Community · November 22, 2023

Behind 5 Billion with Joanna Kosinska

We caught up with contributor Joanna Kosinska on how it feels to have reached 5 billion views on Unsplash.

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright

We had the pleasure of chatting with Joanna Kosinska, a long-time contributor on Unsplash as she recently achieved a remarkable milestone of 5 billion views with only 200+ images posted. Join us as we dive into Joanna's photography journey and hear about her firsthand experience in reaching this incredible milestone

Who are you & where are you based?

My name is Jo, and I am a Graphic Designer and product/lifestyle photographer based in the UK.

How does it feel to hit 5 billion? 

I'm not going to be original in saying that it's surreal. But it is! It's beyond amazing, considering the fact that I have 200+ photos on my profile.

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

I joined Unsplash in 2015, initially as a user and then as a contributor. At that time, stock photography sites were full of very staged photos (mostly of happy, smiley people with headsets), and finding something suitable for a project was like finding a needle in a haystack. So Unsplash was the breath of fresh air that designers like me were searching for.

My contribution started the moment I decided to add photography to the roster of my services. Unsplash became my training ground, giving me confidence as a photographer. Back then, it was just gaining momentum, and it felt good to share my photos knowing that creatives like me might find them useful.

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

I have a few favorites, all for different reasons, but I'm going to name this one: It was taken in March during my trip to Iceland on the black sand beach near Vik—a trip I had dreamed of for years and can't wait to repeat.

Why did you first get started in photography?

There were two reasons. As I mentioned earlier I wanted to add a service that will support my design business. But I also needed a creative outlet that was not design. I needed something that would get me away from the screen and into nature.

What is your #1 top tip for beginner photographers?

Practice, practice, practice! Focus on the subjects you love and shoot. So stop looking at what others are doing and shoot. Embrace the learning curves and shoot!

For the first few months after getting the camera, I was glued to it. I would take it with me everywhere I went or build a set in my studio and shoot—constantly! No amount of YouTube tutorials or photo books/magazines will replace hands-on learning. There are no shortcuts, quick tips, or hacks for an instant level-up in photography (or any craft, for that matter); you have to go through it! The shortest way is the long way :)

Your go-to camera gear?


How do you stay motivated to keep shooting/ What motivates you to keep shooting?

If it's not business-related, I continue to shoot because I believe my best and favorite photos are still ahead of me.

What is your favorite place/person/object/topic to photograph? 

I have three:

  • My family events, for obvious reasons.
  • Food (glorious food!). I love cooking and photographing food. Each season brings something amazing to the table, and I'm here for it.
  • The forest and seaside. I spend most of my days behind the screen, so when I go out there and shoot, it's like meditation.

What was the toughest shoot you’ve ever done?

A photoshoot of ice lollies for social media during a heatwave. Thankfully, I had over 100 of them in my freezer. I managed it, but it was a race against time and the weather.

Where do you draw inspiration from outside of photography?

For me, inspiration comes from various sources. My general rule for inspiration is: "No input, no output." So, I consume a healthy diet of art, photography, design, read books and magazines, spend time on creative social media, and listen to passionate people.

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

My photo bucket list currently has a few items, so I'm going to share my top three:

  • Italy - food and landscape
  • Svalbard - for its landscape
  • A decadent feast inspired by the Hannibal Lecter TV series. It's one of the most striking food stylings I've seen out there.

What do you listen to while editing photos? 

Mainly ambient music, movie soundtracks, and podcasts.

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