Enter the wonderful world of public domain graphics! I'm talking clip-art, photos, illustrations, paintings, cartoons - graphics galore!
You will be pleasantly surprised at the vast number of pictures in the public domain that can be used in your ebooks, on your sites and blogs - absolutely free - even if you're using the photo in a product for sale.
The US government posts thousands of public domain pictures on their sites, and they encourage the use of them! The majority of these photos have been taken by professional photographers, and can give your product that extra special touch. Not every picture you see on a .gov or .mil site is in the public domain, but most government sites will have clearly posted information about what on their site is free for public use and what's copyrighted. In case you aren't sure if a particular photo at a government site is available, simply email the webmaster. They're used to answering questions related to public domain materials.
If you find a book or magazine printed in the United States in the years 1922 or earlier, the photos inside are typically public domain pictures and can be used in your products.
If you're ever in doubt about the legality of a particular graphic, don't use it. Copyright lawyers abound, and owners of the material can sue you or press charges for stealing their content.
It may take a little research to find the perfect public domain picture for your product, but you'll have no fees and no legal worries about using the material commercially. Why pay for photographs when thousands are freely available for your use?