In case you have been living under a rock, of if you are on the fence about starting up a portfolio on 500px, here are 10 good reasons why I think you should. Please note I have no affiliation with 500px, I am simply a happy member.
1) Amazing Photographs – While there are many other photography websites with beautiful photography, the sheer volume of amazing photographs on the site is truly unbelievable. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at the most popular photographs at the time this post was written.
2) Beautiful Website – 500px is designed to perfection. The first time I saw it I cursed because I wish I had come up with the idea myself. The thumbnails are huge, and the square crops allow photographs to fill the majority of the page without any wasted space. There is also no shortage of photographs to look at, with categories such as Popular, Editor’s Choice, Upcoming and Fresh. The voting system is simple as your only choices are thumbs up or thumbs down. The rating system is genius as photographic ratings are reduced at the end of each day, which means the content is refreshed on a regular basis. I’m a huge fan of statistics, so I love the fact they keep track of Favourites and Affection. Last but not least, the Friend’s Feed allows me to keep up to date with photographers I am interested in.
3) iPhone, iPad and Android apps – I am impressed at how much better my 500px experience is when I use the iPad app. I am not alone in my thinking. According to GigaOm, as of Oct 17th:
- Users flip through an average 80 photos per visit to 500px for iPad, spending 35 minutes in the app
- The iPad app now serves 50 percent of all traffic seen by 500px’s website
- The app is on track to serve more than 1 million flips on Monday alone
I’m willing to bet the stats have increased since then.
4) Exposure – I only joined 500px six months ago. In that time I have averaged 200 views per photograph. There are other websites I have been with for 4 or more years (namely PBase and flickr), and I don’t have as many views per image. I’m not the only one who feels this way either. If you follow 500px’s Twitter feed, you will often see users who are surprised at getting a few thousand views in a short period of time.
6) Awesome customer service – I wanted to add a 500px Widget to the side bar of this blog, but unfortunately they only had a horizontal version that didn’t fit. I wrote them an email suggesting that they create a vertical version, and about a week later, they had one ready to go. Now that’s customer service.
7) Easy to Use – I like how I can upload my photographs, add some minor details such as a the category, and submit. I don’t need to spend time adding my photographs to numerous groups just to get views. Sound familiar?
8) Prints – Personally, I’ve never felt that motivated in terms of selling my prints. I’ve always been more focused on finding the time to take photographs, and to promote myself online. While they don’t have this print services available as of yet, my understanding is that it will be an available feature in the future. If I can display my website and sell prints through a website which I am actively involved in, then I am one happy photographer.
9) It’s a young community – While 500px has been around for some time, the site redesign is less than 2 years old. I am excited to see what new and exciting things they will bring to the table in upcoming years. Events such as Pixel Hack Day show that they are vested in the community, and are willing to have a little fun as well.
10) They’re Canadian – While that may not mean much to you, it certainly makes a world of difference to me!
I’m not saying that 500px is the best solution for everyone, nor am I saying that the site is perfect. I have a few recommendations for improvements which I will share in a separate post.
In the end, if you are looking for somewhere to host casual photographs, then 500px is not for you. But, if you are looking to put your best work out there, and be involved in a community with thousands of talented photographers, then I suggest you spend some time there.
Feel free to share your 500px profile links below. As always, feedback is welcome.