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create photography portfolioWhilst setting up a website Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly Read More is arguably easier than ever, for some people it’s still an ominous task. If you have little knowledge of web design 6 Best Web Design Blogs To Follow 6 Best Web Design Blogs To Follow Read More , content management systems or how to upkeep your site then there may be better solutions out there.

500px is aimed directly at photographers who want a professional portfolio 5 of the Best WordPress 3.0 Compatible Portfolio Themes 5 of the Best WordPress 3.0 Compatible Portfolio Themes Read More that’ll stand out in a crowd, without the headache of trying to organise a dedicated site. It’s certainly got the “professional” edge over Flickr, and provides some neat options for sharing, promoting and exhibiting your work on the web.

If you really love the service then you can upgrade your account for a yearly sum, though it’s the free option we’ll be exploring here.

Getting Started

First of all you’ll need to register, either by connecting your Facebook account or entering an email and username. Don’t worry too much about the username you choose, your real name is displayed in big, bold letters on 500px.

From this rather short initiation you’ll be taken to the dashboard where you’re given the option of uploading photos, exploring user content or finding photographers to follow. If you chose email registration then you’ll need to activate your account by clicking a link in the 500px welcome email. Once you’ve done this you can upload to the site, with the inviting Upload button.

create photography portfolio

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With a free account you can upload a maximum of 20 photos per week, with a maximum filesize of 30MB. Unfortunately only JPEG images are accepted, so no PNGs, TIFFs or various RAW formats though you can upload 10 at a time using Flash.

Personally I found the fancy Flash uploader problematic as it wouldn’t recognise any JPEG files on my machine (and crashed the uploader whenever I cancelled the upload window). I’m guessing this was to do with Chrome on Linux and had no issues using the simple uploader.

how to create a photography portfolio

After choosing and uploading suitable material, 500px will take you back to your dashboard and hopefully your new photos will appear in front of you. Clicking on the image will take you to a large image view which contains some EXIF data What EXIF Photo Data Is, How to Find It & How to Understand It What EXIF Photo Data Is, How to Find It & How to Understand It Read More (camera manufacturer and model, focal length, shutter speed, aperture and ISO) and a lot of share buttons.

how to create a photography portfolio

There is also a comments box afoot the image which allows others to praise and critique your work. The image view is particularly awesome in my opinion as it does away with distracting sidebar elements seen in other photo sharing services and gives full prominence to the image.

how to create a photography portfolio

Creating Your Portfolio

Before we proceed it might be worth filling in your basic information and uploading an image as this is automatically used on your portfolio. To do this simply click Settings next to your username in the top right and add as much detail as you like. As well as your social media accounts and personal websites, there’s an option to add your camera, lenses and other equipment 5 Essential Digital Photography Accessories You Can Make Yourself 5 Essential Digital Photography Accessories You Can Make Yourself Read More .

In order to get your portfolio off the ground, click on the Portfolio link in the main menu bar. Creating your exhibition is a four stage process that involves choosing photos, a design, a biography and a few last tweaks. Before you can do anything, you must create a collection or two – essentially categories or albums.

photography portfolio tips

Once you’ve named and created a collection, click on its name to add or edit photos. Adding a photo is as simple as clicking it, and when you’re done hit Save changes. Next you’ll need to specify a design, of which there are 7 free and 4 premium choices. Add a biography on the About page, tweak options on the Settings page and if you’ve got your own URL you can set it up on the Domain page.

photography portfolio tips

After all that you’ll probably want to take a look at your portfolio. The quickest way to get there is, which is your public link. You’re inevitably going to need more content in order to make it the perfect place to exhibit your photography, but it’s not bad for 5 minutes work.

create photography portfolio


One of the great advantages to using 500px is the instant community that comes with it. Since you’ve got hordes of fellow photographers using the service, each as obsessed as you, you’re also party to the perfect platform for some great critique and commentary. You can blog (via the You link then Blog), add fellow 500px members as friends, send messages and comments, build up a decent collection of favourites and of course simply browse some of the awesome photos on offer.

A free account with 500px gives you plenty to work with. If you were to upload 2 images a day then you’d still have 6 spare slots at the end of the week. As a rule you should only ever choose your absolute best shots for any portfolio so 20 a week is (in theory) more than enough to keep your followers hungry for more.

Of course if you love the service, take lots of keepers and would like to show your support it’s only $50 a year to remove the restrictions.

Have you signed up for 500px? What do you think? Do you prefer your own website or an all-in-one solution? Develop your comments in the dark room below.

  1. Chris Thornton
    November 3, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I stopped using 500px long time ago, as a professional photographer my main concern was that they: TAKE the TOTAL ownership of uploaded content. Might not be the case for pro account but for the free ones it is in their Terms and Conditions. Recently I was "spammed" to check out a site called YouPic. I must say I really enjoyed the Experience, much more 2015 than 500px. Also as you might have guessed I totally checked out the terms and conditions on YouPic and they do not steal rights to the photos. 500px does unfortunately. I think they will lose many users to the new kid in town. The concentration on YouPic seems to be about inspiration and getting better photos. And the amazing 10 000 views in less than 2 days on my photography was a wow experience.

  2. nedwithamphotography
    November 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I am a new user on 500px and have a question about the portfolio section. I read your article above and found it very informative but I cannot view my portfolio by typing in the address it gives me - the Each time I try I get the error page saying this website does not exist. I am still in the 72 hour window so that may be my issue.

  3. Anonymous
    May 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    nice one, my wife just joined it. but seems like their profile portfolio ( doesnt doesnt show photos.

    • Tim Brookes
      May 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Has she set it up properly, with collections and defined a template and such? You won't see anything till you've fully set up your portfolio!

  4. eschetley
    May 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I joined 500px a few weeks ago and find it to be a great service.  I was on DeviantArt and Flickr for years, but prefer 500px because of the crisp, simple interface.  The one thing I noticed about the Flash uploader is that it's looking for .jpg files, and my files were stored in .JPG. A minor thing, one that doesn't detract from the service.

    They also have a store service in conjunction with Fotomoto that gives you the option to sell prints, cards or even offer downloads of your photos.  The store is optional, and if you sign up for it, you'll be sent an e-mail with instructions on how to set your price.

    • Anonymous
      May 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks eschetley for this info.  But I still have some questions.
      Where do I find the Info for the Optional Store Service? What does it cost? Which paymentprocessor? How to deliver the pictures?  and Where can I Sign Up for it ??

      • Tim Brookes
        May 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

        This is the first I've heard of this, and I found some information over at the following link:

        As the service uses FotoMoto, I'm assuming the payment methods, commission and other things are all tied to this.

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