Developed in part with a grant from
the National Science Foundation
Review of ViewBug

ViewBug reviews

145 reviews
4502 CASS ST
SAN DIEGO, CA 92109-2802
members@viewbug.com

145 Reviews From Our Community

Service
16
Value
16
Shipping
4
Returns
2
Quality
16

All Reviews

katarinaw1
11 reviews
4 helpful votes
1/20/18

I love ViewBug because as a photographer, I can share my work with the world. People can leave you feedback on your photo's, you can enter photo competitions and contests to get social exposure to your name and work, plus win cool prizes like tripods, gift cards, and cameras. It's really helped build up my clientele, plus people have the options of taking a picture and paying to get it put on a canvas or print, so you can make money from your work. A passive income. Plus, I don't have to pay to be part of the community. Overall, I give ViewBug a 5 star rating. Thank you for the exposure to my photography.

Service
Quality
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erice68
1 review
0 helpful votes
1/19/18

Its okay, not particularly cheap for what it does which essentially is a place to load photos youve taken (sure theres the inspiration element but if thats it - its expensive). Youll get people following you and you do the same but this Eventually feels like a number for vanitys sake - you get the occasional comment, like and award but so what. I honestly never felt it was anything more than just people looking for a return like... The competitions are fun but theres something odd with the results - difficult to put your finger on but something doesnt always add up. I had fun for a year but at £80 its not something I would bother with again. Im sure most people will have fun with this but the appeal is really limited however I really wish Id of thought of it because it must be generating significant revenue for somebody. Good luck - have fun with it but I reckon youll feel the same way after a few months. All in all it a bit meh.

bettyh62
1 review
0 helpful votes
12/5/17

I have not been a member very long. I really enjoy looking at other pictures. However I am surprised that I sometimes see members who have posted hardly any pictures (less than 100), which aren't very spectacular, sharp or otherwise outstanding and still they have thousands of followers and awards. So I really do wonder how to get more followers, I like, award, vote but still it remains a bit low. HoResPhotography

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hi Betty,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. ViewBug is a community comprised of members from around the world with varying photographic styles, experience level, and their approach to interacting. We have some members who invest time in engaging within the community, which allows them an opportunity to build a following, increase their exposure, and create their own "photography tribe" within the larger ViewBug community.

We encourage you to engage with other members, give peer awards and like their photos, leave comments and interact with others whose photos and approach are of interest to you. Participate in photo contests and join photo challenges, as both are great ways to get more opportunities for impressions on your images/profile. These can be effective ways to increase exposure to your work and build your network in the photography community.

If we can be of any assistance, please do reach out to our member support team directly, by going here: http://bit.ly/EmailVB

Warmest regards,
Your friends at ViewBug
tomk133
1 review
15 helpful votes
8/31/17

So I've been a member of Viewbug for a year, and have many awards, etc. I was recently ranked in the top 10 class out of 198,252 images (Natural World Photo Contest). I started thinking about what this actually meant.

If I rank ahead of 190,000 images, and people are voting by displaying 4 images per screen, then you would need 800,000 page views to even have the photos looked at once. I would expect to have my images viewed at least 10 times, so that would be 8,000,000 page views for all of the photos. I doubt that all of the photos are even looked at more than once. Tech support has never told me how many views my images got in this contest. Since they refuse to answer this question, then this is looking like a contest that is based on just a few, if any views. I suggest that VB become more transparent in this regard so that their paying subscribers can decide if this is actually a contest or a lottery or some automated system based on ... something. If you are taking my money and giving out prizes as part of a contest, then you need to tell me how the contest is determined.

Viewbug needs to answer the question : Are ALL of the photos in a contest displayed at least once for voting? If not, then how do you decide which photos get displayed? What is the average number of views per photo per contest. My point is, given the large volume of images, it seems unlikely that all of the photos are viewed even once which makes this more of a lottery than a contest.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Tom,

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with ViewBug.com.

Specific to your post about ranking in the Natural World Photo Contest. Ranking ahead of 190,000 images is quite a feat! The most recent Natural World Photo Contest had 202,092 photo submissions. The total number of photo entries is always listed in the DETAILS >> HERE'S HOW IT WORKS section of the contest page. Here's a direct link to the contest you referenced:https://www.viewbug.com/contests/our-natural-world-photo-contest

Our voting system uses a proprietary algorithm that displays a different set of images to each person voting. This algorithm allows for maximum exposure to all images entered within a contest.

The views on a photo during the voting process are not counted as individual page views on your photo's page. The page views on your individual photo page's are based on actual views of the specific photo page.

If you have any further questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to our member support team, here: bit.ly/EmailVB . Our team is always happy to help.

Thank you again,

The ViewBug Team
suec20
2 reviews
11 helpful votes
8/20/17

I have been a stock photographer for over 30 years. I am a member of ViewBug and enjoy it. I both enter and create challenges and enter the bigger contests. If you look at it as a way to learn and update your skills it is a great site. It can be fun for beginners and pros alike. The bulk of the 'winners' don't get more than a pat on the head type award so you aren't going to get famous.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hi Sue,

Thank you for your honest input and for sharing your experience with ViewBug.

We are definitely very community-oriented, so we're so glad to know you enjoy the photo challenges and photo contests. We are always exploring ways we can enhance the overall ViewBug experience and we are truly grateful that you've taken the time to offer your insights.

Thank you!

The ViewBug Team
paulm299
1 review
18 helpful votes
8/16/17

I have been a PRO level member for 2 years and won over 6K "awards", ALL being from other members, except for only 14 chosen as either challenge winner or "finalist", nothing more. My images are without question better than most of the "winners" I've seen in the challenges and the Viewbug contests, yet it seems the images are not even seen by the public. I believe Viewbug hides certain peoples images from the public while allowing their buddies to win all the "prizes", which are nearly ALL USED ITEMS that their staff wants to get rid of. The "prizes", if you are lucky enough to ever even have a chance at winning against literally THOUSANDS of other people from around the world, are so cheap that it is criminal that Viewbug even can call them a legitimate prize at all. Like I said, they are used items, mostly, and if they are new, and actually worth anything over $100 (very rarely), they reserved for their staff who enters the contests also with fake profiles they create it appears. I have noticed strange things going on the more I began to investigate "winners" that just seem to keep "winning" quite often with images that are quite literally less than mediocre at best. They are not just winning once, they have won multiple times these contests, and some of the challenges. It is quite odd to see the same person, that is supposedly not a staff member, winning on a regular basis. I also notice my images have hardly ANY "views",. even though I enter 98% of all the challenges. The "contests" tend to be a deliberate tenancy for their staff to be able to win by using certain selected themes that they just so happen to have images for that 80% of the members would not have taken such pictures.
I for one find this site to me much more of a bait and switch, as I have contacted them many times about things that they either do not bother to respond, or give such a vague response to that it is not even worthy of them responding at all anyhow. It isn't until sites like this one, where people can openly say the truth about Viewbug in public, that suddenly Viewbug acts so polite and interested in helping you with your problem, but only in words for the public to see, not what they actually do once you return to their site.
I have had problems on several occasions with my challenges not being visible, and I contacted them each time that happened. They say "they will look into it", and nothing happens. This last time it happened, a strange thing happened that I cannot explain. I had just posted my challenge that said it "waiting for approval", but already two photographers had immediately posted photos to it, and it wasn't even approved to be public yet! That got me very suspicious, so I began to snoop into their profiles, and sure enough, they were both top "winners" of multiple contests, and not just a few, it was a LOT of contests and challenges they "won".
My challenge is still not viewable to the public when you search for it in the Challenges, yet a tiny handful of people are able to post pictures into it, strange, huh? It certainly is, considering ALL of them are past winners and suspiciously seem to have images that I've seen under different names as well as used in their "contests" that are not supposed to be staff members.
Sorry, there needs to be an investigation into Viewbug for FRAUD, because it appears more and more that this site is created to take your money, while the photographer staff and "judges" tend to make a living off all the Prime and PRO members. I'm about ready to pull the plug on them and see what is left after a real investigation is done.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hi Paul,

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. We're glad to know that you've received so much positive feedback on your images, from within our community. We are definitely a community-driven site so peer awards, as well as staff/judge awards are a great recognition of your photos.

We offer free and upgraded memberships, allowing our community to choose the membership level and access that best suits them.

Regarding our photo contest prizes, we offer many prizes for our different contests, which include great gear, accessories, gift cards, memberships, donations to charity, and much more!

Regarding "used" items, we have a select group of contests which are part of our Earth First Contest Series. The prizes in the Earth First Contest series does include top-end gear that was lovingly used by another creative individual and in wonderful condition to continue to be used by another creative individual. All Earth First Contests are clearly marked as such, so members are free to determine if they'd like to participate (as in all of our contests).

Photo challenges are much different than our photo contests, in that they're created by and moderated by members. This is a great opportunity for members to create a theme and have other photographers around the world participate in the challenges/themes that interest them.

We again thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. While we're aware there are some who may have a negative perspective or even misinformation about ViewBug, we stand proud in our dedication to our members and to operating in 100% integrity. All of our contests are run legitimately and prizes are awarded accordingly. We are a growing community and our focus is always on trying to provide the most exceptional experience for our members.

All the best,
The ViewBug Team
madisonf16
1 review
5 helpful votes
8/3/17

I just started taking photos not too long ago when I found this site. I love the page, I really do. I also like that contests are for everybody, so I can join them. It makes me happy to know people are actually looking at my photos and LIKING them! So yeah, no complaints there. However, I was wondering why that Viewbug doesn't keep you up to date on where you are rated until the contest's over. I get these random emails, occasionally, about how I'm in the running to be crowned, but I'm not sure where that puts me in the running for top few pictures.

And the fact that you don't get your exact rating also bothers me. My contests simply say that I was in the top... Let's say eighty, fifty, or thirty, like three of mine, for my photo. It bothers me that I don't know who the others participating are, or what rank I am. I'd like to see that, so I can see who I lost to, and who I beat. If only to improve myself for the next contest. I really want to know what my ratings were, or currently ARE for the contests I'm in. Any chance you can tell me why you don't tell me that information?

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Madison,

Thank you for sharing your experience. We are so glad to know that you're enjoying the ViewBug community and our photo contests.

With regard to your question about rankings, during each week of the voting period of a contest a ranking email is sent out to all participants letting them know how their image is performing in that week's voting.

For example, the ranking will say "your image is currently ahead of 3,340 other images". If your image is ranked within any of the Top Classes, you'll see the Top 10, Top 20, Top 30% recognition. The total number of entries in any contest can be viewed on the contest's page by clicking on the DETAILS tab, it's in the "Here's How it Works" section.

Because rankings are private, members are not able to see how other images are performing specifically, only how their own images are fairing against the entire group of submissions.

We certainly appreciate your feedback and will share this with our team for possible consideration. We're always exploring areas where we can improve the experience for our members!

All the best,
The ViewBug Team
kristik16
1 review
9 helpful votes
5/31/17

I have really enjoyed my experience with ViewBug. It even inspired me to take my hobby more seriously and now I have my own photography business. While I understand that adult content photographs have their place in the art world, I don't think ViewBug is the best venue to display this type of art. We have a lot of under aged patrons at ViewBug and I think there are a lot of other places these photographs could be displayed.

It seems recently there has been an increase in the number of adult content photos. I even tried to report one photo because of the nudity and the picture ended up on my Facebook page. As a result, I stopped reporting these images. While I will continue to support ViewBug at the Pro level, I wish more was being done to make this site a little less "sexual" and a little more artistic.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Kristi,

Thank you for taking the time share your experience. We are so pleased to know that ViewBug has provided inspiration and that you have expanded your photography journey!

While we do permit artistic nudity, we do require members to use the Adult Content filter. This allows members who prefer not to view this type of content, the ability to filter out those images. That said, we do not permit x-rated or similar adult imagery.

For members who've reached the moderator level in their membership, there is a "Report Image" link on each photo that allows members to quickly send an image report alert to our team. Members are always able to send a confidential report to our Member Support team as well.

As ViewBug continues to grow, our team explores avenues to continue moderating images as efficiently as possible. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!
angelab182
1 review
2 helpful votes
5/26/17

I also noticed that same shots for the same challenge appear on the voting page again and again, BUT.....yes, there's a but to it. Those are shots that I did NOT vote for, so to me it is absolutely logical that they reappear (just in case you change your mind)...after all, there are only so many entries in a challenge, even if they do run into thousands. I have learnt so much from other photographers on Viewbug and I can see the results in the quality of my photography. I won't be able to compete with the greats on Viewbug, even less with the world renowned ones like my absolute hero Art Wolfe, but that is not my aim. I do what I love, have fun....AND I receive reviews and advice to boot.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Thank you Angela!

We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with ViewBug. We do use a proprietary algorithm for our voting process, to ensure that all images are able to get equal exposure and opportunities to be viewed for voting. Our team regularly monitors challenges and contests, to make sure things are working properly. We will definitely continue to do so, as we strive to provide the best experience for our members.

We're very honored to have you as a member of the community. We hope that you'll continue to enjoy the community, find inspiration, and grow in your own photography journey!

All the best,
Your friends at ViewBug
susang159
1 review
5 helpful votes
5/9/17

I have been a member for a little under 6 months. Before joining, I did my due diligence and did some research into the ViewBug site. I stumbled upon these reviews and a few Facebook pages directed at calling ViewBug a scam. I have to say it almost deterred me from joining. I noticed though that it was only a handful of people who were having issues. ViewBug has hundreds of thousands of members so the ratio wasn't worrisome to me. One of the main complaints was how they hound you about joining or raising your membership level at a cost.
I cannot tell you the amount of emails I get from other reputable companies that offer similar services doing the same thing. ViewBug's sales model is no different than that of other companies. To me, this doesn't make it a scam or a bad site. People fail to realize the cost associated with running a site like this. I also read there were issues receiving and/or winning prizes. For me, I was looking for a site that I could receive honest feedback about my photos and learn in the process. In the end, I decided to join.
I am truly happy I did. Not only have a met a TON of talented photographers who I learn so much from on a daily basis but I also have gained a great deal of confidence in my own ability. The networking opportunities are so worth what I pay each month to be a member. When it comes to entering contests, yes, it's a numbers game. If there are 60,000 photographs entered in one contest or challenge, what are the odds yours will get noticed. You do get weekly emails letting you know roughly where your photo ranks ahead of other entries but nothing specific. I'm ok with this. I'm very motivated when I get an email saying my photo is ahead of 52,000 other photos. The bottom line to recognition is you have to work at it. I spend the time going through photographs and commenting on them, liking them and giving peer awards. I spend the time voting in contests that I am in. I also follow photographers who have similar styles and interests as my own. As I do this, I grow the number of followers, I noticed my votes started to increase and my ranking progressively get better. I make a point of interacting this way at least once a day. Because of this, I started gaining more and more likes, more and more peer awards etc. This make sense. Just like Facebook, your main feed is made up of people you follow. The more people you follow and that follow you, the more your work gets noticed. People usually return the follow when you follow them too. Overall, this site is no different than other sites that offer the same type of service. Yes, there is a membership fee. The higher the membership, the more you pay but the more you get. Of course I would like to win a contest but that's not my main goal. I would rather have my work noticed by like photographers and grow my name as a photographer than win a prize. I really like ViewBug, it's really done wonders for my confidence, my photography knowledge and inspires me daily.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Susan,

Thank you for taking the time to share your honest feedback on your experience with ViewBug.

While we're aware there may be some who have a negative perspective or even misinformation about ViewBug, we stand proud in our dedication to our members and to operating in 100% integrity. We do work hard to cultivate a community that our members enjoy being a part of and find value in, for free and upgraded members.

As a growing community, our focus is always on trying to provide the most exceptional experience for our members and bringing photographers from around the world together. Thank you again for sharing, we truly appreciate it. :-)

With sincere thanks,
The ViewBug Team
tinas118
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
5/8/17

I've been a member of ViewBug (pro level, though I'm not a pro photographer). I used to have great fun with it and have uploaded a great many photos to the site. Recently, I created a challenge and now they are refusing to post it among the available challenges. The only reason I can determine as to why they are doing this is because I don't have time to write everyone that follows me and ask they to enter. A pro photog who helps me from time to time says the banner photo for the challenge is excellent and the description for what should be entered is fine (you don't get much room to begin with). My photos receive a fair amount of likes and awards which is fun, and also the inspiration is good. My experience with the challenge has soured me a bit on the site, however. Maybe i just shouldn't have tried doing it, I put it off a long time, but wanted to be more involved. Also I think their judges need to be more open about entries. All photos don't have naked people, children or long-timed shots, yet they are still beautiful and well planned shots. I'm not saying don't try it, I'm just expressing my disappointment. I liked it better the way it was when I started.

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Value
Quality
Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Tina,

Thank you for your sharing your honest thoughts and feedback with us. We are glad to know that your photos have received great recognition from within the community! This is definitely something that ViewBug is all about, connecting photographers and creating exposure opportunities for our member's wonderful photos.

Just a quick note on photo challenges, unfortunately not all photo challenges will be published in the main ViewBug Challenges page. Once a new Photo Challenge is created it will be immediately published in the creator's profile under Challenges >> Created.

The goal of photo challenges is to allow members to create their own photo challenges, to encourage their followers and other interested photographers to participate. A ViewBug system notification is also sent out to all of your followers when your new challenge is published. This is where engaging with others and promoting your challenge, can be very helpful. While we do our best to try and approve as many challenges as we can, this is not a guarantee for challenge creators.

We receive your input with welcome ears and again we thank you for taking the time to share this with us.
tomass37
1 review
1 helpful vote
4/12/17

It is the first time I have joined a photo contesting site in weeks back, as an amateur photographer it is pleasing to see my photos receiving likes, peer awards or viewed by professional photographers in the globe, It is really incouraging me to take up photography very serious and try to improves further. I have no experience to critisize but I give thub up to viewbug by giving amateurs and professional photographers opportunity to showcase their photos
Thank you viewbug.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Thank you Tomas! We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback! Thank you for joining our community and we hope you'll continue to improve and be inspired. :-)

Sincerely,
The ViewBug Team
averyd10
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
4/7/17

After just being on the site for a few weeks, I concur with most. Too much emphasis on going Pro. Why bother? Just use the site for inspiration. You should have to PAY to enter a contest.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Avery,

Thanks for sharing your honest feedback. While going Pro does offer the most access to features within ViewBug, we have many free contests that are available to all membership levels. Free contests can always be viewed on the Photo Contest page, under the Free tab. :-)

We hope you'll continue to find inspiration and participate within the community!

With sincere thanks,
The ViewBug Team
lmm2
1 review
8 helpful votes
3/11/17

At first I really liked the page its an amazing place to get inspiration and see photos from all around the globe. So many talented photographers to learn from and get in contact with there. I used to be a paying pro member but one thing bugged me to the point where I just had enough and stopped enjoying it . When i discovered that multiple times photos kept showing up over and over under one contest so you could vote for the same photo over and over under the voting time and when I reached out to view bug about it they said NO thats not possible the system makes it that the photo will only show up one time, so i made shore to check the photos and ad the likes to them to see if i was wrong and NO it was the same photo taken by the same photographer and the same profile it hapend so many times that I just saied nope if viewbug dont even want to check in to the fact that there system have a problem or even say hey that should not happen lets see what glitch we might have and fix it instead of nope thats not possible then why should I pay for a membership so I closed my account and have not been back even do I miss looking at all the photos it was a fun site I just refuse to be a part of something that just want to take your money and not correct something that is clearly wrong. Would I recommend the site maby to get inspiration thats it BUT NEVER becoming a paying member dont waste you money

Tip for consumers: Dont pay for membership only use the page for inspiration

Service
Value
Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Lm,

Thanks for your honest feedback. We're definitely sorry to hear that you had some concerns with the voting/images within a contest.

If you have a moment, please send the details of the contest and what you experienced (with as much specific information as possible) to our Support team at members@viewbug.com. We'd definitely like to have our support and tech teams review the information and run any necessary tests on our end. We'd be happy to discuss your account and how we might be able to assist, via our Support team.

Thank you again for taking the time to share you honest insights with us. We review all member feedback as it helps us as we strive to improve the overall community experience.

All the best,
The ViewBug Team
joseg96
1 review
10 helpful votes
3/4/17

Outstanding international photo contest site. It is also a useful social network for photographers, both amateurs and pro. This is one of the best sites you can find of photography contest, and for validating and evaluating the quality of your photos among peers and learn from them. Of course there are some improvements that I would suggest to Viewbug, like the voting system within the contests, that is not very agile. But regardless the number of votes a photo receives during the contest's voting period, at the end the contest awards are always granted by a professional photographer or by a jury.

I am a member of Viewbug since 2014 and I am writing this review in March 2017. In these three years very few of my photos were selected as finalists in the hundreds of contests that I participated. The photographic level of the contenders is so high that winning a contest seems impossible for me, as I just have the level of an enthusiast photograper. But you can find inspiration and learn a lot from other Viewbug members, especially from the winners and finalist of each contest.

Beyond the contests, thanks to Viewbug's Peer Awards system, the site is a powerful tool for knowing the evaluation of your art by other passionate photographers (not by the general public). After having reviewed hundreds of winners and finalists and compare their statistics among them and with others (and also with my own statistics), my conclusion is that if around 20% or more of the visitors of a photo by members of Viewbug community give a Peer Award to it (after some contests and/or some weeks or months of exposure), probably you can say that the photo is a good one (that is, if at least 1/5 of the visitors give it a "Peer Award"). If a photo receives less that 15% Peer Awards from the Viewbug community visitors, its artistic appealing probably is more questionale. With the "Likes" the threashold for knowing if a photo is popular is around 33% (1/3 of viewers give it a Like). Although you always have to bear in mind that "popularity" is not all what matters in art (even Van Gogh was not "popular" at his time).

I am not a newcomer to the site and have a well-formed opinion about it compared to other sites. I am also a subscriber of several international photo contests sites, like Gurushots and Pixoto (and Flickr, Smugmug, Photoshelter, Alamy and Kizoa for other purposes). In my opinion they have worse functionalities than Viewbug. Here you can find my most-viewed photos at Viewbug: https://www.viewbug.com/member/GEFAELL#/GEFAELL/photos?sort=mostview

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Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Jose,

Thank you for being a valued member of the community! We appreciate you taking the time to share your honest feedback.

We are so happy you find value in the community and we truly thank you for being a member of the extended ViewBug family. :-)

All the best,
The ViewBug Team
benp78
1 review
10 helpful votes
3/3/17

I had a profile on there for 6 months. My pictures were tasteful and professional. Someone must have had a vendetta against me and started tagging my pictures for inappropriate. Many had already won awards. Viewbug removed them and when i contacted them they were rude and instead of addressimg the attacks against me cancelled my account. One of the pictures in question was ranked top 10 by week 3 of contest and they pulled it right before the contest was up. They are a con job to just get money and not give out prizes.

I reworded my review a bit for more details and added below after viewbugs generic reponse.

They truly do have no concern for their members. I had an account for 6 months. I do boudoir and pin up photography. My photos have some tasteful nudity (which is allowed). I had a photo shoot on a beach in Aruba and one of my photos was very popular, it had 1500 view had many rankings in photo trifecas. Viewbug even gave it the summer selection award for the photo in question. Then one day it just disappeared off the site. When I contacted them about it numerous times, they ignored me or just gave back generic they were looking into it notes back. I eventually gave up and stayed off the site a couple months. (I am a paying pro member as well). Last week I went on and they had a female form contest. I submitted some black and whites. They were in no way explicit. You could see a breast in 3 of them thats all. Within two hours they disappeared. I had them marked as adult. So I contacted them, they insulted my creative works by telling me nudity for the sake of nudity was not allowed. My photos are tasteful. I took screen shots of other peoples work which showed open vagina, and masturbation and asked how my picture with just a breast was more offensive than those. They refused to answer how explicit photos were allowed but my tasteful photos were not. They appear to pull pictures based on complaints without looking at actual picture. Maybe it was because my picture was ranking high. They refused to even look at what I sent, but cancelled my account on me. My pictures have been used by artists to paint and are sold as prints. They are in no way pornographic and I am disgusted by how viewbug has different standards for different members. One of the pictures they pulled of mine was in week 3 of being top 10 trifecta, if given awards one week how is it offensive the next week? Do yourself a favor and don't support viewbug as they are unprofessional and a joke in the photography world.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Ben,

We thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We're sorry that you've had an unpleasant experience as it relates to your ViewBug account.

We definitely try to create a positive environment for all members. While we encourage art and creativity, unfortunately not all styles photography and photographs are ideal for ViewBug's platform. It sounds like this situation involved image(s) of concern and was handled in a joint effort by our Support and Compliance teams.

As part of our privacy policy, we do not share account details publicly. We definitely do our best to resolve these matters as quickly and fairly as possible.

Thank you again for sharing your honest input as this does help our team as we explore areas of improvement for the community.

Thank you,
The ViewBug Team
toddx
1 review
11 helpful votes
2/22/17

When I first joined the site, I was surprised and encouraged by the attention my material was receiving. In fact, I almost purchased a monthly membership based on that. Then, I received a "very special" invitation to be a "curator" and "welcome new members" (only offered to 15%!) by liking and awarding their uploads! This site clearly feeds and financially exploits creative insecurity and social media's dopamine effect and has probably lured countless memberships from people who turned out to be highly disappointed once the little welcoming committee has moved on to fresher meat.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Todd,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We do apologize for any confusion created by any of our site's offers or features. That is definitely not our intention.

The curator program is 100% optional and is a great way for members to expand their network of photographers, get more exposure to their profiles, photos, and any challenges or contests they're participating in, as well as provide any help or tips for the members they're connecting with.

Curators can engage with is many or as few profiles/photos as they'd prefer and they're definitely not required to comment/like/award any images or profiles that they're not genuinely interested in. :-)

Our members are located around the world, with varying photography interests, styles, and goals. We strive to create a community where all members can interact in a way that best suits them.

Thank you again for sharing your honest feedback. We will definitely take your input into consideration as we continue to improve the overall member experience.

All the best,
The ViewBug Team
darcyd5
2 reviews
13 helpful votes
2/10/17

I joined this site 2 years ago when I first got into that art and I would like to say nowhere have I seen photographers that get on so well together. If you were a member of my facebook group you would know this is not the norm. I have also pushed myself as a result of the site directly and I have done well. I would def recommend to others.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Darcy,

Thank you for positive and honest feedback! We truly strive to create a community that emphasizes the love of photography, creativity, and positive interactions among photographers from around the world.

Thank you for being a valued member of our extended ViewBug family!

All the best,
Your friends at ViewBug
lindar174
1 review
3 helpful votes
2/9/17

I have so much to learn and only making slow progress am always surprised, delighted and encouraged by ViewBug members awarding my images. This is awesome! Can't tell you what a lift this gives when most of the time I even struggle to decide what is good and what isn't. This site is amazing, it not only encourages its members but provides every opportunity to learn from others images it also inspires us to try out so many options. I enter contests and challenges for wider exposure and points, never thinking I would come close to achieving more than that. Thank you ViewBug. Cheers Linda49

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Linda,

Congratulations on being a finalist! We are so glad that ViewBug is a part of your journey to learn and grow as a photographer.

We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your honest feedback. Thank you for being a valued member and for sharing your creativity within the community!

Best wishes,
The ViewBug Team
mbw1
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
2/6/17

Documentation needs a lot of work...I don't understand how most of the site works or what the heck "you're almost there" means! I also have trouble voting, because the voting menu does not offer an "are you sure?" Option to confirm a choice...I have given so many people a "peer award" when they deserved so much more, because the button is so sensitive. Also, I only vote one per four or not at all because the next four come up right after the second vote, and I have often gone on, so that leaves me with a skipped set not voting at all when I should, so I feel like a terrible judge! Quality of photography is great, and would SO love to win a better camera. Appreciate the decent prizes. Also appreciate the articles to improve technique.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Mb W.,

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback. This type of input helps our team, as we continue to explore areas of improvement for ViewBug.com.

We do have a Help Center, which can be a helpful resource: http://help.viewbug.com/

We also have a Member Support Team, you can always ask specific questions related to your account and ViewBug site-related questions.


You can contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com or by going here: http://bit.ly/EmailVB

Thanks again for sharing your honest feedback and we do hope you'll reach out to our Member Support Team for any assistance. :-)

Have a great day,
The ViewBug Team
gabriellep5
1 review
1 helpful vote
2/5/17

It seems my problem has been resolved.

They have put up a photo in my name, and it is NOT my photo. It is sexual of nature and I can't find a way to cancel it or to let them know. I'm very upset!...

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Gabrielle,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us!

We are sorry to hear you've been experiencing issues. It sounds like the problem you described is related to the cached data on your browser.

Please be sure to reach out to our member support team at members@viewbug.com and they'll be able to review your account and assist with your inquiry. Kindly remember to provide the email address attached to your ViewBug account when you reach out to them.

You may also find our contact details by visiting our support page at http://help.viewbug.com/ and clicking on the blue 'Email Us' link right under 'Contact Us'.

If you’d like to delete the photo in question; simply refer to the “How can I remove or delete a photo?” article by clicking on the link below. This article also includes a step-by-step video showing how to delete a photo from your ViewBug profile.

How can I remove or delete a photo?:
http://help.viewbug.com/customer/portal/articles/730107

We look forward to hearing from you.

Have a good day!
The ViewBug Team
kathrynj13
1 review
3 helpful votes
2/4/17

Love all aspects the contests, challenges, the voters, all are worth every minute, love voting and welcoming new viewbug participants

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Kathryn,

We very much appreciate your positive feedback and are glad to hear that you love voting and welcoming new ViewBug members.

We value your membership and are honored to have you as a member of the ViewBug family. :)

Have a wonderful day!
The ViewBug Team
pavelm10
1 review
6 helpful votes
1/25/17

I was attracted to Viewbug by their long list of expert judges. There was virtually nothing to tell me about how the site operates, but I expected it to be similar to other sites that offer juried competition for a gallery exhibition or other prices.

This site is different. Most winners are decided members votes. Members range widely in skill level and experience. Look at the work posted on Flickr and similar sites to get an idea. If you are an advanced photographer, these competitions are not very useful and similar to the ones you can get for free elsewhere online. The juried competitions involve members narrowing the selection down to about 50 images (from thousands) and a more experienced juror (a website staff or other) just looks at top 50 images.

I found the nondisclosure of that up front together with listing of great many expert judges creating an impression that the competitions are juried by experts. Even when you do become a member, it is difficult to find out how the competitions are organised. By that time it is too late and 3 weeks after I signed up for a year, I was offered only about 1/4 of what I paid back. I found this deceptive. I hope that you didi better research of this site than I did and that you learn from the experience.

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Pavel,

We very much appreciate your feedback and would like to explain the situation when there has been a misunderstanding or dissatisfaction with our service.

As we described in our responses to your emails; only the People's Choice winner is selected by member's votes via the Photo Trifecta and that's why this specific winning category is called "People's Choice". Grand Jury Winner, Amateur Winner, and all the other winners are selected by one or more judges depending on the contest guidelines. You can see a list of some of our judges here: https://www.viewbug.com/judges

Per your reply; we understand some people may know ways to cheat the system however Photo Trifecta helps us avoid these type of issues. The Photo Trifecta is based on a proprietary algorithm that helps us choose the best photos based on the people's choice. The system displays set of 4 photos in a randomized fashion based on our algorithm which is designed to allow all entries the most opportunities for being viewed. Voters can only vote one time within a contest's voting trifecta and each voter views different photo sets.

We see that you purchased the upgraded membership with the BESTDEAL promotion which reduced the total cost of the Pro membership by $60 USD and included several third-party products as part of the upgrade which are non-refundable. As stated on our upgrade and FAQ pages; purchases that include redeemable third-party products are non-refundable - just like any other non-refundable services that you would purchase via other websites. For your convenience; we've provided the details below:

Please refer to our upgrade page for more details: https://www.viewbug.com/upgrade

IS THERE A 100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE?
If you are unsatisfied with your upgrade, ViewBug will refund any unused portion of your subscription. Please note that upgrades that include any redeemable third-party value added products are non-refundable.

You may also check out our FAQ page at http://help.viewbug.com/customer/portal/articles/2647982


We do appreciate your honest feedback as it helps our team best understand how we can improve the ViewBug experience. While we do have many happy members, we do realize that there are some members may not be as satisfied. In your specific case, we tried to do our best to assist you with your concerns, while still honoring the terms and conditions of this non-refundable purchase, for all members.

All the best,
The ViewBug Team
rebeccab117
3 reviews
10 helpful votes
1/16/17

I have been a member of Viewbug since August 2016. I have been very pleased with the site, aside from a few issues I've brought up before, and clarifications that still haven't been made to my satisfaction, and from reading here, other people's satisfaction as well. One thing that really "bugs" me is the lack of definition for awards we can give to others. What is the meaning and difference between giving someone a "top choice" award versus "all star", for example? Those definitions and differences continue to be unclear to me! Another experience I've had, which someone else here complained about, is that I, too have had the same photos pop up in different trifectas when voting in a contest. What is happening with that? Why are one or two photos in a contest continuing to be repeated in different trifectas I'm being shown? Also, Viewbug needs to add a "clear" button. I agree with another reviewer on here that the buttons are sensitive - I too have accidentally given a peer award when I wanted to give more! Can a clear button be added to erase this sort of mistake and give a person the higher award they deserve? Other than that, I am overall very pleased with Viewbug. Once some of these issues are answered and resolved, I think I will be happy to give Viewbug 5 stars!

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Rebecca,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and are glad to hear that you enjoy being a part of the community.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. Unfortunately, sometimes members upload an Adult Content without the filter or forget to click on the box for Adult Content. If our members report the photo, we'll be able to locate those images faster and filter them appropriately.

We are sorry to hear that you feel pushed to upgrade to Pro membership. We’ll be sure to share your feed back with our management team.

Please note that Finalists are a mix of popular shots, top voted + judges selections. The votes in a contest help determine the People's Choice winner. The finalists can include images that ranked during the voting period, but not all ranked images will be a finalist. The Grand Jury Winner is selected from among the finalists, which again, is not determined by votes so the voting rankings are not applicable in this category. The total number of finalists can vary, depending on the contest.

We value your membership and would like to learn more about how we can improve your experience with us. Please feel free to contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com for any questions or concerns.

Have a nice day!
The ViewBug Team
michaelg287
1 review
2 helpful votes
1/8/17

I just joined about 2 weeks ago and I guess before I joined I should have checked it out first but I did not . I have had no problem so far and I am enjoying myself so I am going with the flow .In life you have to take chances and that is what I am doing .

Response from ViewBug T., ViewBug Representative
Hello Michael,

We very much appreciate your positive feedback and are glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself.

We value your membership and are honored to have you as a member of the ViewBug family. :)

Have a lovely day!
The ViewBug Team

Customer Questions & Answers

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Hello Rebecca, Thank you for your follow up message! We do not charge additional fees for exposure or any other features. Our members have the option to keep their account as a Free Lite account if they prefer or pay for Monthly or Yearly Premium or Pro membership. If you have any additional questions, please kindly contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com as we are required to provide support and/or answer questions via our own support portal to maintain an archive of the communication. Have a good day!

By ViewBug T. [ViewBug Rep]
Helpful answer 0
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Answer:

I received a Summer Award, but that is not the point. These awards are virtual, the same as winning Challenges. What they really amount to, is a virtual pat on the back to encourage you to continue and to improve. The difference comes in with the Contests. There you can win a tangible prize like a camera, a tripod, etc. To me all of this is no issue. I love photography, although I'm still in the learning phase, I enjoy posting my photos and appreciate it if I receive likes and really love it when I receive peer awards. By the way, the various awards, from "peer" through "virtuoso" have no tangible effect in the sense of prize money or objects, it only makes a difference in the satisfaction the receiver might feel.....oh yes and they add up points that make both the awarder and the receiver climb up the virtual ladder of progress from "Bronze" to "Ambassador".

By Angela B.
Helpful answer 0
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Hello Tony, Congratulations on your Member Selection Award. :-) All members received this award for their most viewed photo on their profile, this year! This award is not connected to any contests, prizes, or special features. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com Have a good day! Your friends at ViewBug

By ViewBug T. [ViewBug Rep]
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Hello Janet, Thanks for your question! We have a peer award system where members are able to give/receive awards to one another. This is a great way to show recognition for photos that you truly enjoy. Our staff and judges also have awards that they give to photos whose photos stood out. This is often based on criteria such as creativity, composition, perspective, etc. We have a helpful FAQ center here: http://help.viewbug.com/ and you're always welcome to contact our Member Support Team with any questions or concerns. Here's a quick link to contact the support team: http://help.viewbug.com/customer/portal/emails/new

By ViewBug T. [ViewBug Rep]
Helpful answer 0
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: Hello Derick, Thank you for your message. When members reach Ambassador level, they are eligible to receive a ViewBug swag bag. Unfortunately, we don't release the contents of the swag bag as it's supposed to be a surprise for eligible members. We also do not publish the total number of members who reached the Ambassador level at this time. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com and they'll be more than happy to assist you. :) Have a great day! Your friends at ViewBug ------------------------------------------------------------------ Hello Mike M., We are sorry to hear that you didn't receive your Swag. We send out a notification email to members who reach 500k Points requesting their shipping address. It's possible that our email went to your Spam / Junk folder. No need to worry. Simply contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com and they'll be more than happy to assist you. :) Have a great day! Your friends at ViewBug

By ViewBug T. [ViewBug Rep]
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Hi Jim, Thank you for your message! You can see all your awards by clicking on 'Awards' tab within your ViewBug profile. If you have any further questions or need assistance, please contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com Have a lovely day! The ViewBug Team ------------------------------------------------------------------ Hi Janet, Thank you for your message! We have many members that won prizes from all over the world. You are welcome to reach out to contest winners and confirm with them. All contest winners are announced in our Blog at http://www.viewbug.com/blog/winners. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our member support team at members@viewbug.com Have a nice day! The ViewBug Team

By ViewBug T. [ViewBug Rep]
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I have been asking a similar question, but regarding contests and challenges. It came to mind while voting on a contest that I couldn't POSSIBLY look at and vote on all the entries. It's simply too taxing. So what happens to those whose work never gets seen, let alone voted on in a contest? It seems the answer ought to be some sort of scrambling process whereby every time someone goes in to vote, the order of the photos is automatically scrambled to provide a different lineup and at least even the odds of your photo(s) being seen and voted on. With some contests getting 20,000 or more entries, how can we be assured our work even gets SEEN?

By Rebecca B.
Helpful answer 0
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That's an excellent question. And while Viewbug does take steps to make copyright violation harder, I still wonder if some of my images are out there, floating around and being used without my permission anyway. One thing you might try is to type a search such as "photos of red roses" or whatever subject you've done, and see what pops up. Bing often displays results of hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of photo and graphic images of all sorts.

By Rebecca B.
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I agree with Vash, the first time you log in, you'll open to the homepage. There is a go pro tap click on that and you can see the 3 different membership options. I actually got an advertisement for a trial membership that was for 15 days. I'm not sure if you can get that offer when you log on the first time. But try it. Viewbug is very easy to use, and if you need help they are always willing to give it to you. Stef

By Stephanie B.
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I wouldn't exactly call it a scam because they do publish your picture. However, the prices are outrageous, and the size of the photo is very small. They print 4 photos per page so it's hard to see the real impact of the photograph. In my case it wasn't Viewbug that sent me a similar email; it was another photography competition. I don't remember their name. I fell for it and paid the $49 plus shipping (around $12 I think). I did receive the book and my photograph was in it. So now I can say that my photo was published :) I wouldn't pay that kind of money again to get my photograph published. Once was enough They are definitely making a lot of money by making these offers. Nothing illegal about it, but I do feel it's way overpriced.

By Vash D.
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