Great Inspiration

I recently came across this guy Shantanu Starick on the web who is changing the way we negotiate and rely on money in our daily lives simply by trading the 3 fundamentals (transport,shelter,food & drink). Not only has his project become a success; he realised there were other unsung heroes throughout the world who are on his same wavelength and have been doing for a while.

With such a great idea; I thought I would share his story with you guys and hopefully this idea will appeal to more people, especially photographers as were not all segmented into one area.


Back in 2012, we wrote about a project called “Pixel Trade” by Australian photographer Shantanu Starick. The basic idea was simple but crazy: Starick wanted to travel through all seven continents on the globe without ever spending any currency. Instead, he would try to trade his services as a photographer to people willing to provide him with shelter, food, and transportation.

Starick recently appeared at Behance’s 99U to give a 20-minute talk on spending the past two years living on photos instead of money.

In his presentation, Starick talks about how photographers are generally rewarded by being more specialized in their skills — you can usually make more money by being a particular type of photographer rather than being a “jack of all trades.”

Starick was able to change the equation in his own life by completely taking money out of it. By doing this, he opened the door to a rewarding freelance experience that involves all kinds of photography. He has photographed for restaurants, architects, weddings, jewelery, fashion, and more.

Now in the 30th month of the project, Starick has reached 5 of 7 continents and has survived by completing 193 photo trades. Amount of money spent: “nil.”

On his website, Starick writes that he plans on continuing this journey for as long as “the well of human curiosity and kindness” has not dried up. From his experiences in the first two years, it seems like it will be “a long time,” he says.

The Pixel Trade (via ISO 1200)

Written By Michael Zhang For

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