Whether you own a website, work in graphic design, or anything in between, chances are you’re annoyed by how much a stock images can end up costing you. But what if I told you that you’re paying anything at all you’re getting ripped off? You’d think I’m crazy right? Surely a free service isn’t good enough to use. Unsplash is just that, so lets find out what it’s capable of and if it’s right for you.
What Is Unsplash
Unsplash is an image library that offers up all their images entirely for free. The photos they feature are from real, professional photographers from all around the world and cater to almost any category.
The site originated as a Tumblr page in 2013 offering people free use images simply out of frustration with the way the online community was becoming with image usage. Today, they have more than a million images in their library from thousands of photographers.
Is Unsplash Safe?
Unsplash is 100% safe. At no stage of your time on Unsplash will you be asked to supply any details more than your email, or your Facebook in order to set up your account. This does not grant them access to any photos you have on Facebook, so don’t be scared about that.
Why Do Photographers Use Unsplash?
You might be wondering by now, how do photographers (who typically dislike working for free) make money off Unsplash.
Short answer, they don’t. In fact pretty much the only reason photographers bother uploading their hard work to sites like this is for exposure. Still though, it seems like a lot of effort purely for exposure right?
Photographers often need to build up a reputation for their work before they’ll even be so much as noticed by bigger clients, so in such a reputation based business, any exposure is highly valuable.
How Does Unslpash Make Money?
How does a site where there’s no ads and no payment make money? The creators of Unsplash, Crew, found that Unsplash was their biggest referrer of business, but that was before they decided to split from Unsplash and eventually got bought out.
It’s recently also been discovered that some companies are paying for images of their products to come up at the top of results, but this isn’t happening on a terribly wide scale.
Is It Royalty Free?
Unsplash is one of the only image libraries available that is royalty free, for free! In their own words:
“Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash.”
So basically, you’re free to use anything you find on there in any way you want.
When you’re downloading a photo, you’ll get an option to give credit to the photographer, but whether you do it or not is entirely up to you.
Given the nature of the site, there’s not very many sites similar to Unsplash out there. While there are a number of paid competitors like iStock and Getty Images, chances are if you’re reading this, you’re not interested in paying.
The only close competition is Pixabay. Pixabay is essentially the same in what they do, boasting 1.8 million photos from thousands of contributors, all free from payment and royalties.
Before you decide which you should side with, the simple answer is both. They both have an amazing amount of images, but occasionally (particularly if you’re searching for something really niche) they won’t have what you’re looking for on Unsplash.
And I mean they’re both free, so why not?
Unsplash Will Make Your Posts Beautiful
Honestly, this site is an absolute god send for websites like mine. Sure, it may not have an infinite library, but it’s free and at the end of the day, that’s good enough for me.
For my blog, I tend to use Unsplash as my first choice for a nice feature picture for the article. This is simply because a feature picture isn’t really meant to give you viewer any information, rather a nice looking, relevant picture to accompany your article.