A Year in Review

Let’s take a look at our highlights from 2019

Tanya Santos
Jan 14 · 7 min read

We may be in a new decade (hello 2020!), but we aren’t so far into the future that we can’t take a minute to look back at 2019 and reflect on all of the milestones, happy memories and incredible new heights that our community has reached over the past year.


Major Milestones

55,136,436,858 viewed images in 2019
195,038,108 downloaded images in 2019

In May, we reached 1 million images contributed to Unsplash, allowing more people to create, more problems to be solved, and more progress to be made. And we owed it all to our passionate, creative community.

It didn’t take too long after that to reach one billion all-time photo downloads in July. Which means, our community has inspired and enabled 1 billion creations — from presentations to paintings.

But that’s not all! Some of our top contributors also hit some pretty epic milestones in 2019. A huge congrats goes out to the following community members for reaching (wait for it)… One billion views!

One billion views

  1. Aaron Burden
  2. Markus Spiske
  3. Eberhard Grossgasteiger
  4. Nathan Dumlao

We really can’t say this enough: We are honestly so amazed by our community and the ways they continue to push open photography forward.


Top Contributors

We were blown away by the next level contributions these next 10 photographers made to the community this past year — and judging by their views and downloads, all of you were as well. Here are the ten most viewed & downloaded photographers this year:

  1. eberhard grossgasteiger
  2. Paweł Czerwiński
  3. Markus Spiske
  4. Zane Lee
  5. Jonathan Borba
  6. Kevin Mueller
  7. Annie Spratt
  8. Claudio Schwarz
  9. Casey Horner
  10. Nathan Dumlao

New & notable photographers

The Unsplash community grows more and more each day and brings to light so many new, talented photographers. Here are ten standout photographers that caught our attention and made an impact this year:

  1. Ingmar Hoogerhoud
  2. Yuliya Kosolapova
  3. Content Pixie
  4. Jess @ Harper Sunday
  5. Johan De Jager
  6. Whoisbenjamin
  7. Lana Graves
  8. Cameron Stewart
  9. Taylor Simpson
  10. Deva Williamson

Newsworthy Moments

From the 50th anniversary of the moon landing to Hong Kong protests, the community contributed some incredible newsworthy shot this past year.

Holi

Known as the ‘Festival of Colours’, in March of 2019, people from across India celebrated the Hindu Festival.

Images by Satyam Bhuyan

Hong Kong Protests

In June 2019, millions from Hong Kong took to the streets in reaction to plans to allow extradition to mainland China. The protests continue to this day.

50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

July 20, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon as part of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar mission.

Historical milestone in Iran

For nearly 40 years, women in Iran were barred from watching football at a football stadium. In October, this ban was lifted for the first time in decades.

Protests in Chile

The subway fare in Santiago in October sparked civil protests across the Chile, demanding changes to the country’s economic and political system.

Climate Action

We’ve seen a surge of protests around the world to bring attention to the global climate crisis. From images of Extinction Rebellion in London, to protests in Germany, photographers on Unsplash have taken to the streets to highlight this issue.


Let’s take a look at our trends

The editors have seen trends develop over the past year that brought new life to the library. Here they are:

Film

In 2019, we saw a flurry of incredible images shot on film. From nostalgic photos from another era to grainy images of sunny days on the beach — we’ve seen a rise in people discovering (or rediscovering) shooting analog. So much so, that we’ve even introduced a Film Topic on Unsplash, accessible directly from the homepage.

Download these images and more from our Film Topic.

Mobile Photography

This year, we saw mobile photography taken to the next level. Which goes to show, you don’t need expensive equipment to get great shots. Lucky for us, a few of our favourite mobile photographers even shared a few of their tips & tricks here.

Images by Eugene Chystiakov, Valik Chernetskyi, Lennon Cheng, kim jifu, Mika Korhonen, Pavel Nekoranec

Portrait Photography

People, captured. This year we saw tons of powerful portraits on Unsplash — all encapsulating a range of human emotion.

Download these and more from our People Topic

Playing with Perspective

From shots taken from great heights, to photographs that evoke a sense of scale — images showcasing new perspectives have been popping up on Unsplash this past year.


Here’s to an amazing 2020

We love taking the time to reflect on what we’ve all been busy building, together. 2019 was filled with some pretty epic milestones, lots of amazing new photographers to welcome to the community, and tons of outstanding photos finding their new home on Unsplash. We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings as we continue to push photography forward.

Unsplash Blog

Behind the scenes building the open photography movement at…

Thanks to Alex Begin, Annie Spratt, and Kirill Zakharov

Tanya Santos

Written by

Head of Community @unsplash

Unsplash Blog

Behind the scenes building the open photography movement at Unsplash.

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