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

ViewBug reviews

136 reviews
65%
Categories: Photo Sharing
4502 CASS ST
SAN DIEGO, CA 92109-2802
members@viewbug.com

136 Reviews From Our Community

Rating Distribution

Detailed Rating Summary

Service
15
Value
16
Shipping
5
Returns
3
Quality
15

All Reviews

tomass37
1 review
0 helpful votes
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.

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averyd10
2 reviews
0 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.

lmm2
1 review
3 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
joseg96
1 review
9 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

Service
Value
Quality
benp78
1 review
5 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.

toddx
1 review
6 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.

darcyd5
2 reviews
6 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.

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

mbw1
1 review
1 helpful vote
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.

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!...

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

pavelm10
1 review
2 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.

rebeccab117
3 reviews
5 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!

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 .

mikeg225
1 review
3 helpful votes
1/7/17

Only been a member for a month or so, at this stage I don't pay a subscription so have limited number of uploads. I appreciate the opinion of other members but don't shed any tears. A lot of the entries are, in my opinion, over processed but, each to his own.

peterr104
1 review
2 helpful votes
1/6/17

It looks to me like just another phony site to get people to join and then requires monthly payments to enter most contests. I won an award of some kind but there is no explanation of what it means. It all looks like a useless exercise. Who are these people with their mysterious algorithm. How about some explanation of what your site really does. I would think time would be better spent on flickr or 500px

scotts227
1 review
3 helpful votes
12/28/16

My passion for photography went up the moment I joined Viewbug! The encouragement, the support, the motivation, the inspiration that I have gained since becoming part of this web site is amazing. One can view incredible art from experienced professionals all the way to impassioned novices like me. The great thing is the variety of connections on this site: LIKES, VIEWS, PEER AWARDS, CONTESTS. You can be as "meek" and quiet on the site, or give awards, follow others, communicate privately (IE like FB or LinkedIn). Your own site has a moving slideshow. It is an impressive interface. Any questions that I have had are answered by VB staff to my e-mail. It's as much fun as the social media sites that get all the attention. Only it is geared completely to photography. I'd spend hours on this per day if I had time!

kelleya5
1 review
5 helpful votes
12/19/16

Viewbug is a lot of fun and provides inspiration and education. This site exhibits amazing talent, and I enjoy getting ideas from the other amazing photographers on this site. Every week, I look forward to seeing how my photos are doing in the contests. Great fun while learning how to improve my photography. Great combination!

Service
Value
Quality
zayy1
1 review
5 helpful votes
12/16/16

I have been a member of ViewBug for 3 years. I really love to participate in ViewBug photo contests. ViewBug has created lots of fantastic photo contests. Being a winner of ViewBug community adds lots of benefits to the photographer. I love ViewBug and recommend you to participate in fantastic photography contests at ViewBug.

chrissiec1
1 review
3 helpful votes
12/13/16

Just joined, really like it so far but can't seem to edit my entry to a contest. I submitted the wrong image by mistake, when I go to the edit entries page nothing works. Having said that, the interface is really user friendly, the whole process of uploading, exploring, entering contestes etc is really fast and simple and there is a wealth of ideas and inspiration available.

jonp46
1 review
3 helpful votes
12/8/16

I joined Viewbug a year ago and i, and those that have watched my progress, can honestly say that Viewbug has had a huge influence on my photography! There are all skill levels from serious proffesionals who display some fantastic art, to complete novices that have some of the best snapshots on life and the world around us.
Viewbug has helped me to push myself as a keen amature photographer and viewing such a wide range of styles, my skill level has come on in leaps and bounds! Thanks Viewbug!

Service
Value
Quality
leer48
1 review
6 helpful votes
12/6/16

I think viewbug is the best thing since sliced bread. I spend hours on the site each day giving awards out. As a very long term homeless person i don't get judged only my photos get judged. My photos have won 1000s of awards. The awards are saying well done and i need that.now my hope is to win a contest.

tomq6
1 review
8 helpful votes
12/4/16

In order for the "professional judge" to even see the finalist photos (generally about 50 or so I believe), the photos must first be rated as the most popular by the viewbug members. When I joined I took this to heart and tried to participate by rating photos. One contest ending this week already has over 28,000 entries and presumably will end with approximately 30,000 entries. Viewbug's voting process requires you to view 4 photos per page and choose the top one or two (or none) on each page. 30,000 entries would be 7500 pages. Assuming a minimum fair appraisal time of 10 seconds per page that is equivalent to about 21 HOURS of non-stop viewing/voting. So if you dedicated yourself to this as you would a full-time job (8 hours of work per day) it would take almost three days (assuming lunch and time-out breaks) to vote on ONE contest. Keep in mind that there are contest closing virtually every day....so it is literally impossible to try to participate in voting on them. So, what inevitably must be happening is good-hearted folks start the process, vote on some photos for an hour or so, get bored and more on to something more meaningful in their lives. Thereby voting for whatever photos were in the first few hundred pages.....and never seeing the remaining thousands of pages where the top photos likely lurk. Perhaps I am missing something and the process doesn't really work this way. If so, I would love to hear how it really works.

maryp72
1 review
27 helpful votes
11/25/16

This site is actually a lot of fun, even for a professional. Art and photography are subjective, so this is by no means bible, its my point of view. I have seen some wonderful images on this site. Manipulation is part of photography and takes a lot of work to perfect, so for those of you that are complaining about these types of pics, learn the craft before you say its easy, or just a person clicking a button. Remember that its not the camera or how big your lens who takes great pictures, its the person using it.
I am a free member mostly to keep my social media aspect for my website. If I can have fun in the meantime, even better.

allisonb55
1 review
3 helpful votes
11/24/16

I love this site. Amazing talented people sharing their amazing photos. Whenever I view the new pics I am just constantly in awe. Hopefully, I will be able to learn from them.

53 Questions & Answers

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michellep134
michelle p.
5 days, 16 hours ago
Answer
producl
ViewBug T. [ViewBug Rep]
A: Hello Michelle,

You can report an image by sharing the photo's URL/direct link via email to members@viewbug.com. If your ViewBug account has reached Moderator level, you can also use the "Report Image" link located on the photo's page. All reports are confidential.
4 days, 21 hours ago
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bobbif3
Bobbi F.
1 week, 2 days ago
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producl
ViewBug T. [ViewBug Rep]
A: Hello Bobbi,

ViewBug has a 30-day full refund policy, with the exception of upgrade purchases that include any redeemable third-party value added products, as those are non-refundable. If you have specific concerns or are unsatisfied with your purchase, members are encouraged to contact our Member Support Team at members@viewbug.com.
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