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As more and more people start taking pictures of their nether regions on their iphones or posing myspace style in front of their HTC's - the competitive world of getting a Daily Deviation gets just that much harder... I kid. But... daily, I am bombarded with awesome suggestions (which I love) and I'm not complaining about. But there has to be a criteria of sorts, that sets an image above the rest. Here are a few things I look for that you might not have noticed before... The first thing I look at when I stumble across an image or view a suggestion from somebody, is how the artist has presented their work to the deviantART Community.
Your image isn't everything. Not anymore. In the past I have given Daily Deviations to pieces with titles that are a combination of random letters and numbers, or that are very obviously still the source file title - or that tends to be just a keyboard mash-up. Everyday CVs are sent many many notes suggesting pieces of work for Daily Deviations. The fact is that we cannot feature more than one piece a day. So when I'm looking carefully at the things that are sent my way, I will begin to narrow it down by how someone has chosen to present their work.
Here's an example of what not to do... You may have a really fantastic macro shot of the inside of a flower - but you've titled it Crappy Flower Thing . Am I going to DD it? No. Probably not.
Have you ever seen the Freshly Pressed Page on Wordpress? The blogs they choose to feature every day on their front page get hundreds of hits, comments and follows. Sort of like a DD no? Well they don't just look at the content, or the images. The title of the blog and the title of the blog entry has to work too. Calling your work, Fucking awesome sunset dude might seem amusing at the time, but won't land you any brownie points in the great scheme of Daily Deviation Selections.
Feel free to look through my gallery and find all the pieces where I've done all the 'don't s' that I'm about to list. I don't care. I have flaws! Nobody is perfect!!!!! Anyway, have you come across an absolutely breath-taking landscape that exudes exotic location, beautiful tones and wonderful scenery? I have. Have you scrolled down, and down, to the artists comments bursting with the desire to find out where this place that must be heaven - is? I have. Have you been confronted with nothing more, nothing less, than a simple but thoughtfully positioned full stop? Such as this - . ? YES. You have haven't you. How annoying IS that? I find it often whilst browsing the food gallery in still life photography. Because I like food. I find this amazing dish that looks so exquisite and yummy and tasty and -get-in-my-stomach-now- but there's NOTHING in the artists comments. Nothing at all. It's empty. There's no description of what the food is, whether the artist made it and no goddamn recipe. Those awesome chocolatey looking brownie biscuit cakey things could be baked dog turd for all we know. Do you understand where I'm coming from? It's frustrating, as a normal deviant - but it's doubly frustrating as a Community Volunteer when looking to give Daily Deviations.
As a Photography CV, I don't just give a Daily Deviation to an awesome piece of work. I check thoroughly to see whether a piece is stolen. I run it through search image everywhere checkers, I check meta-data, I check the title and see if any other similar pieces are online - I check your gallery to see if the rest of your work fits in with this awesome godly masterpiece.
Metadata - include it. We like to know whether a shot was feasible on the technical data that you submit with your work. If it's not included automatically in the stats on your deviation page because you've used some fancy software then do us a favour and write a bit about it in the artist comments. Shutter speed, type of camera, time of year taken, season, time of day, aperture, focal length - lens...give us all your loving!
Location - we don't need to know your full address inclusive of postal code. But it's nice for you to share which part of the world your photo was taken in. That lovely couple tying the knot on a beach is blatantly not Southampton docks in the South of England. Just no. We like to know that you've been to Bali or Hawaii to shoot portraits - we like to be jealous as we scour your gallery for daily deviations! Sharing a location, giving a bit of background behind a shot, makes it more personal to you.
History - taking a still life shot of a pocket watch is nice. But where did you get it? How long have you had it? Is it a family heirloom or something you found at a market? It's okay to get a bit chatty about where your objects came from. Sadly, if you stole them then you're not likely to get a daily deviation, but it's good to be honest too right?
Outtakes & Behind the Scenes - Getting critical of your work in a joky and positive way is fun and is something everyone should do. Therefore consider showing shots in the artists comments, where it all went wrong. Give us an insight into the behind the scenes of the whole set up. Let us know what you cursed, and what you really liked. Share with us some tips and hints. Ultimately, comment in the artist comments.
Your work has to stand out. It really does. It's a cliche and everyone says it, but it's true. Be unique, be creative and be awesome. For more information on who to send your suggestions to check out #communityrelations