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Community Guidelines
Unsplash Community Guidelines
Unsplash Community Guidelines

How to make Unsplash great for everyone. ✌️

Annie Spratt avatar
Written by Annie Spratt
Updated over a week ago

The Unsplash Community is full of people of all ages, from all walks of life, sharing and using photography creatively. In short, it’s an awesome thing to be a part of.

It’s really important for everyone that as our community grows, it remains a positive and respectful space for people to share their creative work and ideas, making new connections along the way (aka be nice and don’t spam).

These Community Guidelines lay out some basic ways we can achieve this together.

Table of Contents






Image descriptions

Attribution requests





Username allocation is on a first-come first-served basis. If a username that you want is already taken we suggest that you try using underscores or numbers to create a variation. Some members of our community use Unsplash to create private collections of photos, so while an account may seem dormant, it can be active.

We reserve the right to reclaim an account’s username if:

  • An account has contributed 0 photos and is inactive (an account that has not been logged into) for 12 or more months

  • An account has contributed 1 or more photos and is inactive for 24 or more months.

  • An account is using a trademarked brand name as a username.

Accounts that have had their username reclaimed will be given the same username followed by a random 3-digit number (e.g. “@nike” becomes “@nike354”).

Accounts that have had their username reclaimed will be notified via email and informed as to why their username was reclaimed: inactivity or trademarked brand username.


Your name will be credited to your photos both on, our apps, and via third party extensions using our API. To avoid confusion we ask that you:

  • Only use your chosen name, not mentions of websites and social accounts — these can be added in your profile bio area.

  • Do not include a url in your name.

  • Use a first and last name, or a brand name if you are a brand.

  • Avoid necessarily long names

  • Refrain from using trademarked brand names. These will be removed if requested, without notice.

  • Do not add @ tags

  • Do not impersonate someone else.


This is the place to tell everyone about yourself. Share who you are and what you do. Highlight what makes you special or inspires you to take photos. Let people know you’re available for hire. It can also be a great place to direct people to your bio link. Some possible uses:

  • Personal website

  • Your Instagram, YouTube, or other social accounts

  • Print shop

  • Donate link

Please refrain from using derogatory language and profanity in your bio.


Please do not add mandatory donation requests in bios or image descriptions.


Collections are ways to save and order photos on Unsplash. You can create as many collections as you’d like. Many people use collections to save photos for future use or for inspiration.

Notifications are sent to a photographer when one of their photos is added to a collection, so please respect the photographers and models when giving a title and description to a collection.

Collections which cause offence will be removed from Unsplash immediately and an email to explain why will be sent out to the creator of the collection.

To flag a collection to the Unsplash Team, please drop us an email at

Image descriptions

Descriptions are a way for a photographer to share information about photo’s — and also gives a boost to a photo’s search-ability. Added upon submission, or later via the Edit modal, stories can be viewed beneath any photo in single photo view.

We have a few simple guidelines for titles and stories, and some tips to help you maximize your chances of being featured:

  • Descriptions are something we reference when selecting photos to feature on our own social channels; Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

  • Please don’t specify mandatory crediting, or alternative licensing for photo use as this goes against The Unsplash License and causes confusion for our community.

  • Please avoid using derogatory language and profanities.

  • Hashtags added to a story will not be searchable, and look a little funky, so these are best avoided.

  • No spam please! Do not copy and paste the same message multiple times or add spammy links to stories — these will be removed without notice.

    Handy reading: Editing a photo

Attribution requests

Whilst we actively encourage attribution, reaching out directly to users to demand or request crediting or inserting urls is against our Guidelines and can cause confusion for our community.


There are two types of tags that can be added to images. Tags added by the photographer and AI generated tags given by our system.

We ask that you refrain from adding irrelevant tags to images, as this disrupts search on our platform. Irrelevant tags will be removed and in some cases will affect image visibility of all the photos on an account. In  extreme cases this may even lead to a platform ban.

Here's a handy guide to getting your images found on Unsplash:

Incorrect and irrelevant tags can be reported directly to our team at


The option to message fellow Unsplash members is available on profiles, unless the member has chosen to opt out of the feature.

Here’s our recommended best practices when it comes to sending a message:

  • The Unsplash Community is made up of great people — please keep the tone of messages polite and respectful. 🙏Users sending inappropriate or offensive messages will have their accounts locked without notice.

  • Aim to send a message with a minimum of 20 words. Messaging is a great way to make meaningful connections within the Unsplash community, so please avoid short interactions like ‘hi!’ or ‘nice pics’. Messages with less than 20 words are likely to get flagged as spam and may not be sent.

  • No spam please! Do not copy and paste the same message multiple times to multiple users — these will get flagged as spam and not sent.

Users that repeatedly break these guidelines risk having their account locked.


As an open and safe community, we will not tolerate harassment, directly or indirectly of our contributors or users.
If you encounter harassment we recommend you don’t respond, and contact us at if the behaviour continues.


We have an engaged and lively Slack community, which is open to the whole Unsplash community.

To ensure the smooth running and happy vibes of the community:

  • Please refrain from ‘link dropping’. For feedback on photos, feel free to add a link in the #feedback channel and include some context for what kind of feedback you’re looking for. And when providing feedback on photos, please be helpful, not mean.

  • Derogatory and offensive language have no place in the Unsplash community, so please keep your words and tone polite and respectful. Basically, play nice 🤗

  • Please don’t spam or disrupt.

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