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Learn about, an amazing resource of shared pictures that can be used easily. Pixabay provides photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and film footage.


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Presentation Management 03: Visual Storytelling

The more pictures you find online, the more difficult it gets to decide whether this picture can be legally used or not. And yes, it's not too difficult if you are ready to pay for high-quality images, because there are some awesome stock photo sites that have you covered. But in case your pockets are not too deep, or even if you are doing something on a shoestring budget for a pro bono cause, then you will want a source of pictures that's high quality, and also not expensive at all. And, the site we are reviewing today actually exceeds those requirements because not only are the pictures high quality, but they are free as well!

Pixabay is an international community of photographers that share their pictures within a Creative Commons license. This site is headquartered in Germany, and is promoted by the team of Hans Braxmeier and Simon Steinberger.

Unlike many other free image sites, which call themselves copyright-free, Pixabay is a copyleft site. What is a copyleft site? This is a site offering people the right to freely distribute copies and modified versions of a work with the stipulation that the same rights be preserved in derivative works created later.

See Also: Canva’s Acquisition of Pixabay and Pexels: Conversation with Anna Guerrero

Model Releases

Although pictures from Pixabay may be free for you to use as required, you must still ask the original photographer or photo author on Pixabay if he or she has a model release in place for any people whom you are able to recognize as a full face within the photos. So what is a model release? A model release is a signed permission from the person photographed, allowing their photographs to be used.

Learn more at the Pixabay site.

Follow these steps to search for pictures on

  1. Launch your web browser and open the Pixabay site, as shown in Figure 1, below. You may at this point in time sign up for the site. Doing so is not mandatory but it is certainly helpful and recommended.
  2. The Pixabay home page
    Figure 1: The Pixabay home page
  3. Once you have signed and logged in, enter your search term in the Search box, highlighted in red within Figure 1, above.
  4. We searched “beach umbrella” and retrieved results, as shown in Figure 2, below.
  5. Search results
    Figure 2: Search results
  6. Do note that the top row of search results are not from Pixabay; these are from other providers and are clearly labeled as Sponsored images, as highlighted in red within Figure 2, above. Clicking on any of the thumbnails within this area will take you to a paid stock photo site. For the free pictures, you can click on any of the thumbnails in the subsequent rows.
  7. We clicked on one of the thumbnails, and this opens up the page for that particular picture, as shown in Figure 3, below.
  8. Picture page on Pixabay
    Figure 3: Picture page on Pixabay
  9. Notice that you will see a larger preview of the picture, plus smaller thumbnails of similar pictures below the preview. Additionally, you can download the picture itself in several sizes, as listed on the right, shown in Figure 3, above. Select the size you want and click the prominent Download button—this will let you download the picture to your computer.


For most pictures on, no attribution is required. However, it is a good idea to credit someone whose picture you may be using. This is explained in our Attributing Creative Commons Pictures in your PowerPoint Slides tutorial.

Everything Looks Different?

The Pixabay site is constantly evolving. That may explain why screenshots on this page may sport an interface different from what you see when you log in. However, the options will continue to work in the same way. If you see something different, please help us by placing a comment on this page. You might have to scroll a little to see the comments area. Thank you.

Amazing Picture Sources Online: Pixabay (Glossary Page)

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Pictures in Presentations

Is a picture is worth a thousand words? You probably have heard this adage so often that we decided not to repeat this phrase throughout this book! Now here’s some more info: the human brain uses a larger part of its area to store visual information rather than textual content. And that’s possibly because a picture describes so much more than text.

Go and get a copy of our Pictures in Presentations ebook.

This is the original page. An AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) version of this page is also available for those on mobile platforms, at Pixabay.

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