I started with photography about 3 years ago and it has been a great road so far. The reason why I started is probably a bit unusual. I develop WordPress Themes and that is my primary profession. I was buying stock images from different markets like Shutterstock and Fotolia to use in the Themes. At that time I also found a little website called Unsplash. It only had about 100 free stock images at that time but I found some of them to be useful for my WordPress Themes. I also submitted a few of my images made with a mobile phone to the Unsplash collection.
To my surprise, one of my images was selected to be part of the weekly round-up and I couldn’t believe how many downloads it got in the first few days. That motivated me to start taking more images and upload them to Unsplash. Eventually, I created DreamyPixel with a friend and we started sharing our free images on this website.
First accepted image
One day I thought it would be nice if I could make a Theme using only my own images. That’s how I got into photography. But this soon evolved from making just a few stock images to an obsession with landscape photography. And I believe the Theme which uses only my landscape images turned out pretty great. More and more WordPress themes started using images on Unsplash for presentation purposes and I can almost instantly tell if the theme uses images from Unsplash. I also see some of my most popular images on blogs, plugins, one of them is even part of the backend of the most popular Slideshow plugin, Revolution Slider.
Some people give you credit when using the images and the others don’t. In the end, it’s still great to see my images being used in popular themes, plugins, and websites. While there mostly isn’t any direct gain from that, the extra exposure always helps. And the feeling when I see my image being used in a creative way is always fulfilling.
One of my favorite images from my first year of photography
All that time that I was learning and progressing towards more advanced and technically demanding images I kept posting a few of them to Unsplash. My collection kept growing and I was also a part of their book. It was a nice way of saying thank you for them and I am still proud to be a part of that. Unsplash kept getting more popular and numbers of downloads kept increasing. Today the numbers are really impressive. I currently have 163,090,759 views of my free stock images and 1,272,267 downloads. When I started uploading to Unsplash I never thought these kind of numbers are possible at all.
My most popular image of this year
Friend’s most popular image
While I am currently more focused on selling my images via prints and stock images (The Ultimate Photo Bundle 2017), I still regularly upload a few images on Unsplash. Both photography and WordPress development has given me so much in the past years that I almost feel obligated to give something in return. Thanks everyone for reading my short story. 🙂
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