Why I chose Unsplash over the standard stock photography model

Where it all began

In 2008, I started my photography journey properly. I’d moved to a new place, bored, alone and needing brain occupation, I bought myself a Fuji bridge camera.

A few months in I founded the Bradford on Avon Photography Group, sold my work and eventually got commissioned to do work.

Met awesome people, learned things. I learned how to twiddle dem knobs.

I became a purist.

This is when I uploading to a few of the more well known stock image sites, hey, why not make some cash from it, amirite?

The submission process was arduous and unfair, unfair because my images aren’t commercial, they have depth and meaning and that’s not sellable (apparently).

I would never have considered giving all of my photos away for free.

Moving on

Things changed.

Life changed.

Photography took a back seat.

Years passed.

I headed into the world of game photography. Believe it or not, it’s huge. I found myself taking photos of cars, which I’ve always loved but never shot in real life, landscapes I’d never see and all sorts of wonderful shiz.

Then I found Unsplash.

I loved the idea of using really high quality and non-cliche stock images in my work. Free….FREEEE! They weren’t the usual stock image cliche too. WIN!

After using it for a while I began to feel inspired to get the camera out again, so one day I did.


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A year on…

I find the traditional model of stock image site to be corporate, faceless and don’t get me started on their inability to respect the artist. With things like Women Laughing Alone With Salad and Dark Stock Photos, I think it’s clear we’re becoming more discerning about our marketing imagery.

Unsplash; the community, the up front, no bullshit communication and quite frankly lovely people behind it all win for me. I’d rather be doing this than shovelling my work to a company that makes more money off of it than me.

That’s why 🙂

Hello, I’m Nik, I specialise in Marketing & Brand Design for start-ups and small businesses. I also enjoy writing about authenticity, emotional + experience based thoughts and positive outcomes.