If you want to get a head start on any piece of multimedia or digital design project, the best thing to do in preparation is to get familiar with free image/video archives. It took me about an hour to register onto these databases and to find a way to navigate around the images that aren't royalty-free. But, once you're in, the world's your oyster. (Thanks to Brown Belt for most of these resources!)
Image "L'art de vivre" by René Magritte
Log on and click resources:
Archive.org A great site to access royalty-free paintings by artists. Most images belong to the public domain, and each artist has a page with a bio and list of important works. This is a massive collection, and the most comprehensive one that I know. I've been using this site for years, and students love it as well.
Jet Propulsion Lab The JPL has a fantastic amount of free pictures and multimedia content for use in education.
Imagebanks that require short log-in process- user name and email required: (thanks to Little Miss Brainy for the following link!!!)
Macdesktops: This is a fantastic site for all types of educators, especially if you're interested in manipulating photos or looking for a creative background for your original shots. Check it out!
Imagebanks that require a long-log-in procedure: (I suggest that you give all false info except your email address. No need to distribute unnecessary bits of identity if it isn't needed.)
iStockPhoto.com iStockPhoto is the cheapest way to acquire royalty free stock images.
Corbis Corbis is a leader in the royalty free image world. You can download comp pictures without watermarks to mock up designs
Getty Images Getty is another great royalty free image site. Their comps though have watermarks. (Tip: go to "Creative" and then search "Royalty-free")
If anyone has any other free image database resources, leave a comment, and I'll update this list. Cheers, mates! ;-) - Little Ms. Blog