There Will Be Blood

#fulldisclosurefriday “I have this competition in me”

Last year, I had the absolute pleasure of watching ‘There Will Be Blood’. A masterpiece of a movie. Daniel Day-Lewis performance was the most intense thing I’ve ever felt watching a movie. Early in the movie, his character ‘Daniel Plainview’ said that famous line “I have this competition in me”. That quote has been bouncing in my head for the last 7 months.

Pushing 2 businesses at the same time is absolutely insane. YvensB Photo and Vincero Nutrition are time-consuming. But…the number 1 thing that puts me out of bed to go and try to make something happen is…I fucking want to win. 
I am competing. 
I see my friends achieving technical success or big strides and I want to compete. 
I see incredible projects being done and I want to compete.
I help people with their own projects out of sheer kindness but I still want to compete.

For the last 25 years of my life, I’ve tried to tame this thought on the basis that it might turn me into an asshole of some sort or an Yvens that I wouldn’t like. 
But that feeling is true and I can’t fight it no more. In order to become you have to be. And I compete.

But, I understood recently that there is a way to compete so that everyone wins. Competing doesn’t mean putting someone else down or stealing. Competing really means bringing new energy into your project to you can win this race. Where you draw this energy is up to you. It can come from rage, love, compassion or just the pure desire of competing so you can fulfill yourself.

I understood that even though you want to achieve, helping someone else WILL definitely create good within you. That is undeniable.

I have come to accept this competition in me as a way to elevate myself and others. It’s a source of energy that I haven’t tapped in a while but for the last 2 months, it’s been successful.

Remember. you are alone on that race track. No one cares if you do or don’t. And no one is really counting except you.

So….Go and compete. Become that thought but remember…you don’t succeed alone.


Winter Sports

This has been so much fun! 

I got the chance to take some gorgeous portraits this winter with the ever awesome Midori Smith-Wong.

If you scroll down below, you will see the building process in the video! 

Interested in working with YvensB for your brand? Simply contact us through the website or by email.


Best,

Yvens


Unsplash Millionaire


1,3 Million views.

4,000+ downloads.

& 1 Bowl of Cereal.

This is my short story of my Unsplash experience.

Over the last few days, Zack Arias has raised a red flag over a part of the photography business that needs attention; Unsplash.


Unsplash is a local (I live in Montreal) free royalty-free stock image website. Founded in 2013, they’ve accumulated over 300,000 high-resolution images from photographers all over the world. They boast 1 billion (yes, you read that right 1 Billion) image views in 2016 (it probably doubled or tripled since that time) and countless downloads.


The CREW business.

On that success, the creators behind Unsplash built a freelance agency named Crew. Crew build apps, works on creative projects and other things by putting together freelancers. The act like an intermediary to freelancers by taking a fee off the referral.


Crew, made over a couple of millions dollars in revenue since its creation. In March 2016 alone, they generated $1.88M with net revenue to Crew of $48K. Very rough estimates gives net revenue of $575K for 2016 and quarterly growth. The Unsplash website cost about 18-20K USD a month to run. Not bad at all for a startup.


My Unsplash experience

Like many others, I found Unsplash when I was looking for royalty free images for one of my companies. It’s free, so what’s the hurt right? I probably used 10 images for social media and 1 or 2 fillers for my website since at times, I was just too lazy/busy to go out and create those images. On a cold day, for a blog, I needed an image of a bowl of cereal. I stopped being lazy for a minute and took out my camera. Found the closest window and took the photo.


Since that photo was pretty useless to me after the article was published, I figured I’d share it over Unsplash as a ‘thank-you’ (not sure why I wanted to thank a website - going senile here). You can bridge the gap from there. It went quiet from there. I never really checked the stats until I got an email with my million view on the website.

Now the question is to ask. What do you get for posting on Unsplash? Not much really. I’ve heard arguments of helping the community and such. I have heard it’s a great way to have your work judged. I have heard arguments of a great vehicule for promotion and marketing. Perhaps the two first are a possibility, the last one is completely false.


Although my image was used many many many times, I never got an email asking for more. Never booked 1 job, never even got 1 instagram follower.


A few questions:

A few questions has to be asked here:

  • Am I mad at the website? No. I only added another one photo afterwards since they invited me to an event in Montreal. Another photo I didn’t care about (this one was much less successful).
  • Do I think this website could become a problem? Potentially yes. If in aggregate, the Apple and Sony’s of the world stop commisioning artists to create images for them to just use services like Unsplash, then we are facing a problem.
  • Is it unethical for the people at Crew to have founded an agency out of Unsplash? Hmm…I cannot completely say yes to this. They tapped into something that people needed and found a way to profit out of it. Will there be consequences? Maybe. The stock photographers of this world have to pass a new hurdle and create even more stunning images to be commisioned. Prices are likely to increase for custom work since the same photographers who used to make x amount of dollars with already produced work, will have to increase their prices to compensate. The client ends up paying more for the same thing. The bottom tier stock photographers will probably disappear.
  • Will I share more on Unsplash? Not unless I am commisioned to.

  • Unsplash is positioning themselves to be disruptive to the stock image business. They do “multiple jabs” as Gary Vaynerchuck says with Unsplash and right hooks you when Crew gets involved. I cannot fault them outright for successfully breaking a portion of a business and profiting out of it. The damage might not be immediate and there might be a silver lining somewhere for the top photographers on the website.


    But my experience with my trusty bowl of cereal has been nothing but the most un-rewarding thing I’ve done.

    Except for eating my cereal.


    Yvens