It’s been one month since I joined Unsplash now and to put it simply I’ve been thrilled with the results which isn’t a surprise, considering my comments in my first piece writing about my experience on Unsplash.
Unsplash has a great little (rather large) community and it is growing fast with some very exciting collaborations coming up and plans. Most recently Unsplash have announced a collab with Timberland in which 10 photographers will be commissioned and work will be shown globally.
That for one is exciting but better yet is Unsplash’s other plans and collabs.
Unsplash and Medium are now in sync with each other – Medium if you don’t know what it is; is essentially a writing platform and this collab with Unsplash means writers and those putting articles together can now tap into the huge wealth of photographs available on Unsplash’s platform, now before you ask by DEFAULT the photographers photo is credited and you can’t take this down or hide it so Unsplash have been very keen to make sure the community is recognised.
Which shows they care about the community and not just out to fill their own pockets.
Another big announcement which is a long term plan and will take a year or more to implement is the new model around photography and to introduce blockchain but rather than me explain I’ll let the guys at Unsplash explain this so click here.
But it’s big news!
With big news and exciting collaborations comes big numbers as well. Without a doubt the views, downloads, likes and click throughs is unmatched. This is bigger than social media, bigger than Instagram dare I say it.
Within one month most photographers will hit 700,000 – 1 million view, thousands of downloads and hundreds of likes. Which is crazy numbers and a great way to get your work seen and viewed, it’s very motivating to know your photo is loved that much.
Name another platform you can get that reach and exposure in the first month of joining.
Now some who will be reading this might be think well that is all good and well you getting 1 million views but where is the money?
Granted, you won’t be making a living on Unsplash but is the same with other photography stock sites. Photography as a whole is big and everyone can take a good photo. We live in an age where bad cameras don’t exist, every single camera on the market today will take a well exposed picture and be sharp and in focus. It’s the lemon behind it that makes it special.
Now moving back to money and how is this going to help?
Ask yourself are you actually making a living from your photography now? Do you really get that much exposure and how many other amazing photographers can you name.
My answer to these are:
- I work full-time as a creative designer and work with photos and videos daily.
- I don’t get that much exposure on my work, I’m too busy helping my clients get this; this is what they pay me for.
- I could name hundreds just look at Twitter in the WexMondays and FSPrint competitions for example – Our recent group trip in October (Snowdoniatogfest) all of the togs on this trip have amazing talents.
It shouldn’t always be about getting money out of something and personally if this is what you are after then we won’t get on. I believe in giving and helping others and Unsplash is just a little way to have some fun, get your photos out there.
The some 5000 downloads I have one my 12 photos I’ve uploaded, I have no idea where most are but 2 who came to me and tagged me on Twitter very kindly which is very rewarding and interesting to see where my landscape photographs are being used.
Now this past month has been interesting to see what style of photos work on Unsplash and what doesn’t. I can tell you now monochrome and black and white images don’t work at all well.
I uploaded this photo below which has been in magazines, published, loved on social and continues to make people go wow but on Unsplash it dived.
Am I disappointed? A little but you have to remember where these photos are likely being used – blogs, articles, online presences for writing so what could this photo relate to inform of words? Not a lot when you actually think about it.
Orientation? Landscape format is king, again pretty obvious when you think about where these are being used but this doesn’t mean ignore the portrait format. It does work still just expect greater things from landscape.
Tones and colour? Unsplash community are a fussy bunch ha. I’ve found high saturation, rich colours and some of my older style of editing like this photo below again haven’t performed very well but then earthy tones, more muted palettes have exploded! But as always photography is weird like this and flip it all around some that have worked in this muted tone on social have had nothing on Unsplash and this London Shard photo is my top image on Unsplash with a quarter of million views. This was also my first photo I uploaded to the platform.
So to conclude, no one style is best, neither orientation, editing and just general photographs will be best on Unsplash but do avoid black and white, that said jump over to the trending board on Unsplash and you will see the odd black and white image.
Basically ignore everything I said on that note and just upload and have fun. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to start in photography to expose yourself to a wider audience, give you motivation and also see the inspiration of thousands of other photos.
Now I won't give you another update on my progress with Unsplash for a while but do expect me to continue uploading to this great platform, I'm in this for the long haul and along with my Twitter is a platform I won't delete or disappear from.
But seriously, give Unsplash a go and if you do, send me a comment on Twitter on how you are getting on. I'd get interested to hear others thoughts.