Good to know. I've been finding it very hard to find good photos. I guess I'll stick to stock on DA.
I met a photographer who shoots local APHA and AQHA shows/events -- English, Western... You name it! If you personally know a photographer they're usually more than happy to let you use their work (as long as it's not being sold) as a reference. You can also trump around local show grounds with a camera of your own. The pictures don't have to show every single hair; you just need to see the "jest." I do almost all of my own reference photography, for example. If I draw Big Chex to Cash, I use this
photograph as my reference for him
(his build, color, markings, etc.) and then use another photo (or multiple photos) of my own for a pose. And voila
, I have my own, copyright-free image!
Most "big time" photographers will appreciate the ask. I had one photographer give me specific written instructions because I was the only artist who asked to use his work in a "sincere" manor (I told him who I was, what I did, & what I wanted to do with the pictures)... He usually told artists "no" but since I wasn't going to be selling the work, allowed me access to use his photographs... Free
of being sued for copyright infringement!
Sometimes taking a couple minutes out to e-mail the photographer
is worth saving the ache and hassle of having a website remove your work because it got reported as theft, and will definitely keep you safe from being "served." (They're more likely to go after you legally if you're selling a recreation.)