Announcements · January 05, 2024

2023 in Review

Milestones, moments, and memories of the past year.

Unsplash Team
Unsplash Team

Another year at Unsplash is in the books! As we kick off the new year, it’s time to reflect on the ride that was 2023. Your continued creativity has painted a vivid picture of the highs and lows of this past year by keeping the world in the loop about major moments. 

Let's rewind and check out some epic milestones, incredible pics, and awesome launches from 2023!

Let’s take a look at our trends📈

The Unsplash submissions team has seen trends develop over the past year that brought new life to the library. Here are 5 notable trends from 2023:

Monochromatic 🖍️

This year, artists consistently showcased the magic of monochrome by embracing the power of a single hue. The choice to commit to one color conveyed a timeless elegance while simultaneously showcasing diverse creative expressions.

Keep it Real 🥰

Amidst the ever-popular curated content, 2023 witnessed a notable pivot toward authentic User-Generated Content (UGC) styles in photography. This shift embraced raw, unfiltered moments, allowing photographers to capture genuine, candid expressions, fostering an atmosphere of authenticity and relatability.

It’s Lit 💡

Portrait photography transformed with creative lighting techniques this year — from using flagged light to projecting intriguing images onto subjects, this trend seamlessly blended traditional photography with visual art, resulting in captivating compositions that redefine portraiture.

Film Resurgence 🎞️

In 2023 there was a renewed interest and appeal for film photography, leading to a film photography resurgence. The tactile and nostalgic qualities of film became particularly appealing, capturing moments with a distinct authenticity and warmth that sets it apart from the digital era.

Heavy Metals 🪩

More this year than ever, photographers and 3D artists embraced the gleaming allure of metallic textures and glossy finishes, adding a radiant dimension to visual storytelling in 2023.

Major Milestones 🚨

This year we hit some mega milestones! 
5 million images in the library
1 trillion all-time viewed images
6 billion all-time downloaded images
And in May, Unsplash turned 10!

1 billion+ views

This year, a whopping 122 contributors surpassed 1 billion views. The top 25 most viewed contributors are: 

  1. Annie Spratt
  2. Pawel Czerwiński
  3. eberhard grossgasteiger
  4. Jeremy Bishop
  5. Joanna Kosinska
  6. Markus Spiske
  7. Nathan Dumlao
  8. rawpixel
  9. Nathan Anderson
  10. Scott Webb
  12. Solen Feyissa
  13. Kelly Sikkema
  14. Toa Heftiba
  15. Maarten Deckers
  16. Priscilla Du Preez
  17. Aaron Burden
  18. Paul Pastourmatzis
  19. Marek Piwnicki
  20. Ugur Akdemir
  21. Olena Sergienko
  22. Anthony Da Cruz
  23. Ivan Bandura
  24. Anton Shuvalov
  25. Will Turner

New & notable contributors:

From all corners of the world, these 25 new contributors have brought amazing, fresh perspectives to Unsplash’s open and Unsplash+ libraries:

Newsworthy moments🗞️

The images submitted this year are a powerful portrayal of life from all corners of the globe. From major celebrations to devastating moments, these images tell a remarkable story.


Throughout 2023, North America bore witness to a record-breaking surge in wildfires, spanning from the devastating Canadian blazes in May, from the catastrophic fires in Maui in August.

King Charles Coronation

On May 6, the coronation of King Charles III was celebrated as he ascended to the throne, marking a significant moment in royal history.

Israel-Palestine conflict

Unsplash submissions saw many images depicting the Israel-Palestine conflict, providing visual insights into the ongoing tensions and human experiences within the region.

AI boom

In 2023, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) skyrocketed and became essential worldwide. It has since transformed many industries and has played a crucial role in improving efficiency across various sectors.

Ukraine War

In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, and over a year later our library still sees the ongoing devastation as the war continues.

New on Unsplash ✨

Here are 4 of our most notable updates of 2023.

Homepage refresh

For the first time in 8 years, we switched up our homepage. The new layout was designed to make finding the image you need easier, allowing you to see more images, new collections and trending keywords right off the bat.

See what's planned for the Unsplash home page

Unsplash+ turned 1

The Unsplash+ library grew exponentially this year and we celebrated the new platform turning one in October. We've welcomed hundreds of new contributors to the program and have been thrilled with the new talent in the library. They've been able to capture difficult subjects, from mental health to active volcanos, and created such useful imagery, from presentation backgrounds to mock-ups.

Learn more about Unsplash+

New Institutions

This year, we welcomed 24 new institutions to the Unsplash library! This resulted in 4 thousand incredible archival images, including many famous works of art from Monet, VanGogh and Renoir to name a few.

View the latest institutions to join Unsplash here


One of the best things we did this year is get to know you a whole lot better. In February of 2023, we conducted a census that provided us with invaluable insight into who you are and how you use Unsplash. It once again proved the very diverse makeup of the Unspash community.

See our findings here!

Here’s to 2024 🎉

Your commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity in 2023 has been amazing! Here's to an exciting and creative 2024 ahead!

Image by Ricardo Loaiza
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