The company-sponsored campaigns on Unsplash bring in money – but so far unfortunately only for Unsplash itself. With Unsplash for Brands, an advertising model was introduced in December 2019, with which company accounts with paid content appear on the editorial page (recognizable by the “Sponsored” in the upper left corner and a profile name that is always displayed). Among the first and since then mostly regular partners are for example Boxed Water, Harley-Davidson, Square, Le Creuset or Timberland.
Timberland would find skillful photographers from worldwide locations. Photographers would get a commissioned contract with a world-class brand. Creators get quality imagery to create with. And Timberland and the photographers reach more people with their photography than ever before.
Timberland chose to commission a selection of Unsplash photographers from France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Where these photos actually came from is not known in detail. Except at Timberland, because there was a public cooperation with some Unsplash users, who apparently were even paid by contract. Unsplash, famous for its free culture, has thus for the first time brought about a direct payment. That some photographers may have received paid assignments through their photos on Unsplash is a moot point – the exposure is a completely different matter.
In the Slack community, the question has again arisen as to whether it would at some point be possible to participate in the paid campaigns. And the good answer is: Something is in the works! Tanya Santos from the Community Team has confirmed that they are working on a way for photographers to apply. It remains to be seen to what extent the Unsplash career to date will play a role in this, or whether it will be available for every user.