When commercial photographer Zack Arias first heard about Unsplash—an image sharing website where photographers share high quality work 100% royalty free—his blood began to boil. It seems, for all intents and purposes, like the 'race to the bottom' that has plagued the photo industry for years has reached its nadir.

But instead of just getting angry and ranting about it online, Arias reached out to one of the cofounders, interviewed him about his creation, and came back today with a lengthy discussion titled "Thoughts on Unsplash."

If you feel like the current opinions out there on Unsplash are too shallow and don't deal with the real issues behind how Unsplash is used by designers, bloggers, and even major brands around the world, Arias' video will be a breath of fresh air. He dives into every aspect of this "business model" for photographers, addressing:

  • The legal nightmare that comes up when using images of identifiable people on Unsplash, many (read: most) of which have NOT been model released.
  • The legal night mare that comes up when using images of identifiable brands and property on Unsplash, many (read: most) of which have NOT been released either.
  • Why getting hired to do commercial work after being "discovered" on Unsplash is the exception, not the rule. Most Unsplash users just take your photo and leave, they don't look at your profile and consider hiring you.
  • Why he's personally offended and annoyed by tech startups that "use other people's money to gamble with an entire industry of people's livelihood."

The full video is 42 minutes long, and Arias hits all of the bases that are so often ignored when a discussion about Unsplash comes up. Check it out for yourself, especially if you've considered posting (or already do post) your work to Unsplash.