You might just be like me, stumbling upon this GuruShot photography game by chance, and you kind of dig it immediately. Jump forward….about half a year, I’ve tested the system, how it works, and decided to share my thoughts.
Honestly, as a photography game website, GuruShots is awesome. You can find so many different inspirations, techniques, and interesting subjects. This helps spark that fire and gives you more motivation to actually do something.
YES, sometimes that motivation comes in the form of “Why is everyone talking better photos than me, darn it”, this idea is especially prominent if you’re stuck on the same level for a lonnnnnnnng time. So it can be both a blessing and a curse.
And GuruShots is a game at its heart, your first instinct might be just like mine, add some photos and enter a contest or two, and leave your photos to work their magic…but you quickly realize that this will not be enough if you want to reach the top.
The first few levels, yeah, easy, until you reach a rank of MASTER, after that you hit a wall, where you will need to win a contest to become Guru. That’s absolutely possible and achievable, don’t get me wrong, but it starts to become more about the GAME rather than PHOTOS.
Now you enter the zone of swaps, last-minute photo changes, and other tricks to push your luck chance to the max. And this can cause frustration when your photo that was #2 falls to #258 in the last 2 minutes. But more on that later…
Another thing – once you’ve been here for a couple of months you’ll start seeing a few different categories of users pop-up. Of course, there is a lot of regular users that just play the game normally, but there are also:
Nudist – One thing that you will come across is, well, basically porn. No, no, I’m not trashing subtle and interesting naked body photography, everybody likes a nice pair of boobs in monochrome. I’m talking about low-quality images of an ass or just a selfie of boobs with a 2002 quality camera. Weirdly you can find both amateur pictures and images just ripped from the internet in this category.
Why would they do it? After going through a couple of these accounts you can find very mixed content, from random shots of the streets to NSFW images. I guess it’s a cheap way to get attention, just hard to understand the long-term game of these people…
Steele McStealington – These are the “Photographers” that just use other user’s photos or steal them from places like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. Hell, you don’t really need to steal anything, with the popularity of free photo sharing sites like Unsplash or Pixabay (these are my favorite’s to use personally), all you need to do is download a high-quality photo and upload it as your own. Good luck to everyone else finding you out.
But don’t do that, it’s not only a shitty way to treat this game and the photographers that actually took the photos. You just devalue yourself, why not just go out and take a photo, improve your skills, be better that YOU were yesterday, and all that motivational bullshit.
Random – these are usually real users, which might just be children sometimes, that have a weird profile of photos, some of them are top class photos, some are made by phone or an old camera. And some photos are just half cropped snapshots. So maybe I’m missing something and this is actually a superb strategy to boost your exposure, who knows. No, I’m serious if anybody knows, hit me up.
All these contests required quite a lot of time to pick the best photos and fill your exposure meter, or of course, you just can buy auto-fills. So it will require quite a lot of either luck or just cash. And have seen people that set up alarms at 3am to swap a photo and I think I draw a line there…
It’s fun to share and see photos of all kinds from people around the world, but when it starts to impact your life is not really a fun experience anymore, it becomes a chore to do every day... so it’s a mixed bag, I will still recommend you join and play at least for a while, but just be mindful not to become too absorbed, in the end, it’s just a game.