When it comes to growing your business, social media can be really helpful to get potential customers. This article is a part of a larger series, aimed to educate and provide you information on how to leverage Social Media for Photography. This article emphasizes on 500px but in future I will also cover sites like Facebook, Twitter to Smugmug, Behance.
500px was born in 2003, but in past couple of years it has become de facto standard for photographers. It has been actively helping photographer community to connect and share their work and there is no denying that it is doing a wonderful job. Through 500px, photographers not only get a chance to update their fans and followers with their latest work, but it also helps them to get potential clients from all over the world.
5 Reasons Why Every Photographer Should Use 500px:
1. Beautiful Interface
500px has one of the best interfaces, even after comparing with Facebook, Google+, Flickr. It is well-designed, unobtrusive and simple. Its interface is meant for photographers. 500px does not encourage any advertisements in any form. Just beautiful previews of amazing photos is what it focuses on. Highlights of their interface are ‘Flow’ and ‘Public Profile.’
All the public activities carried out by photographers whom you follow are shown under a tab called “Flow.” It not only curates best photos, but it curates them beautifully. It’s like the river of photos and you are scrolling through them, maybe that’s the reason why it is called “Flow.”
With the latest integration, your 500px public profile looks way better than your existing profiles on any other social networks, in my opinion. As said earlier, its emphasis is on your photographs only.
2. Wider Reach
500px’s “Pulse” is the best thing happened for a photographer on social media. “Pulse” of a photo is a score on the scale of 0-100, calculated by 500px. A photo’s pulse count is quite likely dependent on Likes, Favorites, Views and Comments which a photo gets from other photographers. Unlike other social networks where only popular photographers manage to get their photos on front page, 500px’s unique algorithm of “Pulse” gives the opportunity to every photographer to get photo on the front page regardless that person’s popularity on social media. When you upload your photos, it initially goes to the “Fresh” category. If your photograph is really good, then it may easily surpass Pulse score of 75 which will promote it to “Upcoming” category. Once the Pulse Score comes closer to 90, it will be promoted to “Popular.” If your photos stay for a good number of days under the “Popular” category, then BINGO!!! High chances that it ends up on “Editor’s Choice” category.
The great thing about the whole process is that unlike Google+’s highlight which algorithmically determines which are the best photos taken by you or Facebook’s “Social Graph” algorithm which shows you photos based on your relationship with a person; 500px promotes your photos based on combination of “machine and community” which is completely understandable. One would definitely believe that a machine of 21st century is not yet as intelligent to determine the creativity of an artifact. Creativity is completely subjective. So even the 500px team makes sure that good and deserving photographers gets proper exposure.
3. Amazing Portfolio
500px’s default profile page is so beautiful that you actually don’t need to have a portfolio page. However, if you wish to have a separate portfolio, last thing you would want is to upload your same photos on some other site which can be really time-consuming. But if you are an “Awesome” user on 500px (highest paid account), you will get an opportunity to create a portfolio on 500px itself. So, without doing much hassle you can create a portfolio from your existing photos present on 500px. Not to mention there is already a good set of Portfolio Templates with easy customization. These templates are also responsive, which makes sure that your photos will look beautiful on any device. See Features offered by 500px Portfolio.
As the name suggests, it’s a marketplace where you can sell your photos. Cool thing about Market is that, anyone can create their personal store on 500px. Yeah, you heard it right, anyone with 500px account. Creating your own website and then setting up a payment gateway is not only expensive, but time consuming too. There are sites like Squarespace which help you to setup your own store with ease, but when you have your whole work present on 500px, why would you need yet another website and repeat the same process again?
If Marketplace blew your mind, then you have not seen even half of it. 500px is working on a stock licensing service called ‘500px Prime’ where photographers will get 70% cut. Sounds amazing, right? but there were some doubts hovering around it especially about licensing duration. Nonetheless, it is a good initiative for photographers.
There is no denying that social media is revolutionizing the photography industry. Hence, it is important to have a consistent online presence. If you are an emerging photographer, then it really makes sense to have a 500px account, not just because you can create portfolios, but you can also setup your store in few minutes. Or even if you are a PRO Photographer with decades of experience, but not very much popularity on the web, 500px has many options in store for you. After all, popularity means more potential customers.
I am also working on a startup called Expojure, which helps photographers to organize their photos on social media. So if you are frustrated or too busy to maintain online accounts on 500px, Facebook, Flickr etc. you must try Expojure. It will definitely ease your work.