The 500px community is a fun, inspirational, and at times strange place where photo lovers of all shapes, sizes, and creeds come together to share their passion for the (sometimes heavily modified) still image.

It’s an amazing place that I’ve gotten to know very well over the last half year, which inspired me to write this little Editorial: get to know 5 Types of People You’ll Meet on 500px below, and then read the little nugget of advice I offer to each of the 5 groups.

We’re pretty sure you’ll be able to find yourself in at least one of these categories:

1. The 500px All-Star

We start our list with the 500px all-star… a user who we all know but not every one of us loves. We don’t always love them because, at times, it seems like they get all the glory—we can’t help but envy them at times.

They’ve got thousands (if not tens of thousands) of followers, post regularly, and it seems like no matter what they post it will end up at the top of the Popular page simply because they’ve built such a passionate following.

Of course, they’ve built that following over the course of several years and no amount of followers will make up for sub-par work. These are photographers that can teach us so much about marketing yourself through 500px, in addition to the amazing photography and post-processing skill they often share right through 500px ISO.

Nugget of Wisdom: Step out of your comfort zone occasionally. It’s easy to keep taking the same photo over and over again once you’ve carved out a niche for yourself, and you most certainly should maintain that signature style you painstakingly developed, but there’s a popular saying that goes, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

Remember what it was like to start out, and try exploring new frontiers on occasion. It’ll help keep photography fresh and add creative bits of pieces to an already developed style of shooting.

2. The Under-Appreciated Master

It seems only right that we follow the 500px All-Stars—who always get the appreciation they deserve within the community—with the incredibly talented, undiscovered photo lovers you’ll occasionally stumble across.

These photographers are undoubtedly talented, some of them may have even built followings numbering in the tens of thousands on other platforms like Instagram, but they just haven’t taken off on 500px.

Maybe it’s just a matter of time, maybe it’s a matter of taste, but this is one type of 500pxer we try our best to dig up here on 500px ISO and expose to the world. They’re incredibly talented, and they should be recognized as such. Plus a little diversity of taste never killed anybody.

Nugget of Wisdom: Hustle. Demand the recognition you deserve… okay maybe not demand but definitely ASK FOR IT.

Email me at or shoot your latest project or a crazy story over to the editors at sites like FStoppers and PetaPixel for consideration. If you’d like to become a ‘household’ name, you need to embrace the fact that you will need to market yourself and often and well.

3. The Determined Amateur

My personal favorite category and one that we try to feature as often as possible on 500px ISO, the determined amateur is the lifeblood of 500px. Great taste, a good eye, and a deep passion for photography drive photo lovers like this to keep shooting no matter what they’re using.

This is where many of the mobile photography masters live, right along side the pioneers using cheap gear to create stunning results, and the struggling amateurs that have developed some skills but are plateauing and haven’t figured out how to keep improving just yet.

It’s a broad category that encompasses so many different types of photographer, but they’re thirsty to know more, shoot more, and further immerse themselves in this crazy world of ours.

Nugget of Wisdom: Find your niche. The caveat of this is that you may actually get really successful at one style and then it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but that’s a problem you should want to face.

The majority of rejected pitches I’ve gotten over the past 5 years have been rejected because the photographer had nothing I could latch on to—they do a bit of street, a bit of landscape, a bit of portraiture, and a bit of macro… but none of it feels like their own. Even if you want to dabble in multiple types of photography, make sure you occasionally embark on a specific project that shares a story or message you find meaningful.

4. The Total Newbie

We. Love. Newbies. This user just picked up a ‘real’ camera or is digging into forums and YouTube videos to learn all they can about light and composition before they take their next smartphone shot. They’re amped on photography and their enthusiasm is contagious.

They’re getting better fast. And, once in a while, they do something totally crazy and out there that nobody already ‘established’ who knows the ‘rules’ of photography would ever do… and the results they get are awesome. This, among many other reasons, are why We. Love. Newbies! Welcome to the family.

Nugget of Wisdom: Read Jenna Martin’s article “Dear New Photographer” as soon as humanly possible. There’s more wisdom in there than we could ever fit into a nugget.

5. The Robot

Last and certainly least, The Robot. It’s a sad reality of 500px that we’re trying our best to weed out by getting more and more complex with our algorithms, but the dreaded bot still exists. Bots that like and favorite every photo in sight, leave worthless comments like “V+F” 700 times per minute and earning many “followers” and “likes” in return DO exist on 500px and you may run into them.

Flag/Report these “people” please. They don’t belong in a community as vibrant and passionate as ours.

Nugget of Wisdom: Please go away. That is all.

Of course, there’s no way that 5 categories could ever encompass everybody that makes up our awesome community, so if you think we missed a major type of 500px user, let us know in the comments down below! I’m just finishing the article and already I realized I forgot about one… the literal wildlife photographer: