Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 12.24.03 PM mini review. I paid $246.75 for a year of Photoshelter. That gave me the right to work with some of Photoshelter’s printing partners (Not the high-end ones) and the right to sell images as well as display my portfolio and archive my portfolio for safe keeping. At roughly $20 a month it didn’t seem like a bad deal. But getting into it and using it for a month or so I realized, inexpensive or not, it’s not going to work for me.

Big problem number one. No apps. None. Not for iPhone, Android, Windows, etc. NADA. 2007 called and wants its business model back. How can you claim to be serving professional photographers and not have any sort of app they can use to take their portfolio mobile??? When you view a current Photoshelter portfolio online, all you see is the web version which is too small to interact with and not optimized for small screens. Photoshelter says they are working on developing an app. You think? It’s too late. Everyone else already has one.

The second big draw of Photoshelter is the ability to archive your most valuable images. Photoshelter touts the fact that you can upload full res files and save them on their server for download later. It’s a mini-cloud backup for your most important images. In theory it’s a great idea and a big selling point. It’s the execution that sucks. I found roughly 20% of my images were corrupted and unreadable by Photoshop, Aperture or Lightroom once I downloaded them back down onto my computer. Backup only works if you can restore. And you can’t call a 20% failure rate good numbers on the restore side. So much for keeping your images safe in the Photoshelter cloud.

The rest wasn’t too bad. They have 10 themes to choose from. I’d like more choice but I will say the 10 they offer are all good. The upload process is smooth. The building of portfolios and such could be more intuitive but once you figure it out, it’s a breeze. The images look great on the screen.

But if I’m paying for archive and the service doesn’t work, and nobody can see my portfolio on a mobile device, then I’d have to declare that money not well spent.

I can’t get my $200 plus back. I did this as an experiment so I could review the site. I won’t be using it further because there are too many other options out there that can offer the same things for either free or similar money.

When Photoshelter first launched, I recommended it because I thought they did the best job with SEO of any of the portfolio sites out there. And I still think that. But it doesn’t matter if the person looking for or at your images on a mobile device can’t enjoy them or if you are depending on Photoshelter for archiving and the images are corrupted.

It’s rare that I review something that I can’t recommend and I won’t go quite so far as to say that is a bad choice. I will say it’s a bad choice for me. As for you reading this, I do believe there are better choices. Which one is right for you is a matter of trial and error. As for Photoshelter, once they get a way to make their site mobile-friendly (something WAY overdue) I’ll take another look.


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