I decided to give away my photos for free, even for commercial use
almost 7 years ago from Samuel Zeller, Freelance Photographer
Two years ago I started uploading a few of my images on Unsplash, a free stock photography website.
A lot of people told me that I was devaluating my work, that I was loosing money by letting people use my photographs without paying me. I almost believed them at some point.
Time passed and I’ve had a lot of people viewing, downloading and using those photographs. Even Apple did, on their iPad Pro page. But most importantly I started to get contacted by clients (like UBS) who enjoyed my style and asked me to create images for them. In fact, giving images away tremendously increased my visibility and helped me start my freelancing career.
For those who like numbers, the images I have on Unsplash have been viewed 63’724’225 times and downloaded 613’663 times (details). That’s about 130’000 views per day, and a very small percentage of those people are also visiting my website. An even smaller percentage are contacting me for work. I can let you imagine how many backlinks I have to my portfolio now...
Today I want to give back even more, that’s why I made my own little Archive. A repository which contains nearly all my photography, organized by location and subjects. All of the images can be downloaded for free in high resolution (up to 6000px on the longest side). Everything is under a Creative Commons License and you can share them, adapt them and use them commercially (credits are appreciated)
It is a way for me to have another layer of backup and a journal of the images I take. I will regularly add more content to the archive. I estimated that I can easily upload thousand images in the next few months.
I hope some of you will have a use for those pictures, and if you make something out of it feel free to share it with me. I’d be curious to hear what you think about this.
I’m explaining why I’m doing it in more details in this Medium blog post.
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