Jody MacDonald calls herself a documentary and sports photographer, but she's…
Photographers, illustrators, designers, and pretty much all creatives know that if you leave an idea swirling around in your own head, it’s likely to go no where. Creators are meant to create, but sometimes need that extra push or external pressure to take an idea from its early stages to full execution. And what if, as you were working on that idea, someone found you and wanted to support you?
This series of events isn’t a dream – it’s a reality, and it’s called Behance. The vision of Behance is simple yet wonderfully executed: provide an online platform for creatives that empowers them to organize their ideas, and broadcast them to a community of fellow creatives and companies looking for talent. (And we are very excited to have co-founder and CEO Scott Belsky speak at Luminance, our first conference this fall in NYC!)
What is it? On the Behance platform, users customize a simple but neat portfolio page that highlights their projects, offers a short paragraph description about the creative, and embeds social sharing buttons (among other tools). Behance essentially turns your work into an online gallery, and the site (as a whole) claims to get 15x the traffic of all other leading portfolio sites combined (Carbonmade, Cargo Collective, Coroflot are examples of other portfolio sites).
What sets it apart? The networking component: all projects have their own page, and can be “appreciated” by the community. The number of appreciations, views, and followers are all displayed as stats on the project page, giving users a sense of popularity for any given project.
How does it serve creatives? All projects are also tagged, which helps categorize everything in the Explore area. The sleek and modern interface of this page makes it easy for potential clients to search by category, location, most viewed, and other useful tags.
The thing to highlight here is that if you have a good idea and make that into a strong, highly “appreciated” portfolio with lots of page views, then you have a greater chance of being found by clients and creative companies who use Behance to source talent.
What else is there? Not one to worry about too many pots on the stove, Behance also curates galleries of work by top members. Galleries live on a variety of different external sites (powered by the Behance platform), and themes range from photography to digital art to fashion to typography, and everything in between.
Finally, ProSite, which is the paid version of Behance but obviously filled with additional tools including customized design, ability to use your own domain name, and more. ProSite users can also automatically publish their work to Behance’s network to maintain that enhanced client visibility component.
Who’s behind all this? Of course, as with any great product, there must be someone with great vision and dedication who’s running the show. At Behance, that person is Co-Founder and CEO Scott Belsky. Scott’s background is in advising companies that cross the line between technology and creative industry. He belives that great work should gain the exposure it deserves. More than that, that the best talent should seamlessly connected to the right opportunities.
Scott is one of over 20 speakers at Luminance, PhotoShelter’s conference in NYC this fall, and so we asked him: When people interact with Behance, what do you hope they walk away with? “A sense of organization and empowerment,” says Scott. “Serving creative professionals around the world in a meaningful ways, and ultimately supporting millions of creative careers [is where we see our business going].”
What are people saying about Behance? “It is the one place where I can go to quench all of my creative needs,” says one feature user. “Since joining Behance, I can honestly say my creative life has dramatically changed…Constantly immersing myself in the top design community in the world and actively engaging with it has driven my own work forward exponentially.”
“My advice to other creatives,” says another user, “Behance can open up so many opportunities to you, but you won’t reach your goals unless you keep working hard at what you love.”
Seeing such support from the Behance community makes us even more pumped to hear Scott Belsky speak live at Luminance. Will you be there?
PhotoShelter’s Luminance conference September 12-13 in NYC is hosting over two dozen speakers in TED-style talks. Interested in learning more about Luminance? See all the speakers, learn about our photography workshops, and view all ticket and pricing information here.