I'm taking a shot at writing, why not. 

17,000,000+ Views with a starter camera.

17 Million. Yeah, you read that right. 

304 days ago, I made a decision to give photos away for free on a platform called Unsplash. Yes, free. Why? Weirdly, I have never asked myself that. Photography for me, was and still is, a personal betterment. It's not only a highly valuable asset to hold in my creative field, it engages me, which is hard when you have ADD. In my eyes, helping people have access to high quality free imagery for creative work or business is rewarding enough. I would never want to be tied down to contracts or styles, I shoot what I want, when I want and share it with anyone wanting to view it. For me, thats what it's all about.

Two weeks before I setup my account, I walked into the nearest Argos and paid £345 for a Nikon D5200 which came with a free 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens. I paid £345 for something I hadn't the slightest clue how to use, I mean, my car isn't even worth that much. I don't learn by watching, I learn by doing.

At fourteen I was teaching myself Photoshop on a cracked version I torrented, now I have a First Class honours degree in Graphic Design. I guess i'm hoping that teaching myself photography now, will pay off down the line. After unboxing my camera all I did was shoot, I took my camera everywhere I thought would be interesting and as a northern boy living in London, that was pretty much everywhere. I didn't think about it at the time, but looking back, having my camera helped me get out and explore everything London had to offer. 

As a designer you appreciate minimalism, you have an understanding of composition, tone and space. This, accompanied by my willingness to learn and explore has, I believe, led me to being successful on Unsplash. I am currently the 80th most followed user across the whole platform, which in my opinion, is pretty crazy. 

Goals in life; in my opinion at least, are key. For me, goals keep me motivated and hungry to achieve it. A goal of mine was recently ticked off from my list, the Unsplash home page. Arguably one of the most prestigious things you can achieve as a user on this platform. Around 9-12 photos are curated for the home page weekly, and my week finally came after 10 months of uploads (thanks Ucraft!). 

So what now? Well, I think it's time to get rid of the 18-55mm. I know my camera, I understand how it works and its many limitations. I feel, that my learning curve has flatlined. In all honestly, I haven't gone exploring to shoot in a couple of weeks, I need change. Portrait and street photography is something that has taken my interest lately and to explore that, I'm looking into a 50mm f1.8 lens. Referring back to my goals list, down the line I plan to upgrade my camera to a full body, but in the financial situation I'm currently in, working towards a new lens is more realistic. 

I look forward to learning more about the world of photography and using it as an aid in my own design work. I feel blessed knowing that over 110,000 people have downloaded my photos for personal or professional use. If this can be achieved with a starter camera and the most basic lens on the market, who knows what's in store for the future. 

Unsplash - https://unsplash.com/@abrkett
Twitter - https://twitter.com/abrkett

Thanks for reading. 


Adam Birkett