Social Work: Images/Media

A selection of excellent Social Work resources to help you with your studies.

Downloading images

All Public Domain and Creative Commons images can be saved to your computer and reused in your own work, whether it is a PowerPoint, blog, wiki or other instance.  It is always best practice to reference your images even if they are in the Public Domain. You can also hyperlink your image to its source page. See Best practices for attribution for tips on referencing your images. Carleton University also have a great guide for citing a screenshot.

Below is an example of good attribution or referencing of an image from Wikimedia Commons which was captured with Snipping Tool and reused here. Note that text and image are hyperlinked to the source page.


 "Everything is Going to be Alright" artwork by Martin Creed, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michal Klajban - CC-BY-SA 4.0

Sun and Moon at South New Brighton beach by Michal Klajban - CC-BY-SA 4.0

Find automatically referenced images in Microsoft Powerpoint and Word

1. Click Insert in the top ribbon

2. Click Online Pictures

3. Search for an image

4. Keep Creative Commons Only ticked

5. Click the image and choose Insert

6. Your image shows with hyperlinks to the source and the Creative Commons Licence below it.


This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0           

Free Images

Everyone tends to "Google" images. To avoid copyright breaches, follow this process: 

1) Search in  Google images

2) Click on Tools

3) Click on Usage Rights

4) Select Labeled for reuse - these images are usually from the Public Domain or Creative Commons.

5) Click on the image to see the terms of use and get the URL of the source page.

See below for other specialized, publicly available sources with more refined search options.


  • Unsplash. (Librarian's Favourite) Free photos, wallpapers, textures and patterns. Each image comes with a downloadable reference.
  • Pixabay. Free photos, vectors and art illustrations. All are public domain and do not require you to give credit to the artist.
  • This commercial site has a section containing free images.
  • There is no copyright on these images and they can be altered.
  • Similar to the above sites but check individual images in case of restrictions.
  • morgueFile. Photographs freely available for educational or creative use and can be altered. Credit the photographer where possible. Request permission to use for a private blog or for commercial use.

Clip Art

  • Over 2 million free clip art images.
  • WPClipart Very large, searchable database of public domain images on a variety of topics, including famous artworks. All are free to use and modify.
  • Google icons Icons (symbols) used in Google applications.  Open access files allow icons to be downloaded and altered.
  • The Noun Project  Icons and images. Sign up to be eligible for free downloads (image credit will be included).
  • Freepik Free, editable graphic designs suitable for posters, menus, cards, etc. Include  the attribution "Designed by Freepik".
  • Brusheezy Free Photoshop textures, patterns and brushes.

Other Public Domain Image Sources

  • Digital NZ - A great source of New Zealand material. Check the copyright statement to see if you can reuse it.
  • Flickr Commons. Images uploaded by museums, galleries and libraries which claim no known copyright restrictions on these images. The "Commons" search box is lower down on screen. Don't use the regular search box at top of screen.Rights statements.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Images. When you find an image, go to "More details about this file" for notes and several download size options. Most images are free to use for educational purposes. Terms of use.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Photographs. Useful for examples of photographic style or technique. Most images are free to use for educational purposes. Terms of use.
  • More Public Domain Image Sources (...from Wikipedia)

Creative Commons Search and Referencing Tools

Warning Don't assume that results from CC Search or Let's CC can be legally used for your purposes. Verify that the item you want to use has a suitable CC license by following the link provided to the site on which it was originally used.

Creative Commons (2018) Best practices for attribution.

Referencing "free" resources


Remember since you are working in an academic environment referencing will ALWAYS be required. Referencing means you are covered in relation to copyright and plagiarism by acknowledging the resource is not yours and it also helps you or someone else find it again if required. For more information on copyright and referencing have a look at the above tab called  APA Referencing

Sound - Mostly Free Sources

Note : All Ara computers can access Audacity which is software you can use to record your own sounds.

Video - Mostly free resources