Unsplash was created in May 2013 by Stephanie Liverani, Mikael Cho, and Luke Chesser in Montreal, Canada. While creating a new homepage for his company Crew, Cho was unable to find a suitable stock photo and hired a photographer instead.
Afterward, Cho posted the outtakes from his company photoshoot on Tumblr, inviting people to use them as they saw fit. Unsplash received more than 50,000 visits on its first day.
While Cho supplied the first batch of Unsplash photos, the site is now sustained by community contributions from amateur and professional photographers.
Due to the volume of photo submissions, the site employs an editorial team and "curators" picked from the Unsplash community, including Guy Kawasaki, Nas, Khoi Vinh, Amanda Hesser, and Om Malik.