Community · December 01, 2017

Unsplash Awards 2017

Celebrating the people powering the open photography movement

Stephanie Liverani
Stephanie Liverani
Nasa | Joel Filipe | Audrey Jackson

When we launched Unsplash, we added a link that said, ‘Submit a photo.’

We didn’t think much of it but this one link changed everything. We started Unsplash with 10 photos, but the moment we realized Unsplash could be something special was when people began sharing theirs. They weren’t doing it for money. They weren’t doing it for fame. They were giving to help move creativity forward.

Today, over 50,000 Unsplash members have contributed over 260,000 high-resolution, freely usable photos. This has turned Unsplash from a humble blog into the largest open repository of high-resolution photography in the world.

Unsplash photos have gone on to inspire millions of creators from world-renowned writers like Deepak Chopra to multi-platinum recording artists to people of all ages looking to make their creative mark on the world.

Unsplash would simply not be possible without the people who believe that sharing their work to support someone else is worthwhile.

Presenting The Unsplash Awards

Today, we couldn’t be more excited to kick off the Unsplash Awards, a month-long celebration to recognize the powerful impact Unsplash contributors have made through their generosity and artistry.

We’ve created 13 photography categories where we will feature the work of Unsplash contributors for all of September. For each category, we’ve invited a guest judge to help select the featured photos.

13 categories. 13 judges.


DJI Team

DJI, the global leader in developing and manufacturing innovative drone and camera technology for commercial and recreational use will be curating this category. DJI is dedicated to making aerial photography and filmmaking equipment and platforms more accessible, reliable and easier to use for creators and innovators around the world.

Animals & Wildlife

Miguel Cardona, Lead Designer, imgix

Miguel is a designer, illustrator, photographer, and front-end tinkerer. He’s lead designer at imgix, the real-time image processor that handles visuals for Unsplash, Reddit, Kickstarter, Upworthy, and others. He’s also visiting professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences School for Design, where he teaches front-end web design, interactive media and animation.


Chris Messina, Product Designer & Writer,

Chris Messina is a product designer, writer, avid Twitterer, and speaker who’s known for inventing the hashtag. He works with developers, product designers, entrepreneurs, and communities to bring to life projects that should exist but don’t.

Black & White

Jared Granger, Designer, InVision

Jared is a multidisciplinary designer at InVision. With a focus on visual branding, he helps businesses and individuals achieve their desired outcomes through a combination of strategic thinking and genuine design solutions. From logos and visual identity systems, to print and digital experiences, his distinct design aesthetic follows a “less is more” philosophy, while keeping authenticity at the forefront of his craft.

Food & Drink

Christen Vidanovic, Social Media and Content Lead, Kodakit

Christen is a San Francisco based writer, photographer and editorial strategist. She leads editorial and social media projects at Kodakit, a on-demand service that connects photographers around the world to jobs with global clients. Christen has worked in photography for 15 years, and is the co-author of This Modern Romance: The Artistry, Technique and Business of Engagement Photography. She continues to chase down photo-worthy adventures — most recently learning to row whitewater on a 227 mile DIY raft trip through the Grand Canyon, which she captured entirely on film.

Interiors & Architecture

Oliur Rahman, Founder, UltraLinx

Oliur is a creative director with over 7 years of experience designing and developing, as well as a keen photographer who loves to take pictures in his free time — especially product imagery and travel logs.

Mobile Photography

Kari Clark, Product Manager, Google Live Case

Kari Clark is a Product Manager on Google’s Live Cases — interactive phone cases made exclusively for Pixel phones. For Live Case, she’s collaborated with some of her favorite artists, including Jeff Koons, FAILE, and Friends with You. Kari has always loved art, studying visual arts at Columbia University. These days most of her shots are of her two kids, new town of D.C, or favorite fashion finds. All are taken with her Pixel. #teampixel

Nature & Landscapes

Brad Haynes, PM, Trips by Lonely Planet

Brad has been designing and leading design teams at companies big and small for more than 10 years. In San Francisco, he helped deliver digital products for companies like Airbnb, Medium, Salesforce, and many others. Now he lives and works in Nashville, where he works with companies like Lonely Planet to design and deliver world leading digital travel products. Brad’s latest project — Trips by Lonely Planet — is a new iOS app that lets you share and discover trips from around the world.

People & Portraits

David Lee, Chief Creative Officer, Squarespace

As the Chief Creative Officer of Squarespace, David leads the company’s award-winning creative team, whose work encapsulates all brand creative, web design and product design efforts for the company. His personal mission is to build great products and a great brand, while telling compelling stories at the intersection of product, design and marketing. Since joining Squarespace in 2013, David has masterminded four Super Bowl campaigns and also led the successful launches of Squarespace Logo & Squarespace 7.


GoPro Team

GoPro makes it easy for people to celebrate and share experiences. They believe life is more meaningful when shared.

Street Photography

Dwight Pirtle, Brand Digital Media Manager — Americas at Airbnb

Dwight a digital brand advocate who has been featured in media such as PR Newswire for his expertise in the omnichannel consumer journey. He now leads Airbnb’s Digital Media Strategy in the Americas. Formerly Digital Media at Caesars Entertainment.

Tech & Business

Niv Dror, Community Manager, Product Hunt & AngelList

Niv leads Product Hunt’s social and content marketing initiatives, and is the Editor of the Product Hunt Daily. Prior to Product Hunt he built the community at Meerkat, and was an analyst at DataFox. You can find him @Nivo0o0 on Twitter.

Unsplash Community

A special category curated by Unsplash to recognize excellence in our community.


Sept 1 — Sept 30th: Submissions open. To have your photography featured in a category, go to

Oct 1 — Oct 10: Curator selections

Oct 15: Announcement of featured photos


In support of the spirit of the open photography movement and the Unsplash community, the following partners will also be participating in the Unsplash Awards.

A big thank you

I am constantly in awe. Every time I turn my computer on, I get the privilege of being inspired by some of the most breathtaking photography I’ve ever seen. Today we kickoff a month-long celebration of the people that have created this privilege.

A community is not made by code. A community is made by people. Though they won’t ask for it, we have a duty to celebrate the people who’ve turned Unsplash into one of the most impactful communities in the world.

If you’d like to show your support for the people who’ve made the open photography movement happen, feel free to share this tweet:

🏆 The 1st Unsplash Awards.
A month-long celebration dedicated to the contributors that make Unsplash happen. ❤️
— Unsplash (@unsplash) September 1, 2017

If you’d like to submit a photo to one of the categories, go to

To every member of the Unsplash community, thank you for everything.

Share article