The morguefile was created by Michael Connors
as a college student in 1996. It is currently a collaborative effort between brothers Kevin Connors
and Michael Connors, with Johannes Seemann
. The morguefile contains photographs freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects by visitors to the site. To acknowledge the artist's accomplishments, we ask that you credit the photographer when possible. Any questions regarding liabilities should be directed to the specific photographer. If you have any questions, first consult the FAQ. If you can't find and answer to your question, contact us
Frequently asked questions
Are the images really free?
Yes, the morguefile images are really free to use in creative projects, although they are not in the public domain. You are still responsible for the legal content of the images including model releases and property releases. These images are provided with free usage rights, it is similar to taking the image yourself, but you can not claim ownership of the image.
What does it mean I have to alter the image.
The morguefile license is specifically for designers and illustrators to use the images in a creative process creating work of their own. If you would like to use the image in a blog post, we recommend contacting the photographer and providing a by line under the photo with the photographer's name. This is generally agreed to be acceptable.
Can I use the image on tshirts, mugs, calendars?
You should follow the morguefile license and alter the images to create your own work. But it is possible to contact the photographer and credit their work if they agree.
Why is there a blue border on my images?
Images with blue borders are awaiting approval and will not be visible on the site to the general public until a moderator reviews and approves the image.
Can I get the image in a larger size?
We only limit image contributions to be a size no less than 800 x 600 pixels, but there is no maximum resolution. If you found an image and would like a larger version, it is possible that a creative has uploaded a lower resolution version of the image, but we don't record that information and you would have to contact that creative directly. It is probably safe to assume what has been uploaded is the largest size available. Look for "Resolution" on an image display page, on the right below the license, to list what size the image is.
Why is there a portfolio section and a free photo section?
The free photo section is for morguefile licensed images only. The Portfolio section contains copyrighted images or any image with a creative commons license. You can move images between the different licenses, but morguefile licensed images have to be approved. If an image is copyrighted license, the crop and download button are not visible. Your stats (likes, views, favorites) are counted for all files under all licenses. The reason for the two section is to provide creatives a method to distribute images under different licenses other than the morguefile free license. You can change image licenses in the "batch edit" tool, select one or more photos, then click the "change license" icon (a white rectangle in front of a black rectangle with a blue arrow) and choose a license.
I uploaded to free photos and my image is now a portfolio image, what happened?
Any images that are submitted to free photos, which are either digital art or photos of other people's art (like paintings from museums) are rejected manually by moderators and go directly to the creative's portfolio. This is to circumvent any copyright issues.
Why haven't my images been approved yet?
The most common reason why images are still awaiting approval, is because they have not been keyworded. The responsibilty for keywords rest with the contributor.
Have a question you don't see here?
Please tell us, this list of questions will continue to evolve.