying to get in on the money – many who aren’t really ready yet to be in the business, making it harder for experienced ones to earn their bread and butter.

Two Canadian red and white maple leaf flags against a blue sky.As the opportunities expand and the working photographers increase in numbers, the competition can be tough. That’s not such a bad thing – eventually some of us do retire, and the younger folks with new ideas and creative techniques take our places. Oh, I still work from time to time, but I’ve turned my attention to producing fine art prints, and other more “funner” things…

Commercial work can also bring you an income as a photographer, whether you work independently or whether you decide to sell your images via stock and stock photo sites. Most of which I do.

So why give them away for free?

As a small business owner myself, I understand how difficult it can be to set aside earnings to pay for work of this kind. Although microstocks have some pretty reasonable pricing these days, by the time you pay for the cost of the actual promotional space, smaller business need to cut back somewhere, and it’s often on image cost. Some have no budget left for the images.

Charities, educational, religious and mission workers often have no budget at all for advertising, and the same can be said for every day bloggers.

This is simply one of the ways I give back a little of the blessings I’ve received in my life and I hope that somewhere, someone has found an image useful.

If you’ve found something here, then I’m happy to have been of some help. Happy Blogging!


If you’re the sort that just has to payback (karma), then do so by telling your friends who might need images where to find them. Or do something nice for someone else – “pay it forward” as they say, and give to someone in need.

More about me:

At Home with Gracey
Photography of Grace

author: J. Gracey Stinson

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