500px The Benefits and Pitfalls
500px is a site for professional and amateur photographers a like to post, share and sell their photos online. Unlike many other stock photography sites 500px does not have any restrictions on who can upload and what type of photos are uploaded. There is no application and no charges for uploading. So if you have been discouraged from being rejected from other sites (as have I) 500px is the way to go.
Their site has a beautiful and clean layout. Since all their money comes from selling photos both in hard copies and as digital downloads and paid subscritptions for those who are too impatient to wait to upload their work, there are no pesky ads distracting the viewer from your artwork. When you first enter the site it loads kind of like a newsfeed, but all in pictures. They tell you what all the photographers you are following have been liking and uploading. Most of the photos that you see are even available for purchase!
If you are a fan of some of the most beautiful and professional photography that you will find online 500px is the way to go. Since joining the site I have been pushed harder to make my photos stand out more than ever before. Its like the hubpages of photography. There is an amazing community of supportive and incredible photographers that when you don't have an AMAZING photo to upload it is better to not upload anything at all.
Benefits of 500px over other sites
- Limits to non-paying members. - this can be seen as a benefit and a pitfall for the site but I personally feel that having a 10 photo upload limit a week is reasonable. When you are given the option to upload hundreds of photos everyday on sites like facebook or Flikr you end up with so many sup-par photos. Being told I can only chose X amount of my photos forces you to chose the best of the best.
- Large database of photographers. Like all sites there are photographers that are incredable and there are those that are not so much... With such a large database to choose from chances are you will find your group.
- Pulse - This is a very interesting concept, every photo on 500px has a pulse. This means that every time someone likes you photo it gains more pulse. Pulses range from 0-100 kind of like the hubscore here. This gives you an idea for how much each of your photos are liked and which genre to focus on.
- There is even a stunning iPhone, iPad, and Android app so you never have to be with out those beautiful pictures.
Pitfalls of 500px
- the number one thing that has been bothering me since I started "shopping" around for other sites to sell my photos on was that 500px does not give you the option to change the prices. And let me tell you $200 for a canvas print is a bit much. While the photographer makes $40 per sale which is a fair rate, I'm just not convinced that people will spend that much on a canvas print
- One size fits all - with most photo selling sites users upload images and the potential buyer is able to chose the size of the canvas that they want, but this is not the case on 500px. They have the one size fits all mentality and so only sell a single size canvas for every image. But if I want something bigger? smaller? nope, one size fits all.
- Details - when you upload a picture all the details about the camera that you used upload along with the picture and get posted under the details of the photo. While this is a nice idea for photographers sharing their work, this kind of discourages less professional photographers from uploading because they don't have the best equipment. Although recently I was reading an article that said that iPhone photography is slowly becoming more popular than DSLR photography.
- Pulse - While if people are liking and favoriting your photos this increases their pulse, a photo gets no benefit if it is just sitting there on the site, so even the greatest of all your work can go up and be lost in the sea of uploads.
- Limits - obviously some will see the weekly limit as a discouragement from uploading.
All in all I plan to continue to upload my work to 500px, but intend to sell my work else where. While they do offer one of the best commission rates on the market, their prices are too steep for my taste especially since there is a lack of choice for what you are getting. I am leaving all my photos on the market there so if by some chance some one does purchase a photo from there I will still get the commission, but otherwise have moved everything to redbubble to check it out and see if their lower commission rates and prices and even wider options for prints do my work any justice. I am curious to know if anyone has had any success with selling their work on either 500px or redbubble? Letting me know in the comments below is greatly appreciated.
To check out my work see either