Skip to main content

5 Websites With Free Breathtaking Images

5 Websites With Free Breathtaking Images

         Many times we are tempted to just do a search for an image and use it in a post or on a business page or even just a Facebook update but those images are all linked to a site and may be covered by copyright laws.

          It might not seem like a big deal as it is “only one post” but once you build your business and everything is running great do you want to get a letter in the mail from a Corporate Attorney about your use of their clients images?

One quick search found an advertising company had to pay $4,000 for a $10 photo that they “grabbed from the web”.

Most don’t have the ability to take all their own photos but there is hope.

Here is a list of sites that offer free photos. 

            Although they may be listed as free you need to check about the available uses and licensing. Some may require approval before commercial use and others may be OK.
            Also the sites may change their rules at any time so it’s best to build a portfolio of approved images and double check any new ones.

There are some references to Creative Commons Licenses. 


Once you get the rights sorted out then all of those shares on Pinterest and other sites lead back to you.

#1 UnSplash


Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.10 new photos every 10 days.

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.








Sign up to get 7 hi-res images zipped up in your inbox every 7 days. Use them anyway you want.




 Superfamous is the Los Angeles-based studio of Dutch interaction designer Folkert Gorter.

As an online publisher of large collections of literary and visual content, he is an avid promotor of people’s creative contributions to the following projects he co-founded:

→  Cargo
→  SpaceCollective

Folkert’s design work can be viewed here and his photography (below) is available under the conditions of a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0license. This means that you can use the work for your own purposes — including commercial use — as long as credit is provided.









So there you go.

I know I found a few that I can use as I was scanning through.

Let me know in the comments which photos you have used in your blog.


What does retirement look like to you?

What does retirement look like to you?


         Recently I was asked to provide some information to an article about what people who retire early do.

I have always considered being retired means you can do what you want.

This means something different to everybody.

      Some just want to fish everyday, others look forward to spending their time doing crafts and hobbies, or travel.

      Many people use their time and experience to do charity work locally and in other countries.

      Then there are the ones that have retired from one career but still want to pursue other business ventures. It’s not saying that we don’t want to do some of the other things listed above and may start spending more time on those activities but at this point it’s time to “put the training to use”.

      All the experiences that we have built in our previous careers allows us to pick and choose the parts that we feel fit into the new venture.

     In the article on the site Living Large On A Small Budget I provided one option of the 9 Things People Who Retire Early Do.

     In my case it was purchasing and renovating 3 Laundromats in 7 months. Not an easy task but I used the experienced gained in my previous career to complete the Due Diligence and supervise the renovations.

            One thing I have found in this business is that a Laundromat is a part of many communities and providing a clean, well lit, safe, convenient store is important to the health and welfare of the customers. Gone are the days of dingy, dark stores with broken machines.

      At this point in time this is what retirement looks like to me. Running Laundromats, online marketing and telling my stories.

        I have some other plans in the works for the next retirement in a few more years but for now I am enjoying the flexibility of this venture.

So what does retirement look like to you?

Ken Barrett
Multi-Store Laundromat Owner

Rescue Dogs and Laundromats

Rescue Dogs and Laundromats 


          Yesterday I was in my office beside one of my Laundromats. I was just getting ready to leave and had a couple of appointments to get to and some driving in between.

           I have gotten pretty good at estimating travel times and time spent at various locations to fit in around a few things that I have to be right on time for.

          As I went into the Laundry to see if anything had come up or if there was any deliveries my attendant was looking out into the parking lot and said did you see that lady dump that puppy out there? I said no and she said that the lady had driven up, threw some food on the ground, put the puppy out the car door and drove off.

           The time was about 12:30 and traffic always picks up between 12 and 1. Our strip mall is on a corner of a fairly busy road. Also with a light at the corner people occasionally cut through the lot, add to that the normal Laundromat traffic and it was a busy spot.

          And in this was a puppy looking very scared and confused and looking at all the cars. I coaxed her over near the store but she didn’t want to come too close, I opened the door but she wouldn’t go in. Finally she moved over to where one of my attendants was standing and we got a hold of her.


Now here’s me with a full day and an abandoned puppy.

              Just up the road is a Vet’s office that I had been talking to some of the employees from as there washer was broken and they were using the Laundromat equipment for the past couple of weeks. I headed in there and explained what had happened.

             I  asked if they could run it through all the normal tests and shots and keep it overnight until I could figure out what the plan was.

            I had sent a picture to my wife and we started to find out if there was a local option.

            The Vet’s office fortunately had a spare cage that was just big enough and the lady said as she was walking away from the cage she saw just the tip of the dogs tail wagging.

            Once home we discussed some options. We have 2 dogs already , a Basset / Corgi mix and a black Lab and didn’t want anymore right now. So we decided if we could find a rescue local that was a no-kill shelter I would drop it off the next day.

            I got back to the Vet’s office and she carried the puppy out. It still seemed pretty nervous but started wagging it’s tail when it smelt my hand. All 3 months and 11 pounds.

  Our best guess is that this being early February and a three month old dog is that Christmas seemed like a good time for a puppy but the fun was over now.

           How do you drop a puppy in the middle of a busy parking lot and just drive off?

            As I drove over to the rescue to talk to them it was sitting on the center console looking out the window. (This was a rare occasion as I didn’t have a crate or harness as my dogs are always buckled in)

           The rescue had no space but one of the volunteers said she could arrange a transport to another rescue if we could just foster her for a few days.


               I told them if I take this dog home to my 3 daughters it will not be leaving the house. So after a few texts messages and more pictures we headed to get a crate, food and blanket for the new addition.

               I had the Lab with me today just to feel things out and although a little undecided at first they seem to be having fun pulling at a rope and wrestling. 11 pounds vs 65 pounds. ( Our other dogs seem huge now…diet time)


                    The next couple of weeks will involve me and a couple of dogs on daily road trips until things settle in and Marley can stay at home with the others. At least gas prices are still low so I can afford to drive the Expedition and not the Golf.


             Another chapter begins….

and Marley.

P.S.- Please be responsible with your pets. They should not be disposable and if you can’t handle them find them a home, not a parking lot.

Incorporate Typography with Photography

   Incorporate Typography with Photography

         Getting your information out through Social Media is made easier with pictures and words.
         It’s easy to share and get interaction.

          This article covers some of the methods to put them together without looking like it was just typed on the picture.

               As I am not very good at this type of overlay and I don’t run photoshop I like that he included a method in Powerpoint.

The Right Way to Incorporate Typography with Photography
By Scott Schwertly

By now you’ve probably heard time and time again that photos have more impact than text, and are (hopefully!) pairing your text with images in presentations. Now, it’s time to take things one step further to maximize your use of photography in slides.


Here are few simple rules to take your presentations to the next level:

Add An Extra Layer

               An easy way to spruce up a presentation is to place your text on top of a beautiful, full bleed photograph. However, this can be problematic when using a full-color photograph due to all the different colors in the photo. If the photograph is saturated with light colors, light text might get too washed out, but dark text might contrast too much and look odd. An easy solution is to add a translucent color overlay to the photo, and then add the text. This adds enough contrast for the text to standout, while still allowing for an interesting, engaging background photo.

                This can be done in PowerPoint by simply adding a shape on top of a photo, making the shape a dark color (black works well), placing it where you want your text to go, and then increasing the transparency of the shape so that you can still see the image underneath.

Here’s a sample.


Make the Words Part of the Scene

                        Another great way to use typography is to add it to a photograph in a way that makes it seem like part of the scene. This is a little advanced and best accomplished in Photoshop, but it yields some amazing results. Simply find an image you would like to use (preferably one with a definite foreground and background), and then add your text and place it onto an item in the foreground, as if it’s peeking out of the object. Next, erase the area that overlaps the foreground object. This hides that section of text and makes it seems like the text is behind the foreground object and in front of the background.

It should look something like this when you are done:


It’s All About Perspective

                   Another way to incorporate text into your photo is by using the perspective tool in Photoshop. This allows you to adjust the text in a way that makes it seem as if it’s being viewed from the angle of the camera, not just flat on the screen. If you have Photoshop, this is an easy one. Once you’ve chosen your photo, just add your text, select it in the Layer Panel, right click the layer and convert the text to a Smart Object. With the Text Object selected, go to Edit > Transform > Perspective (or use shortcut command+T) then just grab a corner and drag it until the text is positioned in your desired perspective. It’s that simple.

You should then have something similar to this example:


These are some easy ways to draw attention to your own blog

To Your Prosperity

Ken Barrett

38th Street Coin Laundry

Brick and Mortar Marketing From Scratch

Brick and Mortar Marketing From Scratch

38th Street Coin Laundry


I have been working on the marketing for a new Coin Laundry in Baton Rouge LA. This is a renovation of an old, closed down Laundromat (the best ones to get by the way- More details here).

      Before I started the marketing I did some searches to find out if there was any history I could work from. That would allow me to use the old name in some of my marketing and link it to the new business.

     But what I found was nothing. Which is not a new thing for Laundromats. There are hundreds or maybe thousands that “don’t exist”. If the Laundromat had a phone line years ago and was put into the Yellow Pages or white pages because of the phone then in many cases that rolled over into some web searches as Google and Bing incorporated data to build their database.

A lot of unattended Coin Laundry’s never bothered as it was just an expense they wouldn’t use so they disappeared by never appearing.

Such is the case of the Laundromat in Baton Rouge.

The first step was to work with the new owner to develop a name and logo. We bounced a few ideas back and forth and decided on a name, logo and colors. I had made a simple one in Excel and then had it tidied up on

A search of the name 38th Street Coin Laundry found that there was a well established location with the same name in San Diego. This provided a bit of a challenge but that’s OK.

I went to work and picked up the domain name, built a website, Facebook page, added all of the analytics and set to work with some low cost promotions to get things rolling.

A few days later I did a search for 38th Street Coin Laundry on Bing as I had not been looking there before and what did I find?

Ranked at #2 and #3 !!

38th Street Coin Laundry


Next is to follow the steps I outlined in THIS POST to fill in all of the information on sites that other Laundromats are showing up on.

    And of course continue to blog on the site to provide tips for the new customers about the equipment that will be installed and how to use it, other information about the area and other local businesses and the progress of the store.

Although we have already jumped up on the search, the blog will continue to provide relevant information for the future customers.

Does a blog really make a difference?  Yes.

 Not sure what to do? Start here for a quick and easy setup.


3 Dr Suess Quotes

Sometimes you need to think about the wisdom in simple kids stories and forget all the complicated stuff.
  1. “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive that is you-er than you!”

    Dr. Seuss
               Just be yourself no matter who that is.
  2. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

    Dr Suess

             Take time to read things that you want to, not just what you feel you have to.

             Think of the times you got lost in a book and forgot about time (and eating and sometimes the kids…)

  3. “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

    Dr Suess
             And add some life to the story as well….
When was the last time you read for fun?
Custonmer Service

Is Your Company Customer Or Operations Focused?

Is Your Company Customer Or Operations Focused?


Provide A Better Customer Experience

                       Some companies really understand customer service. They know how to hire for it, train for it and deliver it. Other companies claim to give customer service, but in reality, they are grounded in an operations mentality with rules and policies that allow for little flexibility, preventing them from being anything more than just average or satisfactory.

                             Here are a few observations of the differences between customer-focused companies versus operations-focused companies:


                                 Empowerment: A customer-focused company empowers employees to make decisions that are for the benefit of the customer. They have guidelines versus rules and take the approach that if it isn’t illegal, immoral, won’t cost the company money (although sometimes that’s still okay), and won’t harm the company’s reputation, then consider doing it to take care of the customer. The operations-focused company requires a manager’s approval for anything that is outside of their policies or typical way of doing business.


                                Hiring: A customer-focused company hires people who fit the culture, which means they have the personalities and core-values that align with the company’s vision and mission. Certain jobs may require skill, but skill alone won’t get the applicant hired. An operations-focused company will hire for skill, filling a position with technical strengths. The applicant’s personality may or may not fit with the corporate culture.


                             Training: A customer-focused company spends time and money training for soft skills such as relationship building and customer service. The company recognizes that it takes both, technical and soft skills, to break away from being average. The operations-focused company spends most of their training dollars and time on technical skills and product knowledge.


                              Leadership: The leaders of a customer-focused company set the vision and mission of the culture, and then they lead by example. The leaders of an operations-focused company sets the vision and mission of the culture, but sometimes will have the “Do as I say, not as I do” approach. Sometimes their behavior is incongruent with what they want to achieve, often leaving the employees confused and less than motivated.


                                People First: The customer-focused company knows the importance of putting people first – specifically employees. They develop a culture of happy, engaged and fulfilled employees that deliver a better customer experience. Customers like this and continue to come back. An operations-focused company develops a culture focused on systems, procedures and the bottom line. While this is important to any company’s success, they miss the culture part of the equation.


                                       Customer Service: The customer-focused company looks at customer service as a philosophy to be embraced by every employee of the company, recognizing that there are both external and internal customers. The operations-focused company sees customer service as a department.


                                     As a small business owner you have probably put your heart and soul into building your company. When it comes time to hire employees, or hire more than the first ones that helped you grow the company, it’s important to hire right and build the skills needed to make the right decisions based on your company goals and vision.


                                If an employee makes a decision that costs you some money but keeps a customer happy, use the experience to determine how to improve your internal systems to avoid the situation in the future. The money “lost” on that customer may be the best money you ever spent.

              In my business each member is a Manager and is given the ability to make decisions.


                My direction to them is “Everybody walks out that door happy”.

To Your Prosperity

Ken Barrett

Ethos Pathos Logos

The Art of Persuasion: Ethos, Pathos & Logos

The Art of Persuasion: Ethos, Pathos & Logos

Some interesting things I learned today.

                I was driving to a Big Box store awhile ago for supplies for my Laundromat and somehow I made a comment that involved the phrase “Supersized”. My daughter mentioned that she had watched that movie as part of a class assignment on Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Ethos (Ethics)

Pathos (Emotion)

Logos (Logic)

Ethos Pathos Logos


          I will admit that I had no idea what she was talking about.

            It’s not often that the kids can stump me on subject matter, maybe on some details of how to do math problems or American History (I’m not one of y’all yet) but spitting out terms I had never heard and being able to explain them. The horror!

           So after a quick explanation of what they meant I handed over my iPhone and asked her to review one of my videos.

          She listened to a bit and hit pause and she said “That part was Logos because you are an expert and you are providing proof of what you have done”

           A little bit more of the video and another pause, ” This part is Ethos because you are making me feel that you have confidence that I can do this too”

          The clouds opened and birds began to sing……OK maybe not.

            Many people struggle with making videos, myself included and even people that have done lots of them will tell you there are times they stumble a little, but if you speak the truth and from the heart it will come through in your message.

          The video she was reviewing was about me realizing I had reached one of my goals and how I had set a plan in place and was making it happen.

And I DO believe that you can do it too.

Let’s Get Started Today

This Link

Never stop learning!

If you found some value please, Like, Comment and Share

Play Safe


Ken and Lawrence Tam

2 Effective Books About Marketing

2 Effective Books About Marketing
           Social media is everywhere and growing daily. The big name websites are trying to hold on as people move to other sites.
So where should you be?
  1. eBoot Camp

               I read this book by Corey Perlman published a few years ago and took a day course with him.

              At the time I didn’t understand how to market my new business on line and the one day event was being held by a local Dale Carnegie office.

              Up until that point I was a consumer on the internet and not a business owner so it was a great start to change my mindset.


Click Here to Learn More About eBoot Camp



Social Media Overload        

  1.  The second book from Mr Perlman changed the way I look at Social Media Marketing.             The first line of the book sets the stage

                                                 “You don’t have to be on Twitter.” 

                  As many of you know I own a chain of Laundromats and sell Laundromat equipment. The customers for these two products are completely different so my Social Media targeting can’t be the same.

          And both of these are different then my small business marketing.

          Take a look at these two books and take some time to analysis your customer and “fish where the fish are”.


    Click Here to Learn More About Social Media Overload

       Please comment and share if you got some value from this and know of another business owner that may need a little help.
Amersham Town Mill

Town Mill Amersham Storage Box History Search


 Town Mill Amersham Storage Box History Search

 (More details to follow shortly)

         This will probably be a meandering post as I gather information and add it as it is available.
As of the original post on Feb 4, 2015 the box had been in Canada until April of 2010 at which point I moved to Pell City, Alabama, USA.
Through this and other posts and information from various contributors we hope to trace the path from Amersham, Bukinghamshire.

P.S. Click on pictures of storage box for images posted on Flickr. (Hi Res Photos)

Amersham Town Mill


As far back as I can remember my Grandparents had a copper or brass covered, wood storage box sitting in their living room.

When I was a little kid I used to sit on it and slide down the sloped top.

            The box is about 20 inches x 20 inches x 20 inches ( 60cm x 60cm x60cm) and has a bit of a flat section on the top and a sloped, hinged access door as the rest of the top. Inset in the box is a picture of what is labeled as “Town Mill, Amersham.

                  There is also another picture of a house on the front of the box. Three of the sides are covered with copper and the back is a slightly rusted, sheet metal.
The box has a heavy handle on each end and claw foot legs.  The inside is wood.

           I have had this box in my houses for about 25 years and have always wondered the origins and how it ended up here. Occasionally I have done a random search but never really put any effort into it.

            My goal has always been to travel to Amersham and see if I can find the spot from the picture.

            Recently we have begun talking about travelling to England with my family. I have been there before by myself and travelled though England, Scotland and Wales, I’ll cover those details in another post, but I never ventured to Amersham.

            In the past week I have decided to dig deeper into the origins of the box and see what I can find. I sent a couple of emails to,, and

One of the emails I received was from Peter Borrows:


Dear Ken

Thank you for your enquiry to the Amersham Society web site, concerning a box decorated with pictures of Town Mill, Amersham.

            Town Mill is still in existence, although it is now a private house and has not been used as a mill since the 1930s. There is a history of the Mill and a number of photographs on the Amersham History web site, at I think the second picture is probably also the mill, from the other direction.

           As far as your box is concerned my personal guess is that it was produced for the tourist trade. I’ve certainly never seen anything similar. However, I am copying this e-mail to Anthony del Tufo who runs the Amersham History web site and also to Emily Toettcher who is the curator of the Amersham Museum. They may well be able to add something.

                       Amersham is a beautiful old town and has 2 good hotels in ancient buildings so I am sure you would enjoy a visit to the town. If you come, make sure you visit the Museum and, if possible come on one or both of our guided walks – the Town Walk (every Sunday afternoon during the summer) and the Martyrs walk (telling the story of the 6 men and 1 woman burnt to death some 500 years ago, the last Saturday of the summer months). For details about the walks and opening times of the Museum see the Museum web site,


I have also been having some discussions with Anthony del Tufo at the Amersham Museum:

Thank you for your enquiry and yes please do email photos of the box.  I haven’t heard of one before, but will make enquiries once I have the images.
I assume you have seen the page about Town Mill’s history at


 After I sent some pictures his reply was :



                     I have now contacted members of the Bazzard/Brazil family who used to live at Town Mill and we have compared the pictures on the box and an 18th century painting we have – see the attached image. They are similar but not the same and our conclusion is that the box has a general picture of what a water mill looks like and then someone has stamped on it the words “Town Mill Amersham” to sell it in Amersham. It would be interesting to know how it reached Canada.

Amersham Mill- Compare


                      Sorry not to be able to give it an Amersham history, but it does seem rather questionable. Anyway, please do contact us when you are coming over and you should join one of our walking tours around the town as well as visiting the Museum.

Anthony del Tufo, Museum volunteer tel: +44 (0)1494 416330

After some more links to other sites were exchanged and other comparisons made I received a reply….


          You have proved me wrong!  I was looking at the wrong side of the mill. The Bridgeman postcard is of the rear of the mill on the upstream side, which is not visible from the road, not the downstream side which I had been comparing.  I am attaching a photo which we think was taken in about 1920 before the conversion into a house and is similar to the postcard.


          Incidentally, Bridgeman painted many scenes around the town for postcards.  I don’t know much about him, although I don’t think he is the A W Bridgeman in the Canadian website you quoted, as the dates are wrong.  If you look at the Tuck website, you will find he painted over 100 postcards for Tuck:

         The photo, postcard and the box do show the same three windows in the left hand roof, the tall chimney in the centre and the chimney in the right hand roof.  I now think your box is indeed based on our Town Mill, albeit with quite a lot of artistic licence!


A few things I have found in my search so far.

 One is a post card picture issued around 1905 to 1915

A very picturesque view of the Town Mill in the village of Amersham, Buckinghamshire. A vintage Raphael Tuck topographic divided back postcard from almost 100 years ago.
It is artist signed by the great British artist A.W. Bridgeman in the lower left corner
 Year: 1905-1915 or so.

 Another sample of the post card

Card Title: TOWN MILL Artist: A.W. BRIDGEMAN Places: England – Buckinghamshire

The search continues for the artist.

One search found picture from Montreal Canada but it cannot be determined if this is the same person.

Artist- A.W. Bridgeman picture


I also found some information in the book, “Amersham Through Time” by Colin J Seabright
Amersham Through Time

Here is an excerpt from the book.

Amersham Through Time


Click Here for more pictures


         Artist Full Name : Authur W. Bridgeman – does not appear to have any other bodies of work other than postcards. Tuck and Sons kept him well employed and became a world wide company.

1811 – AW Bridgeman Town Mill Post Card first Used. callotype, not oilette  – This is the original print, only sold in England, not numbered
(Raphael Tuck and Sons) (from the Tuck database)
1880-1885 – Tuck Opened Montreal Branch
1883- Queen Victoria granted firm “Royal Warrant of Appointment”
1885- Tuck opened office in NY
1903 – Oilette and Proof series are introduced
1906 – Town Mill post card is reprinted as oilette and sold in Canada and England, number 7420

1982 – Raphael Tuck and Sons became British Printing Corp
1987 – Became Maxwell Communications Corp

        “After a bit of searching, it would appear that around the 1900’s, coal and kindling boxes made of metal became popular items in England and Canada. Copper  was plentiful and easy to work with, so many boxes had a relief hammered into the design. (look up “copper kindling box vintage” on ebay).

               Since no two boxes appear to be the same, it’s difficult to tell where the box was commissioned or by whom. The Tuck post cards were also popular collector’s items around the same time.

             It as plausible that your great grandparents bought it or commissioned it in Canada, as it is that it stood at the mill prior to Norris Bazzard and Nan Brazil owning it in 1930. The history web site did not say who owned or lived in the mill in 1900’ish. If we could find that name, then I can research to see if they, or close family, moved to Canada.”

If you have any information please add it to the comments below


Way more details to follow……

Ken Barrett

Pell City, AL, USA