Why I Embraced Unsplash
I deleted my first Unsplash account because shortly after joining I thought to myself, "Why the hell should I give my photos away for free when it's already hard enough to make money in photography?"
However, there are a few truths that I was refusing to acknowledge.
The Harsh Truth
1) Most of my photos are not good enough to sell (neither are yours most likely).
And even if they were, the vast majority of people wouldn't want to pay for them. People steal photos all the time or simply 'attribute' them from social media. There are millions of amazing photos being captured every day. Data scientists are scarce, great photos are not.
2) The stock photo industry is dying.
Revenue in this field has been on a sharp decline for years. Unless I were willing to dedicate myself to shooting some sort of insanely niche area, the chances of making a living selling stock are slim to none. Today anybody with a smart phone has a fair chance at creating stunning images.
3) A platform like Unsplash was inevitable.
Anybody with even a little foresight could see something like this coming on the scene. What I underestimated was how many people would be willing to share them for free.
So instead of being bitter (which was my first instinct), I decided to embrace Unsplash and see what sort of positive things it could do for me.
Advantages of Unsplash
1) I've gained lots of exposure.
Some of my photos have become popular on the platform. People have used them to make YouTube mixes, animations, and all sorts of stuff. Surprisingly, a lot of people give me credit even though they don't need to. Not to mention that I've been featured on the Unsplash Instagram page twice.
2) It's a huge library of stars and clouds.
This is quite useful for me because whenever I need to add clouds or stars to a picture I can just grab some from Unsplash. I really don't feel like building my own library or buying stock photos for this.
3) I can write blog content I otherwise wouldn't have.
I did my whole series of photography tips using photos from Unsplash. Originally I was going to have to go out and shoot a bunch of photos for this series. Unsplash saved me a huge amount of time and effort.
4) It's free cloud storage.
Companies like Amazon and Google keep jacking up their cloud storage prices. So now I just throw my photos on Unsplash and download them again whenever I want.
This being said, I don't plan on putting all of my photos onto Unsplash. I still have a lot of street photos that I am trying to sell as prints. But for my travel and landscape photos, I can see no better place for them than Unsplash.
Download my photos for free on Unsplash.