Expensive websites like Smugmug, Artrepeneur, shootproof, and many others follow an aggressive pay to win business model designed to throttle exposure and gain profit without much gain on the user side. DeviantArt is not like that.
Some photo print websites like Snapflash and Shutterfly offer a clunky version of vending art prints and other big stores like Walgreens and Amazon have built in photo print designers but none of these sites have every feature that make hosting a professional gallery ideal.
Photographers need a centralized location for their work to have very high compatibility with other websites for sharing and high quality information hosting such as high res capability and easy tagging settings.
My favorite part about an online gallery and what I searched for while researching a place to put up my best work; is an easily scroll-able page to view all of my work at once. I found Flickr.com first and I still have an account on there however parent comany Yahoo’s security track record is among the worst in history, but that is a different story. DeviantArt remains a far more engaging and active platform that is dedicated to it’s artists
What I need:
High organic engagement
Print shop that is easily accessed by non-users
robust community – not just a dormant page with photos to scroll thorugh
Non-invasive/aggressive business model from the hosting website
Deviant-Art’s slogan is: “Deviant-Art is the world’s largest online social community for artists and art enthusiasts, allowing people to connect through the creation and sharing of art.” and it shows with daily syndication of every style and medium of art. Additionally, Deviant-Art does not extort it’s users while using it’s platform. The site has a built in print-shop that anyone can setup and use without paying a subscription or any monetary obligation besides the site taking a percentage. To get around that the Core premium subscription is a cool $60 a year with no nonsense built around it. I add my photos and set my prices immediately and I like that I can preview the prints with frames and select other mediums like greeting cards and fridge magnets. Deviant-Art offers work by way more artists than just photographers. Deviant-Art hosts:
Designs & Interfaces
Cartoons & Comics
Manga & Anime
Resources & Stock Images
The list goes on and on at DeviantArt.com
Having so much art in one place charges creative energy and perpetuates a feeling a limitless perceptions in art. I often scroll through the “newest” Deviations and feel inspired to keep taking pictures.
As it stand right now I have… 26,799 interactions with other artists and that is accumulated over the course of about 1 1/2 years as I started in August of 2018. The main engagement between DA’s users is favoriting artist work much like “Liking” on other sites however DA puts and artistic charm into interacting with the option to give cute pictures of llamas to artists and getting llamas gives you a ranking based on the total llamas you receive.
I feel good about interacting and looking through fellow artists on DeviantArt because my photos are added to flattering albums that they create and I see notifications that say things like ” so and so added your photo to their “The Best Photos I’ve Ever Seen” folder. It’s flattering. I’ve done the same by creating a folder titled “Best of 2020” artists love seeing that more than anything else and that is why I feel at home on Deviant-Art.
I am a fan of art first and a photographer second and Deviant-Art is a great fit for all of that.