Community · May 10, 2023

Behind 2 Billion with Logan Weaver

We caught up with Logan on how it feels to have reached 2 billion views on Unsplash

Alyssa Wright Alyssa Wright

Recently, we had the amazing opportunity to chat with Logan Weaver, a long-time Unsplash contributor who recently reached 2 billion views. He shared with us how it feels to reach this incredible milestone and gave us a deeper look into his journey with photography.

Who are you & where are you based?

I’m Logan! I am a photographer and filmmaker based in Denver and Los Angeles. I’m always traveling, exploring, and learning — home is wherever those adventures take me

How does it feel to hit 2 billion?

Passing 2 billion views is surreal. It’s an impossible number to comprehend. Scale can be a tricky thing to understand — when I really try to process that number, I have a very difficult time comprehending it. What I do know, is that it feels like I’ve contributed something to the world that will outlive me, and that is a very fulfilling feeling; something I am very proud of.

Why did you decide to join the Unsplash community & contribute your images?

I joined Unsplash in August of 2019. I think, at the time, I joined to be a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to contribute my photos somewhere their value wasn’t dictated only by likes and follows. Unsplash fosters a community of people whose art is the way they see and interpret the world — and that is a community I am proud to be a part of.

Tell us about your favorite photo you’ve taken on Unsplash & why?

I think it’s impossible to pick a favorite. So many of my photos resonate with me in different ways. What is more exciting to me than any singular photo is the progression of my work as a whole. If anyone were to scroll back through the past 4 and a half years of my Unsplash contributions, what they’d see is an evolution of style, ability, direction, and understanding; not only of the photos themselves but of the world around me.  It’s been quite the journey, and without Unsplash, it would largely be an undocumented one. That being said, this photo is a recent favorite of mine, because it's one of the very few photos I have taken on my phone — and it was a very important reminder for me that vision and creativity far outweigh whatever gear you may or may not have available.

Download Logan's current favorite upload

What is your #1 tip for beginner photographers?

I think the most valuable piece of advice I can give to creators starting off their career is to take any opportunity you can to learn and practice your craft — and get excited about doing that. There’s not a lot that you can’t learn using free resources, and there’s even less that you can’t learn from practice and spending time around other creators. Stay motivated, stay hungry to learn, never turn down an opportunity, and put your best effort into everything you do — everything else will fall into place.

Your go-to camera gear?

My very first camera was a baby blue Canon Powershot that I got for my 10th birthday. I loved that thing to death. That little Canon was the first time I tapped into my creativity through photography and that has stuck with me ever since. Despite a brief departure to Sony to experience the dark side, I have shot on Canon for the last 14 years. These days my kit includes an R5 and R6 paired with Canon’s RF Trinity and my favorite prime lens ever created — the Sigma 85mm 1.8 Art.  Recently, I’ve really enjoyed exploring film and Polaroid as well. Showing your life to your kids in 20 years will be a lot more fun if you’re thumbing through a shoebox full of Polaroids rather than swiping through the camera roll on your phone.

What motivates you to keep shooting?

Admittedly, sometimes I lose sight of my motivation to create. I get busy. I get tired. I get complacent. I want to stay home and do nothing. But the incredible community of creatives surrounding me reminds me that there is so much to experience and create and capture — and more often than not, it is their work that helps reignite my own motivation. Oftentimes, it is as simple as scrolling through the editorial feed on Unsplash for a bit to get me excited about a new project or spark my next idea.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of photography?

I draw inspiration from the people and stories around me. With all the tension in our world recently, I’ve made it a point to use my craft to tell stories that don’t get heard nearly enough. Photography has long been the public’s lens into stories and worlds and that we may otherwise never understand. Ever since I was little, it was National Geographic and Life that inspired me the most, so I do what I can to capture real stories, real people, and real emotions — and then share that with the world.

What would you like to photograph that you haven’t been able to yet?

I was born in Ukraine and adopted when I was 2 years old. Watching the war has been a difficult experience for me. While I grew up in the United States and have never been back, I still consider Ukraine my home. I have always wanted to spend time there in some capacity, learning about my culture, tracking down my family tree, and understanding where I come from. Since starting my career in photography, I’ve always had this dream of combining returning home with my passion for storytelling through imagery. Now, more than ever, I am hoping to return home in the near future and capture the reality of how war has affected such a beautiful place, and then return years from now when Ukraine has made a triumphant recovery. I think those photos together would make for a beautiful gallery exhibit that would finally allow me to tell the story of where I come from through my own eyes.

What do you listen to while editing photos?

I have a very diverse taste in music, and I’m not saying my playlists are top tier… but my playlists are top tier. See for yourself. Apple Music: @Lgnwvr

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