Review: 500px

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Hello friends! Several readers have asked recently what site I would recommend for hosting photography portfolios. This is geared specifically for the folks that don’t have the knowledge to create their own website, or the money to hire a website designer.

I find 500px to be an excellent resource for posting and sharing photographs, as well as hosting a very professional-looking portfolio. In fact, I use it myself for my own portfolio. Now, this isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill social media site for pictures. This site showcases “the best of the best” – photographers are encouraged to post only their very best work. I often browse through the recent uploads to find inspiration, or to feel awestruck. There is some truly astonishing work posted on 500px.

Here’s a sample view of the photo page, click to enlarge:

These are just a few things that I love about 500px:

- The user interface is pretty darned sleek, and easy to use. There isn’t a whole lot of clutter on the screen, which really demonstrates how the designers want the focus to be on the photos themselves.
- Every photo is displayed in high resolution. Sometimes they seem to end up looking better in 500px then they did in post-processing!
- The photo upload size limit is 50MB, which is HUGE.
- Photos are resized to fit the display of the viewer.
- I can tag each photo with a description, keywords, camera, lens, focal length, aperture, ISO, category, date and copyright.
- Each photo I post develops a rating based on the number of people who have viewed it, commented on it, or “liked” it.
- The photos that I upload, comment on or “like” appear in my personalized “Flow”.
- I can follow photographers by friending them (when did “friend” become a verb?), and their uploads show up on a dedicated “Friends” page.
- I can develop a “story” with my photographs. A Story is a series of photographs arranged in a specific order via an interface, which is then published in high resolution as a photo set on a single page. Folks can add comments expressing their thoughts and feelings about the story.
- The “Market” area features photographs available for purchase as a physical print or a download.

I have the free “basic” account, which gives me:

- The ability to upload 20 photographs per week, up to 10 photographs at a time.
- A selection from a handful of portfolio templates.
- A portfolio published with a “500px.com” URL.

Upgrading to the “Awesome” account costs $49.95 per year, and with that you get (and this is not an all-inclusive list):

- Unlimited uploads.
- Unlimited collections.
- Tons and tons of portfolio designs.
- Early access to new features.
- Custom domains (removing the 500px.com from the end of the URL).
- Google Analytics.
- The ability to sell your photos.

This is not an advertisement, or a compensated post. This is my honest opinion of a really great website. If you choose to sign up, we’d love it if you’d share your portfolio URL with us, either in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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  • Genesis Jim

    I also find 500px very sleek. The opening page looks good, except that photos are cropped to fit the square thumbnails, which gives the casual viewer a skewed sense of the contents unless he is willing to click his way through your portfolio. 
    Thanks for sharing this info!

  • Matt Wagner 1

    With the nudity filter off it feels like a softcore porn site… And it’s disappointing how much traction and attention those photos and photographers get for what I realize is legitimate, but even in the most artistic and respectful forms I find to be somewhat cheap.

  • http://www.yucelphoto.com/ Yucel

    I’d like to know how the site compares to Smugmug and what it’s doing to protect full res pix?

    Thanks

  • http://www.yucelphoto.com/ Yucel

    I’d like to know how the site compares to Smugmug and what it’s doing to protect full res pix?

    Thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/EyeFxPhotography George Firebaugn

    Any adult with an eye towards photography is always going to see, bump into, encounter, trip over photos that they do not like! So, with the G~d given right of choice DON”T choose to click the button! A photo can be anything you want it to be… me.. I don’t like the macros of the insects! I find them creepy and they make my skin crawl… I just avoid them and I am just fine after that.
    (So much for the nudity bit)

    500 PX is a lush site that is candy store of ideas and I think it might be nice to give a thumbs up for constructing this site and actually putting it up. The space required to store these photos must be monster!

    Ms. Joyce thanks for the artical, even though I just found it several months later.

    Cheers PhotoPro

  • Anonymous

    If their personalized portfolios were more professional looking, it’d be worth it, but they look very cheap circa 2002 style Photoshop generated portfolios.

  • Anonymous

    If their personalized portfolios were more professional looking, it’d be worth it, but they look very cheap circa 2002 style Photoshop generated portfolios.