Have you ever heard of our friends over at Viewbug? You probably should have by now because we've collaborated with them on a couple different photo contests at this point and there's more to the community than just photo contests.
Whether you've ever heard of the website or not, and irrespective whether you are or aren't looking for photography contests, the Viewbug community actually has quite a bit more to it than just a rolling collection of prize-based competitions. Like most "newer" photographers, I created an account with Viewbug with the aim to submit my images to the available contests in the hopes that I would win something. But over time I began to understand that there's quite a bit more available to me than just the mere opportunity to possibly win a prize.
With thousands upon thousands of members and even more submissions per contests, the odds of actually winning a contest are pretty slim, there are a lot of great photographers out there and many of them are submitting images to the same contests that you are. I think the people running the site realized that and took the opportunity to create an environment where there are more benefits for each user than simply the chance to potentially win something.
One of the more difficult things about being a photographer these days is the fact that there are so many outlets and display options for your work. Whether you're looking for a portfolio, a contest, stock photography submissions, or even a website, the amount of websites out there where an account can be built in the hopes of gaining more exposure is growing to an overwhelming number. Viewbug has actually honed in on this point and is working hard to make it a location where you can essentially hit each of these objectives with a single account. Over the years I have watched the website go from being a base contest platform, to ultimately becoming a veritable one-stop-shop for photographers.
I personally haven't put all of the available tools on Viewbug to use, simply because my background originates from website and graphic design and I still like to perform some of my own work, but here are some of the most popular services offered that new photographers (and those looking for a change) might find incredibly helpful.
- Portfolio websites.
- Photography logo design.
- Video tutorials.
- Online marketplace.
- And of course photo contests.
It wouldn't be fair to mention the other photography platforms out there that are probably Viewbug's direct competition, but I can assure you that I am much less active with them these days because I simply enjoy what I get through my Viewbug account. As things change and evolve within the various photography communities online, I think it's worth your time to take a slightly closer look at the site because you might just find something that could help you further your photography career. It's worth noting that this really is all my own personal opinion and not an advocation to push you in one direction or another.
For those of you who haven't decided which site is best for creating your own online portfolio, or who have been looking for an outlet to sell your images, or maybe you're looking for more community engagement, Viewbug might just be the right fit for you. There's a reason they keep popping up here and there in Fstoppers articles; and that's because they keep doing some cool stuff and we think you should know about it.