Skip to main content

SHB CTA103: Images

Introduction to Images

There are many reasons to use images in a presentation.  They provide an eye-catching focus, as well as visual representations of objects, data, history, mood and/or concepts.   They can also add life to a ho-hum, text-heavy presentation and convey meaning to concepts that may be hard to understand.

The links on this page will help you find great images for your presentations, many of which can be freely used.  It is your responsibility to be aware of copyright. All internet content is owned by someone, and the fact that it can be downloaded does not mean that it can be used.  Look for images in the public domain or for those labeled "free to use or share." Remember that images, like words or ideas, must be cited. 

Creative commons Image

Kelly, Tom.  "Lavender Fields at Young Living Lavender Farms in Mona, Utah with a Backdrop of Mt. Nebo." Photograph. Flickr. 11 July 2009. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.  (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Note:  Although the MLA Style Manual doesn't require a link, the Creative Commons license requests that a link be provided to the license itself.  

Public Domain Image

Dust Storm in Rolla, Kansas

Williams, Charles P. "Dust Storm in Rolla, Kansas." Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs, National Archives. 14 April 1935. Web. 3 Marc. 2014.

Image Databases Licensed by the UW Colleges

Public Domain & Creative Commons Images

The following sources may also include images that do not qualify for fair use.  Carefully seek and review information about acceptable use of the images found in these collections.


The biggest issue with using images in a poster presentation is complying with copyright restrictions.  Look very carefully for information about permission to use images in order to evaluate whether permission is required or not.  The site where the image is housed may consent to fair use but ask for a link back to the collection, the license, or the image.  Remember that you will need to cite the image and to use images of sufficient quality for your needs.  These are more likely available from  databases of public domain and creative commons images. 


1.  Use images in the public domain.  This includes images provided by government agencies and images with expired copyrights.

2.  Use images licensed under creative commons. 

3.  Purchase the right to use licensed images (such as with royalty-free sites) or use images available from licensed online resources purchased by the UW Colleges, for example, ArtStor. 

4.  Take your own photos with a digital camera and edit them in PowerPoint; develop your own charts and graphs based on data you collect. 

5.  For other non-classroom situations, ask permission of the copyright holder before using. 

For more about copyright and the use of images, follow the links below.

Royalty Free Stock Photos