500 million views on Unsplash - Isolation log part 3
Reaching a quite monumental milestone of 500 million views on Unsplash prompted a bit of reflection on my part. I have joined that platform in 2015 first as a user and then as a contributor. At that time it was a brilliant source of free high-resolution images that self-employed me craved – let’s be honest finding a budget for stock photos is not a priority when you are a startup. The contribution started the moment I’ve decided to add photography to the roster of my services. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t totally altruistic when I started posting – I wanted to see my work used and I wanted to see the response to it and hopefully gain some traction.
So how did I get to the point of half a billion views and 3.5 million downloads on Unsplash? First and foremost I am a graphic designer even if I take photos. What I mean by that is maybe my images are not drop-dead gorgeous but they are very useful for those who want to create social media posts, blog banners or in need of a background for a calligraphy project.
What have I gained by giving away my work for free? I am not sure if I can quantify it and come back to you with some figure to show you a return on investment. However, what I can tell you is that I have gained a lot of confidence as a photographer and have chosen my niche. To add to it I have met a few interesting people, gained new clients, had people supporting me via PayPal and still enjoy occasional tags, mentions and amazing emails thanking me for sharing my work (plus few cheeky ones).
Will I be posting more of my work? It is possible as I am shooting more lately so there are always one or two images sitting in my vault that can be shared with the community. On the other hand, I want to see what changes 2020 will bring to this platform because like every other place it has its issues but that is a story for another time.