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Author Topic: Similar images and Fotolia - unjustified uniquness craze?  (Read 2227 times)

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« on: March 23, 2014, 18:29 »
Hi guys,

I get unusually many rejections because "similarity" at Fotolia. It's quite annoying since my submission effort of larger batches is not rewarded very much. Any advice?
Some cases are not understandable to me at all, others could be understood, but they get accepted everywhere else.

About the ones that I can see how that could be justified:
On shutterstock, when I have similar versions of the same image, I can make a special kind of release to link those images together. For example I had a background that was selling very well, so I made more versions of it. No problem at shutterstock and the other backgrounds sell nice as well now. And it actually boosted the sales for the original image. Fotolia on the other hand seems not to provide such functionality. Is that right?  I'm not sure if their uniqueness craze is such a good marketing strategy. Especially in cases where someone wants to make more of what he/she knows will sell.

About the other images that are not so similar and where it's a little less understandable:
I have a particular style and I wonder if their reviewers don't confuse style for similarity.
I also wonder, since I developed software for myself  to keyword my own images, if they count the number of shared keywords between images. There are some keywords that occur in almost every image of mine, since they address my style.

It almost looks to me as if they had some software that generates some metrics for the reviewer and the reviewer rejects based on those metrics, possibly not even caring about the actual image.

Anyone else having a hard time with Fotolia like that?

« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 18:32 by einstein »

« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 18:34 »
I wouldn't worry about trying to compare Fotolia with other agencies' acceptance criteria.  They reject most of my stuff and I simply don't care anymore.  The more I upload the less I make. They are a failing micro stock company and I hope they go out of business.

« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 02:18 »
... they get accepted everywhere else.

So why should this be reason for one agency to accept images that someone else accepted? There are agencies without any review at all. And at others I have >99% acceptance.

Given a recent thread about someone complaining that half of his 1,000 very similar editorial images from the same event were rejected at one place, I actually have more respect for those agencies which actually care about the content that is being uploaded to them.

Anyone else having a hard time with Fotolia like that?

I wouldn't call it "hard times". I get rejections at Shutterstock and Fotolia these days. Not many, maybe 10-15% of my submissions. While at most other places, almost all of my images are accepted as well. But that just means to me that anyone's images are accepted as well.

As a customer I would rather prefer a tighter selection but for the market it seems more important to make claims how many millions images are in a database... it's just how things go. So why take the time and energy to bother?

« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 09:23 »
I'm not saying, I get 100% acceptance rate everywhere else, but for example if shutterstock rejects something, I really get their reasons most of the time.
Fotolia cuts about half of my images and that's very unusual, especially since some of the rejected ones belong to my best sellers. It feels very aribitrary.

I don't see it that negatively if an agency doesn't reject that much. Sure, they should filter a little what's coming in, but why reject things where you can't tell in advance whenever they will sell or not? One can be easily surprised what people want. My personal experience with fotolia reviewers is, that they are not very skilled fortune tellers ;) But I can always be wrong. Maybe their customers are so different that those images really wouldn't sell. However I find that hard to believe.

A good acceptance rate is friendly and motivating to the contributor and gives him a chance to expose all his ideas to the market. I discovered 3 niches in just a month that way.  Second of all, if those images are so bad, they will never sell or appear on the first page anyway (well, eventually in the "new"-section, but they will disappear from there pretty quickly again). And about the storage, I wouldn't mind if they send me an email once a year, asking me to confirm, which images of the unsold ones I want to keep online. Maybe even with some automated analysis giving me clues why they don't convert. I'm perfectly happy with deleting stuff that keeps my customers from seeing what else I have.

I'm just saying, instead of doing so much fortune telling, at the end the customer himself should decide whenever images are worth something or not. That's the only objective way of determining the true value of something. Reviewers should only be there to reject obvious and common sense cases. Having 1000 images of the same thing IS such an obvious case.

As a customer I would rather prefer a tighter selection
As a customer I wouldn't care unless I begin noticing that my search results are spammed with low quality images. And a broader selection makes it more likely to find what I look for, doesn't it?

Well, the number of images an agency has is strategically important, whenever one likes it or not. Working hard is worthless if you don't work smart. If you look it up in literature, this is called taking advantage of "positive network externalities". As long as the quality standard doesn't fall too low, quantity is very important factor when they want to rule the market. It's not just psychological.

In that sense, those agencies where you get >99% acceptance rate are not that stupid at all. As long as they don't accept eye catching crap (in which case they are stupid), they still have a chance on the market. Especially if their competition makes a mistake.

« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2014, 10:06 »
Yes. I have a lower acceptance rate in FT compared to SS. I have learnt not to worry about FT's rejections because, they don't sell well enough what they accept in the first place. So, even if they were to accept more, I doubt whether I will sell more. SS on the other hand, does reject some, but they do find ways to sell the ones they accept. My sales in SS are 6x when compared to FT.


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