A few days ago, I did an appreciation piece on Canva and detailed out the reasons for my love of the tool. As a creative introvert, I ardently believe in the power of the visuals. Even though I write more than I draw, once I am done with a piece, I spent a huge amount of my time to search for those “right” images that would both complement and supplement my work.
If I remember it correctly, the wonderful man behind this website, Jack, introduced us to Unsplash in the year 2017. As a freelance journalist and a writer, we are always in the need of “good” images, images that are not just of high quality but also the ones that should be able to narrate a story within a single frame. When Jack introduced us with the website, the biggest advantage which to this day is one of his most favorite things about the website is the availability of the royalty free images.
Nothing worries us more than getting an email/backlash about not attributing a visual properly (the reason was also shared by our admin Niki). Following the standard practice, we always try to adhere to the rules but sometimes, we make a mistake.
So, in other words, Unsplash saves us from embarrassing ourselves.
But if you are someone who does not know anything about Unsplash, here is the brief introduction to the website:
Following the principle of do-whatever-you-want, Unsplash offers people a chance to use “beautiful” images from their library consisting of thousands of images. As shared on Wikipedia, “the website claims over 70,000 contributing photographers and generates more than 5 billion photo impressions per month on their growing library of over 509,000 photos.” Founded in 2013 by Mikael Cho, Unsplash has now become a pioneer of the copyright free photography model, allowing the website to amass billions of impressions and thousands of contributions per month.
While each photo within the website comes with the details of the creator, the terms of the usage are such that you can choose to skip the attribution. By the way, just because Unsplash allows one to use royalty free images does not mean that we should never credit the creator. As shared on their blog (Medium), over 5.4 billion photos are viewed a month and a photo featured on Unsplash is seen by more people than a photo posted anywhere else. This means that it is not only the consumers but also the creators who use Unsplash for their benefit. Therefore it is important to give the proper credit as and when you get a chance.
So, why do I like Unsplash?
- As a marketer and a blogger, I work really hard on my clients’ projects and personal pieces. Unsplash helps me maintain the quality of my work by providing me the images that would add an aesthetic to my projects.
- As shared by Niki (our admin), the website allows you to see the world from artist’s eyes. This is a really important point. Sometimes, when I am not feeling good, I go to the website to just admire the beauty that contributors have been bringing to us from across the world. My favorite series from the website is of “faces” where photographers share their perspective on the theme of “face”. The images are beautiful because they tell a narrative of the person who is capturing the moments that we would otherwise miss.
- The website is easy to use and highly accessible. The first thing that usually comes to mind when one embarks on the journey of exploring new tools and websites is the usability. We don’t want to waste time on things we would end up not understand. Unsplash does not even force it upon the user to sign up on the website for downloading the images. If you are looking for an image, all you have to do is type in the keyword in the search bar, select your favorite image and download it. As simple as that.
- Unsplash is for broke people. Yes, I said it. Like the point that I raised when I talked about Canva, Unsplash makes you independent. We are way too scared and confused to invest our money into endeavors we might not be taking up in the near future. But it does not mean that we should not even try. Websites like WordPress, Canva, and Unsplash has made it possible for people like us to If entrepreneurial spirit needs to be inculcated amongst people to drive innovation, we need an environment where we are able to make attempts and solutions like Unsplash are making it possible.
Point of discussion
The “free” usage of photos for both commercial and personal use has led to the discussion wherein the concerns have been put forth regarding a creator’s hard work going waste due to the free usage.
Considering that the website allows people to use images without credit as and when they want it (though there are some restrictions), the question has been raised if creating such a free library benefits the contributor?
As mentioned earlier, the very purpose of Unsplash is to provide images without cost and copyright. Those who contribute to the website are well aware of the fact and considering that the website generates billions of impressions proves the fact that it is the right platform for people who want to showcase their work.
In a dynamic and a highly competitive field like arts, it is important to get the visibility. If Unsplash is free for the consumer, it is equally free for the creator who has to just follow a simple process to showcase her/his work. There are images that have been used continuously in different formats at different places on the Internet. A look will be enough to determine where the image came from. Now, it remains to be seen how the team behind the concept will work to ensure that creators’ benefits are maximized as the business grows because eventually, it is the contributors who are the primary drivers of Unsplash’s success.
So, do you use the website for your projects? What’s your take on Unsplash? Share your views via tweet @Fuzzable.