Giving my images for free
Samuel Zeller

Thank you for this article. You hit on one or two issues for photographers, most accurately the awareness that most of what we shoot sits on social servers, and is flicked through by people for a few seconds and then the image has gone, and with it, it’s value and meaning. An image should be taken with the aim to be seen and consumed: consumed by a passive audience for pleasure, or an active audience who uses the image for a defined purpose such as marketing or documenting an event you have been hired to shoot. Yet there is much concern about Upsplash and the concept it is employing; the value of the image in monetary terms and the perception of the skills required to make that image has lessened and people are expecting more and more free images. We all have to pay the bills, but we all have to buy, maintain and insure our expensive equipment as well. Giving images away seems to dilute the pool and amplify this trend further. I think it is important to welcome the fact that the job of professional photographer is changing and that this evolution is still being negotiated by us all. It is vital that we evolve and the times we live in are indeed exciting. As much as I am keen to experiment with Upsplash, I am also afraid that in the end, I’m just laying the foundation for a world where only one or two ‘superstar’ photographers exist to sell, while the rest of us are there to provide the agencies and corporations with the quick and accessible. What then for the professional image maker? Will most of us become hobbyists?