Photography Guru Millionaire?

What is a Guru?

Fair question!  According to Google,
gu·ru    ˈɡo͝oro͞o/

(in Hinduism and Buddhism) a spiritual teacher, especially one who imparts initiation.
spiritual teacher, teacher, tutor, sage, mentor, spiritual leader, leader, master; 
swami, maharishi
"a Hindu guru and mystic"
each of the ten first leaders of the Sikh religion.
an influential teacher or popular expert.
synonyms:  expert, authority, pundit, leading light, master, specialist; 
                    informal whiz "a management guru"

Okay, so a photography guru must be a Master of Photography?

That makes sense to me.  Apparently, it also makes sense on the website GuruShots.  Here's how they describe themselves -

GuruShots is a platform for people who love taking photos. 
It’s fun, motivating and helps you improve

Started just over 4 years ago, they set out with the following Core Beliefs -
At GuruShots, we believe that it’s not about the gear you use nor the training you received. It’s not even really about the subjects you shoot. It’s really about your talent. We built GuruShots to give people a place to show and nurture that talent.
Taking photos is an amazing way to express yourself. We wanted it to be fun and meaningful so we turned the sharing of photos into an exciting game packed with plenty of opportunities to show off people’s talent.
Feedback is one of the best ways to get better. That’s why we built GuruShots - to give people massive feedback on their photos and the opportunity to compare their photos to others.

So, In other words...

You join GuruShots to share your photos with other photographers in order to receive feedback and thereby improve the quality of your photography.  It started small, competitions, or "Challenges" as they refer to them, are generally theme based competitions where you submit your photos into the challenge, and then are shown photos from your peers and asked to vote on the ones you feel fit the guidelines of the challenge as set forth by the Guru running the challenge.

As the 4 years have passed, tremendous growth and growing pains that are often associated with success were all part of the mix.  Now sponsoring an average of 50 challenges per month, and tallying 1 Billion votes per month from over 1 million photographers from all around the globe, GuruShots publishes articles, sponsors exhibitions in galleries all over the world, and have given out over $500,000 in awards to the winners of these challenges.

As you compete, you receive achievements and points indicating how well you are performing on the site.  As you gain points and achievements, you rise from Newbie to the highest level of Guru.  After becoming a Guru, you are given the opportunity to run challenges by selecting the theme, the guidelines for the competition, and serve as the Professional Viewpoint as to what photos best meet the challenge by voting, just like the competitors through a blind presentation of the photos.  At the end of the challenge, the Guru then picks their Top Photo.  Keep in mind, these competitions have grown to the point of some challenges having over 200,000 photos and 60,000 competitors!

All the time, you keep collecting points.  If you achieve the top level in the challenge, ALL STAR, and jump through all the hoops possible, you can collect up to 1350 Guru Points for the competition.


The first of June brought the first Guru Millionaire when a photographer in Sweden achieved the previously unheard of task - he had received over 1 million Gurushots points.  Now, on July 7, 2018, Julie Everhart, my wife, partner, and fellow photographer, has done the same!  From what we can tell, Julie is actually the second photographer to make this mark on the world!

Congratulations on your success Julie!  Unless you have tried, you have no idea how hard it is to win a challenge (one of the requirements to achieve Guru status).  And believe me, I know!  I won my challenge a year and a half ago! Yeah, two gurus in one house.  To become a Photography Guru Millionaire?  Well, I don't think that's something I'll be chasing. For the record, I am closing in on the 450,000 point mark at this time.


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