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Gurushots.com Review


Gurushots Review

My free personal critique review and some tips on gurushots or gurushots.com for photographers playground around the world. Gurushots photographers playing field is not the only one both using PC or mobile apps service. My hubby introduced me to this site a year ago, I tried and tested it, but I did not see the point in it at that time especially if you enter your photos as a newbie. Of course, you need to register as a member to be able to join the fun, social and educational!


“Photography is a passion, game photography is boring unless it’s innovative with collaborated ideas from its users enthusiast. Believe in what you do, validation from other people is just an extra bonus not the ultimate tool to ignite your unique passion and perspective. Most times, the institution (any system) locked us inside the box and become the norm, instead of producing free range creativity!”

#quote mine

The name is Guru: I don’t know why they call it gurushots, it’s not my business 🙂
BTW, “guru” in Philippines Tagalog spells slightly different “guro” but with the same meaning “teacher”. Most or some of us are aware online that “guru” originally from Indian cultural term meaning “teacher” related to Indian monks or monastery icons they respect. Then in the online marketing mantra adopted the terminology and applied to any similar field related to teaching category, I guess.


How to vote

You need to work out your precious time voting as much as you can. In return, the voters will vote you back. After becoming a newbie to the next level, you are encouraged to vote back or support the newbies as well. Otherwise, you can pay your time for autofill the votes in placed of voting each of your entry competition.


“Auto fills” just newly introduced in May 2016: The advantage is saving time in voting everyone’s photos especially if you have limited time. The algorithm disadvantage for this I noticed, is less voting on your photos than when not introduced at all. Not sure how this will pan out if it is a good thing in this way.



Another New “Auto Fills” introduced in July 2016: Another autofills earned by sharing your affiliate link so here’s mine, go ahead and click my link so both of us can earn autofills 🙂 … thank you very much if you did so! https://goo.gl/ksxnSw


Newbie Experience Tip: As I mentioned above, being a newbie may not be as exciting as it looks but since I joined a year ago, I am not sure what newbies algorithm works this time. After passing the newbie stage, all non-newbies are encouraged to vote for newbies’ photos as there is newbie entry challenge I can see weekly. I will try to vote for newbies 🙂 There should be auto-fills for newbies’ photos as well.


Swaps or Swapping Photos Tip: This was a very handy feature when you needed it. You can either buy or use your free giveaway swap feature every time your each challenge has ended. I use swap if I wanted to change an uploaded photo and wanted to change it with another photo or if it mistakenly uploaded too. I sometimes noticed, your free swap after one of your photo challenges ended will not be given to you maybe due to the bug system at times. Also, if you are swapping photos in the process, sometimes it does not work, and you will lose your exchange point already without given back to you.


Watch Weekly: Each week there is often a new open subject or theme run by different guru photographers. You can join or choose any subject of photos you have archived, or you may want to photo shoot to upload for the competition. You may opt for reminders send to your emails what is an upcoming topic.


Follow and Follow Back: As usual in the social media cyber world, you can follow as many as you like. You are also obliged to follow five fellow photographers when you are sharing each topic of photos entry you have joined in to gain 25 points. Check out your profile page and why not follow back those who would have followed you too.


Adult Content: Warning! Women are more willing to be exploited in nude photography on this service. For adult content, you can either tick this off if you do not want to vote this kind of stuff or if you have kids around you. If you see such underage exploitation, you can report button provided.


Sharing on Social Media: You can either share your new entry on your Twitter, Facebook. Each share gains 25 points.


Achieving Ranks as a Photographer: Do ranks necessary? I think not; it depends on the photographs taken by you as the photographer and personal perspective of others with your view can differ. If you check out the Guru’s Top Pick photos chosen from the millions of photos uploaded to the site, you could see the photos selected got similar beautiful photos with others not chosen. Therefore, these ranking achievements is a result of collective perspective globally and not personal favouritism 🙂 from a corporate world’s view closest to the boss or what not. The screenshot shows the levels of achievement I was by the time I post this article. The more points of voting on your photographs show the level ranks achieving to become a Guru photographer. You can also unlock your each ranking level according to the game’s requirements and other elements.



Business Products Related to Photography: This is a great opportunity for businesses out there to sponsor any game challenges run by a Guru for the week.

Lastly, yes you can win money or gadgets from the gurushots.com sponsorships on each challenge of the week.

So, enjoy the fun if you’re a member. If you happen to get bored or suggestions not taken on board, why not try other competition sites online, here are my lists http://www.jenniferramirezbaulch.com/top-6-lists-of-photo-competition-websites/



*From late 2016, Gurushots added “Boost” feature to boost one photo of each entry of your choice from your challenge. I don’t know how long, but they will randomly give “free boost” if you do not miss it within 24 hours. Otherwise, you can buy.

*From the end of December 2016, some Guru shortened the “length days exposure” of a challenge from 28 days length into 18 days.

*What’s new in early 2017? They tweak a bit of the profile interface and part of the aesthetic site emphasising the level of achievements and voting power.




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29 Responses

  1. Bill Edwards
    | Reply

    I have been a Gurushots member about 3 weeks and have entered many challenges. My problem is that I can’t advance beyond Challenger because in almost all the challenges I collect too many votes and go past Premier and achieve either Elite or Allstar. So I’m stuck in Challenger because of too many votes. The rules are you must get a certain number of Premiers before you can advance to the next level. With too many votes on each challenge I cannot advance. The only way for me to advance is to delete some of my images (and votes) in order to stay in Premier and therefore advance to Advanced. I actually at this point qualify for Expert.

    • admin
      | Reply

      @BillEdwards Thank you for the thoughts of sharing your valuable experience. I totally empathised with you as I was disappointed and stuck before I give it another chance. Gurushots do have space to leave feedback but I am not sure how well their troubleshooting team can cope and assess individual concerns. I tried tweeting them few times for a minor issue but nobody seemed to tweet back. Glad, you’re able to pass the game trap, I guess at this point it is a game with tricks after all and not a serious business 🙂 See you around and let’s keep racing at the field.

  2. Anna Uys
    | Reply

    I am also playing Guru now for a year, is a Master and passed 160,000 points, 19 ALL STARS and 3 GURU PICKS, was very disapointed to read then you must have a Winning photo to become a GURU. There are so many members, and perhaps I achieved it when I am 80 years old. I am going now for 70. It is still a nice game to play although I am just a amateur and like to take photos in my retiring years. In the beginning of Guru I am sure it wasn’t so difficult to become a Guru. Thanks for all the information .

    • admin
      | Reply

      @AnnaUys, Thank you very much for your precious time sharing us your great experience. Congratulations on all your achievements! Wow, kudos to your passion, which makes you not retiring at all rather inspirational/blessing because you’re doing what you love to do. In my perspective, if the top Gurus picks one of our photos then that’s telling us something you’re a Guru yourself without completing all the Top Guru Picks requirement! If we are getting votes from our photos that simply means a lot we are inspiring fellow photographers (amateur or professionals). Thankfully, it is a game that makes it interesting and fun with a twist and turn. It’s just; there are obstacles to separate the norms from the individual unique within us through our photo-eye lenses. No matter what the top Gurus think about… you are indeed close to becoming one from what level of points, all stars and guru pick you have mentioned. For me, I’m still currently in between to unlock Masters and Guru at the same time.
      According to Gurushot current requirements to become a Guru (hopefully, they will not change it again) –
      We need:
      30 All Star Photos
      1 Photo Winner Challenge
      5 Photos Guru’s Pick
      It will be worth waiting for!
      Please let us you know when you get there, and you’ll get a greeting card from me from Australia!

  3. Susan
    | Reply

    How does the rating work for Top 5%, Top 10%, Top 30% etc


    • admin
      | Reply

      G’day Susan! Thanks for asking. From what I’ve found this is what Gurushots FAQ Achievements Calculation:
      “In every challenge, multiple members end up with the same amount of votes – either for ‘Top Photographer’ or ‘Top Photo’. The percent and position calculations are based on the number of votes and members at the end of the challenge. For Example:In a challenge, 100 people out of 1000 finished with 555 votes (in ‘Top Photographer’ or ‘Top Photo’ ranking).This means that the calculations for percent or position will be done based on 900 members. *In the case of ‘Top Photo’ calculation, it depends on the number of photos and their votes.”

      Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Stephan 黒
    | Reply

    Hello Jenifer,
    great articel about gurshots. I just started with gurushots and in the beginning I was confused about the “ranking” systhem. Your text helped me a lot.
    I thing gurushots is a funny game. But what I don´t like are the “pay-to-win” aspects of the game. (autofill, Swap and now the new function “Boost”). When you take a deeper look how the archievments works, you will see that you need much more votes when you want to improve above “expert” Status.
    The game gets harder. I think that people who are focused on their Level have to use the “pay-to-win” aspects of the even if they have good photos.
    I like the idear of GuruShots but I prefer to focus on my photowork and don´t spend much thoughts about the gurushot rank.

    • admin
      | Reply

      Great to hear from you, @Stephan! Yes, you’re right and getting to know our individual style without validation (ranking system) does not mean our photo work is not a masterpiece as a unique individual perspective lens even from the same cameras. At this stage, Gurushot still the balanced playing field out there than the others. I guess, somehow they need to compensate the website 🙂
      Enjoy your photography journey! Thanks lot for your time.

  5. Dominic Roy
    | Reply

    Two times in a row that i’m in the top ten and in few days of the challenge ended someone reviewed one of my pics as similar but it really wasnt. I hate this site!!!! People are ready to take you down for winning.

    • admin
      | Reply

      @DominicRoy that’s not right, I can understand. Some people take advantage for the game sake only. Sometimes, our macro photos can be similar to others too or some eyes lack vision to judge. I know even if it’s a game but we’re investing our time and not only learning different subject weekly but also game players behaviour and diverse personalities.

    • Nitka
      | Reply

      Hi Dominic. I can relate to your experience with someone reporting my photo as similar image! I had a photo of a close up of statues and then a photo of a whole church (the status where there by way, way far away). In no way these 2 photos where similar! What was more disappointing the “similar” image was a swap so when I entered original photo with quite a few votes in them the count of the votes was not given back but reset to zero. It took awhile to get all the votes back again and then more.

      • admin
        | Reply

        @Nitka, thanks for sharing your experience. Gurushots should address this problem; it’s unfair.

  6. Hevs
    | Reply

    Sigh, I’ve been on Gurushots for 6 months & I’m currently stuck at “Expert” level because of the stupid requirement for 1 Guru pick even though I’m consistently Allstar and in the top 100 or percentiles. Beware of the vengeful photographer as Dominic points out.I had a disagreement with a Guru shots photographer (who gets away with blatant cheating) & I had 4 disqualifications in 4 days for similar image when they weren’t. All of which were Macro & they view black card as same back & foreground! I’ve raised this with no results. Gurushots can cost a lot & there are most definitely different rules for different photographers! I want to know how to get a Guru vote because it seems to be a favour bestowed on only few (& sometimes for the same picture multiple times when it’s recycle to a number of challenges). I’m also getting bored with how easy it is to get to Allstar & in the top percentiles but not be rewarded for it.

    • admin
      | Reply

      @Hevs, that’s true, every time there’s a change of the features the algorithm likely to change too. I’m guessing when there’s modification the hope of waiting to expose our photos entry for voting and Guru’s top pick less likely noticeable. I wished we could read Guru’s Top Pick brain, if they randomly pick or how they scour thousands or millions of photos? I had only few Guru’s Top Pick from my All-Star Level, but I never expected at all. I truly don’t know how Gurus pick from bunches of photos voted. Since you had consistent All-Star, your photos should have been exposed for Guru’s Top Pick. Although it shouldn’t be based on a level if I’d would be the Guru to pick one. My entries don’t get more votes as they used to be. I just don’t know why either. Maybe like you said, there are those who don’t wanna vote for the certain photo. I noticed, some others do delete their photo entries after being voted and levelled up, and maybe that’s one of the strategies to keep our profile safe from cheaters if you notice something not right.

      I have no idea, how other photographers try to cheat on photos when the voting suppose to be anonymous. Unless those cheaters come to your profile and study your photos, maybe? Thanks for sharing, let’s hope for the best.

  7. […] On this challenge and moving forward, I have decided not to reveal as much ranking I had on any challenge through Gurushots (dotcom) due to any cheating going on the site and also trying to tamper the challenge voting system for someone’s advantage. Some are already disgusted due to others reporting photos that are the same, which are not, just to advance their fellow photographers. If you want to share your good or bad experience, please mention in the comments or go to the linked review http://www.jenniferramirezbaulch.com/gurushots-com-review/ […]

  8. Nitka
    | Reply

    Over all, I am quite enjoying ‘playing” on GuruShots…:-) I have heaps of fun and I love voting and liking the images! But I had some strange experiences as well. In one of my Challenges, after just 3-5 days, I noticed, when I voted I used to get just small set of photos to vote on and they were all very sub standard! And they were coming up over and over again. Same and same. Firstly, I just reported the most inappropriate once but nothing happened! I sent dozens of emails to see what is happening. My believe, to this day is, that there was a “glitch” of some sort and I was actually being directed to the set of photos already rejected/removed from the Challenge to vote on them! There were less then 50 photos in that set and they were the only once I was seeing for like 15 days while trying to vote in that Challenge. One of the admins suggested it maybe that I voted too much at the start of the Challenge, and I voted for all the photos in that Challenge, so I was left with unvoted once. It may be so. It looks like we can only cast ONE vote for each photo and ONCE only in the Challenge. However, it does not explain why my reporting some of the images over and over again (for at least 10 days of a Challenge) did not resulted in removing them off from their system.

    • admin
      | Reply

      @Nitka, yeah I enjoy the game too, but I’m starting not to enter much entry. I don’t care about the ranking at all myself to think it’s a game after all. That is a strange experience you get; I’d agree it could be a glitch as well. I think I did notice maybe a couple or more times; I gotta vote for the same photos over again. The voting photo entries I noticed is getting lesser votes than it was used to be in the recent months. Let’s keep suggesting what’s best for the community. One day, they’ll get through 🙂

  9. Nitka
    | Reply

    Well, it is strange, on one hand I was advised we can only cast a vote once for each photo in that particular Challenge but yes, there are photos which may appear to a member more then once for a vote…it was suggested lots of photos are very similar so it may only “appear” that we are voting more then once for a photo….but it is not true! I think I have a good eye and I can recognise some photos I already voted on…it still does not explain at all that bizarre experience I had with that limited set of photos which were just awful ….here is hoping it was just one “glitch”….I have problems reaching an All star level for my photos even though I do receive a “guru pick”…I noticed very often my voting for my favourite Challenge does not give me any votes for my photos in that Challenge but instead I get votes in another….said all that, I also do not enter too many Challenges now…am being selective and spent less time voting anyway…cheers!

    • admin
      | Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experience @Nitka, appreciate your time.
      After you spoke, Gurushot just shorten the days of voting, this will make photos less exposure again and harder to get All Star level neither alone getting to Elite, I reckon.

  10. Gary Minderman
    | Reply

    Anyone noticed that you can get 3000 votes in a single afternoon/day combined in 3 challenges and one pic that clearly in 2 hours achieves 500 votes that the top photos took a week to achieve and clearly given the days left in the challenge will outstrip the lead image… then the next day nada..nix..nil..zero…views remain stagnant for an entire day…not a single look that captivated an audience the entire last day…I guess the alorithim limits exposure. The game is rigged. Very very clear…too many votes too fast is equivilant to a couple of days no exposure. I will add given that as a “guru” you get to host your own challenge….why is it that only 4 owner gurus host all challenges? Clearly very rigged…the only great thing i can say is that you the user has clearly shown that i have some pinch of salt worth because you clicked my image as i did yours. Thank you and you have helped me to believe inhave potential…but not this site.
    .believe in them and the algorithm that will do anything for you and be considered peers to the fantastic 4 is very foolish..it’s a business like any other. Having said all that and aware what the site represents..love seeing everyones photos and its very nice to get users feeback 😊

    • admin
      | Reply

      G’day @GaryMinderman yes I noticed the algorithm is weird like any other business “social media” sites out there. Someone has to make money more than anyone else 🙂 All of the above you mention, I do agree. We do hope there is no technical anomaly going on, like what I mentioned other social media could influence their service by adding swoop numbers of fake viewers to your regular exposure (live-streaming or posting photos or videos). Honestly, I never even notice any of those winning photos whenever casting my votes since I joined the site.
      Thanks and appreciate sharing your experience with us.

  11. Nitka
    | Reply

    Hi guys..:-) me again….:-)…Glad I am not “seeing” or imagining” things…so true with getting heaps of votes one minute and then not a single vote whole day or longer for a single photo in that challenge…very frustrating that…I used boosts for my photos but I never ever as yet came across when they unlock “free boost”…and yes…I hardly get to Elite level now…do not see myself ever getting to All Star = boost, guru pick and all that combined..and that is sad..:-((…and yes once again, I asked Guru admin why I never come across at those masterpieces in top 100 photos when voting – and I do vote a lot as I like it (very seldom use autofills)…so who gets to vote for them?…?….still love browsing through all the marvelous photos when voting..:-) heaps of fun…

    • admin
      | Reply

      Welcome back Nitka, yeah something to talk about it all right 🙂 After the boost feature introduced, I unexpectedly got one “free boost” in a matter of few weeks. I wondered who would be silly to play 24/7 a week just to get a “free boost” for that matter?

  12. qizl
    | Reply

    I came here on a search i gurushots was rigged. Why? I see the same fenomenon. Some days you get heap of votes and others days you get none whatsoever. No matter if you keep the potmeter on high buy voting yourself. Even more strange is that i get votes on a regular basis right till i reach the tresshold of a new level. in 2 days i went to premier nad abot 20 voes frome elite and then all the votes dried up for 5 days and it just stuck there till the end even with a boost. Ok can happen once but it happened 2-3 times already which made me suspisious. Also i thougght in the beginning i thought voting was kinda annimous. Beginning to doubt that since i see some very poor images getting lots of votes. what have all these images in common? Their users have a mega load of followers. So i guess all in all its not about the quality but quantiy all over again. Reconsidering if i stay or just go.

    • admin
      | Reply

      It’s rigid because it’s their game, not ours 🙂 Thanks for sharing yours @qizl

    • Thierry
      | Reply

      Hi, iIn my opinion poor pictures often get nearly as many votes as good because the quickest and easiest way to vote is to vote every five hours for the four first pictures proposed …

      • admin
        | Reply

        That’s why it’s gamification 🙂

  13. Keith Lane
    | Reply

    Hi, love the article and the comments. One problem from me is that having started a Challenge at the same time as a friend, after a week my set of 4 photos have averaged about 500 views in that time. The friend, is averaging about 2,400 views per photo. I vote often, seldom letting the Exposure Meter drop and keep a close eye on the votes:view ratio. Why would there be such a difference in the number of views?

    • admin
      | Reply

      Thanks, @KeithLane for dropping by. Yeah, I think it comes down to the algorithm again despite the fact that the exposure meter is boosted up and other elements of the game’s strategy.

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