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Author Topic: re: unsplash why it could be good for you  (Read 1964 times)

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« on: February 07, 2018, 23:50 »
Read the other post, didn't want mine to get lost in it seeing as it is slightly different...

I see both pros and cons to sites like unsplash... While of course I don't particularly care for the additional competition (and don't currently give photos/etc away for free, but may have to re-think some stuff)... I've seen a few posts where people don't "get" how other people can benefit from giving away their work for free...

Pros to "free" sites like unsplash:

a) "Exposure". Just getting exposure for exposures sake of course won't get you anywhere, other than bragging rights. But 'smart' people use it kind of like a "sample" - the same way you go to the store and they give you free cookies. Of course, they don't want you to just sit there and eat boxes and boxes of cookies (which, some people do - they go to costco to have a 'free' lunch). But those people (at least right now) tend to be the minority, and a lot of people will go "hmm, I like those cookies" then buy a box, maybe another, and it becomes a new habit. The same way with photography.

So if you have whats called a sales funnel set up correctly, you can benefit from the "exposure". Most don't. But you can. It's not really too much different from how people give away "free" videos on youtube, but then monetize it through advertising (although google is the big winner there), etc, etc.

So "exposure" does have value - IF it is used correctly.

b) "The lottery ticket". - Most people are REALLY bad at math. That's why lotteries keep selling tickets, and casinos keep on getting people coming. Yes - there will be winners, but for most, no. The woman from Utah - if indeed she has had "Over 7 MILLION" downloads, etc, etc - first of all, good for her - but second she's the exception, not the rule. If she was indeed the first (or one of the first) to sign up on unsplash - then yes, I can see how she would be benefitting massively. EVERY time someone "new" signed up - they checked out her stuff first. The more "looks" she got, the more popular she becamse, and it snowballed, until she was #1. Not necessarily because her stuff is "good" (took a look and meh, it's "okay", some of it is nice, but the rest, well... it's a very specific style that some people like) - but she happened to be one of the first people there. So she benefitted. Just like other industries like bitcoin, etc. If you got in on bitcoin, etc 'first' - you'd be laughing right now. But if you are trying to "get rich" now on bitcoin, good luck.

But if you are one of the first ones - then yes, you can be a lottery ticket winner.


a) Legality of Model releases, etc. This in some ways is only an issue if people sue/complain/etc. If no one complains, then it is really a mute point. Long term I think enough people will start complaining and unsplash will 'clean up' their act.  But that will only happen when they become super popular.

But by that time, the owner will be laughing all the way to the bank, because he will have sold the business to someone else to make it someone elses problem. Then they'll just simply post a notice saying "we'll respond to dmca notices", monetize it through ad revenue, etc, etc.

b) Affecting microstock. Yes & no. Yes for popular/easy shots. No for the not so popular shots (I agree with what someone else posted, i.e., like pictures of your toilet, or a proper business meeting, etc, etc).


I think the free sites will stick around (unsplash is certainly not the first. It may be one of the most recent however). I think 123RF actually 'used' to be "free" stock a long time ago (i.e., 10-15 years ago? or maybe I am thinking of someone else?), then became a paid site. So I think unsplash will probably do something similar. It's not really that original, just copying a few concepts from a few different sites that worked, and pasting it together.

But there will still be a market for 'paid' work, because some people don't want to deal with the potential hassle of a lawsuit (i.e., model releases), and like to go through the 'proper' channels to make sure everything is nice and neat. And some people LIKE professionally framed shots, proper lighting, or the ability to pick from 20 variations of a specific theme instead of having to settle on 'one' specific image.

The expression, the more things change, the more they stay the same, is really quite true.


« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 00:33 »
When you win the real lottery, you get money. When you win the Unsplash lottery, you get nada.

When you post "free" YouTube videos, you get money from advertising, Patreon, sponsors, etc. When you give away photos on Unsplash, you get nada.

Who knows how many views our images get? I'm sure the top stock photographers' views blow the woman from Utah's views out of the water. The difference is, they get MONEY.

Money, it's a hit. Don't give me that do goody good...


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