The Platform That Changed Everything.
There I was, thinking of ways to spice up my blog. This was previously where I was on WordPress, before I had succumbed to the beauty of SquareSpace. Finding smexy images was just the way to spice up everything. I figured since I wasn't going to be able to get out and take enough shots with my DSLR camera to enhance each blog post with contextual images, I would have to find a way to get them online. The hunt began. I began scouring the interwebz for places I could grab images to use for free, even if it meant crediting them back or buying them to use. 123RF, Adobe Stock, GettyImages, ShutterStock, iStockPhoto.
I went everywhere.
I landed on a website called Pexels and was amazed to find such high resolution images that I could use for free, but there just seemed to not be enough to choose from that fit my needs. I always came up short for some of the posts I had in mind. Keep in mind this was before I began blogging, but I had topics in my mind ready to go.
Somehow, I landed on Unsplash and I don't even remember how. What I do remember was being taken away by the site itself. How easy it was to use. How many high resolution and not to mention high quality images I was able to find. And it covered so many categories that I found it very difficult not to be able to find a particular image that would fit my current topic, even if it meant I had to approach a contextual image for said topic from another angle.
It still amazes me to this day that I hadn't found Unsplash until after a few days of hunting. Perhaps my Google-Fu isn't as strong as I thought?
I was hooked. I created an account and began using them. Somewhere down the line something clicked. If you read my Origin Story you'll understand what that click was and how I got [back] into photography. Based on the feedback I was getting, I knew I was ready to give back to the platform that had given me so much. So I began shooting incessantly and editing them to match the quality as much as I could of Unsplash and began uploading them. This was back in December of 2017.
At the time of writing this, May 2018, all my images combined have been viewed this many times:
Unsplash had a role to play for this, as they featured 3 of my images since I began on their 'new' page. And since then so many users have used my images and I couldn't believe it. For someone who is just starting out with so much to learn, it was amazing to see so many people find value in my photography and that was all thanks to Unsplash. Sure all of this could have happened for me over time, but the feeling I got from this platform alone which encouraged me to shoot more was insane. Nothing can replace what Unsplash did for me, even if it was unintentionally and indirectly give me the confidence to keep shooting.
Every imaged used on this[my] website is taken with humility from Unsplash, for without these amazing contributors, my website would be looking pretty damn bland. If it isn't from Unsplash, then chances are I'm displaying my own images for critiquing or sharing. I have had zero need to go anywhere else.
If you are in need of high quality images for whatever reason, free is the price you will pay. However, I have to say this. Based on the exposure I've gotten from this platform, crediting the original shooter in every place possible (because some times you just can't) actually makes so much of a difference, and I hope you'll take the extra 30 seconds to do so.
Together we create. Unsplash is there to help us do just that.