December 5, 2019

Unsplash: zero dollars, millions of feels

Just under three years ago I flew a drone for the first time, and started clicking the shutter button. I had no idea what I was doing, and luckily the original Mavic Pro camera operated at about the same level of tech as an iPhone camera.

I never knew what to do with the photos I made.

I shared them on social media, which was lovely. Some of them even got 10 likes!

I invested in an online gallery, well, a few online galleries, and I sold about three prints.

I submitted photos to stock photo libraries, but nothing really sold there. You can find me on Getty, iStock, Stocksy, all making about zero dollars a year.

So then there’s Unsplash, which feels like a melting pot of loser photographers like me, where the photos I made have earned me zero dollars, I know that over 40 million people have at least seen the photos. About 200,000 people have downloaded and used my photos. This particular one has been viewed over 4 million times in the past 4 days.

Money’s nice, and exposure doesn’t pay the bills, but there’s something about my nothing becoming something, something about being seen, that fills my heart up.