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Author Topic: Is iStock worth the effort?  (Read 40981 times)

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« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2009, 01:28 »
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Chris, don't get demotivated. I was also rejected 3 times before I got in. Just shoot more, look at your pictures, choose a few. If you can't post on the IS forum, somone can post them for you or you can post somewhere else as you suggested. I'm sure you will get in if you don't give up.


RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2009, 02:02 »
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Chris, don't get demotivated. I was also rejected 3 times before I got in. Just shoot more, look at your pictures, choose a few. If you can't post on the IS forum, somone can post them for you or you can post somewhere else as you suggested. I'm sure you will get in if you don't give up.

Thanks, goldenangel,
I recently bought my Sigma f2.8 105mm Macro lens.
I'll play with that and see what I can come up with ;)

Thanks again

« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2009, 09:59 »
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Chris, don't get demotivated. I was also rejected 3 times before I got in. Just shoot more, look at your pictures, choose a few. If you can't post on the IS forum, somone can post them for you or you can post somewhere else as you suggested. I'm sure you will get in if you don't give up.

Three seems to be the magic number, that is how many times it took me. I dont know if they are still doing it the same but when I applied you submitted three photos and if they didnt like one or two of the three you could just submit one or two more until you ended up with three they liked.

The only other site I had a hard time getting accepted at was stockxpert and im glad I didnt give up.

« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2009, 23:46 »
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I am also new to MS and am also contributing to 5 of the big 6 so far. As a result, following are my observations so far on iStock:

I was lucky enough to get approved on iStock the first time and they reviewed and approved my 3 photos in less than 24 hours.

But this means nothing, it has also been a major slug for me with iStock getting photos approved since the start and I have had countless problems with model releases and various other technical issues. I have been uploading to iStock for just over a month now and still only have a total of 16 photos online, while I have close to 300 hundred already on Shutterstock. So it is obvious it is much harder to build up a portfolio on iStock and sales so far haven't amounted to much of anything either yet.

Out of the 5 sites I am submitting to, I give iStock the least priority since their upload limits are so low and their approval process so slow and stringent, but I do keep them in the mix as I believe eventually things could improve in terms of sales on iStock after I am able to build a bit of a bigger portfolio there. It will of course take more time to build up a sizeable portfolio on iStock and that is why I don't make them my biggest focus. For those who are just starting out with iStock and not using any of the other sites at the same time, I can understand the frustration of seeing things progress slowly.

What I do now though is I use my top sellers on other sites to submit to iStock since I feel they are tried and proven images. Since I can only upload 12 a week on iStock, I am hoping by being selective in terms of what I upload, and limiting the uploads to good selling pictures, that eventually my approval rate and sales on iStock will start to climb, even though I have a smaller portfolio on iStock than on other sites.

Time will tell I guess...
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 00:01 by marcbkk »

« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2009, 06:03 »
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What I do now though is I use my top sellers on other sites to submit to iStock since I feel they are tried and proven images. Since I can only upload 12 a week on iStock, I am hoping by being selective in terms of what I upload, and limiting the uploads to good selling pictures, that eventually my approval rate and sales on iStock will start to climb, even though I have a smaller portfolio on iStock than on other sites.

Which goes back to another discussion that iStock does provide the best service to buyers by weeding out the garbage and repeats other sites will accept, and showcasing the best of exclusives and independents.

« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2009, 10:07 »
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Chris, don't get demotivated. I was also rejected 3 times before I got in. Just shoot more, look at your pictures, choose a few. If you can't post on the IS forum, somone can post them for you or you can post somewhere else as you suggested. I'm sure you will get in if you don't give up.

Three seems to be the magic number, that is how many times it took me. I dont know if they are still doing it the same but when I applied you submitted three photos and if they didnt like one or two of the three you could just submit one or two more until you ended up with three they liked.

The only other site I had a hard time getting accepted at was stockxpert and im glad I didnt give up.

I believe they don't accept images one by one anymore. They either reject or accept all three. Someone correct me if I''m wrong.

« Reply #56 on: April 29, 2009, 08:57 »
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I just applied and was accepted to iStock last month, so I can comment on this.  For my first submission of 3 photos, 2 were accepted.  All I had to do was wait for a duration of 3 days, and then resubmit 1 photo.  You get to keep your 2 approved ones there, and just resubmit for the rejection. 

In my case I had some purple fringing - and I sort of knew that might happen, should have went with my gut instinct!!! 

I just resubmitted something that I knew would have to get approved, and it did.  I am totally new to this - but slowly learning everything.  I only have 3 photos submitted to iStock, all approved, because I don't want a rejection.  I have to get over that, because at this rate, it will take forever to build my portfolio, and that 100% acceptance rate will be worthless!!!

tan510jomast

« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2009, 09:01 »
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i think if you can live through the initial stage of being non-exclusive, IS is a good place to be. i am not with IS as from what i read here it's scary so i haven't looked to being part of them. maybe when i am good enough  ;)

batman

« Reply #58 on: April 29, 2009, 09:11 »
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i think if you can live through the initial stage of being non-exclusive, IS is a good place to be. i am not with IS as from what i read here it's scary so i haven't looked to being part of them. maybe when i am good enough  ;)

"when i am good enough"?  You are joking , right? You'll never be good enough , if you keep waiting for that day   ;D

stacey_newman

« Reply #59 on: April 29, 2009, 09:40 »
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iStock is definitely worth the effort. as long as you are willing to put in the effort (which it seems you are) and as long as you are uploading quality images. instead of wasting application attempts (they are finite FYI, or at least used to be, an iStock admin could verify this)...I would post some images on your website for critique.

when applying to iStock, be sure to provide a variety of samples. don't apply with three of the same type of shoot or subject. they want to see the scope of your ability, not three studio or landscape shots that all resemble one another.

iStock maintains a very tight collection. their standards are very high. but don't let that deter you, instead it should motivate you to get your work into their database.

finally, try not to listen to advice from people who are not accepted on iStock, because chances are their opinions are based on frustration and rumour. many of them will tell you iStock is unfair or unreasonable. these are usually arguments made by photographers whose work hasn't been accepted at iStock yet and they are blaming iStock instead of improving their submissions. anyone who really wants to be on iStock simply needs to look at their work honestly and submit their best, there are thousands of us on iStock. we didn't have a magic key.

good luck.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 09:46 by stacey_newman »

« Reply #60 on: April 29, 2009, 10:25 »
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There may not be a magic key, but the IS reviewers have been issued magic glasses, which let them detect "artifacts"  which neither I, nor the reviewers at SS, DT, FT, or 123RF can see.    And somehow these "artifacts" tend to show up in my best-selling (on other sites) images.   

I think it depends on your subject matter.  They seem to cater to a different group of buyers than SS's subscription buyers, for example.  I also suspect that small portfolios don't have much of a chance on IS.  I will continue to submit occasionally just to see if anything ever happens, but for me it's been a waste of time so far.

Your mileage may vary.

KB

« Reply #61 on: April 29, 2009, 10:38 »
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There may not be a magic key, but the IS reviewers have been issued magic glasses, which let them detect "artifacts"  which neither I, nor the reviewers at SS, DT, FT, or 123RF can see.
My view is considerably different from yours, perhaps because my experience is so different. They have been my #1 site since not long after joining them (perhaps 3-4 months). They typically account for 1/3 of my monthly revenues, and despite the too often best match changes, they are about the most steady of performers.

As for artifacts that don't exist, I highly doubt that. iStock reviewers are definitely the best trained of all, so they do spot things that others do not. But I think that means they tend to spot things that buyers wouldn't see, either -- and likely wouldn't care about, even if they did see them.

I've been fairly well-trained by them as well, now.  ;D So it's pretty rare that I get an artifacting rejection. But when I do, I can usually see what the objection is (even if I don't think it is a problem). If it's something I can fix, I do. If it's something I can't, or think isn't really a problem, then I forget about it, or Scout it.

I truly wish all site's inspectors were as good as IS's. I would actually start uploading again at DT & FT, and I wouldn't have to have complaints like those I recently posted about SV. There's an example where they believe they found "multiple technical problems" on an image that passed IS's inspection.

« Reply #62 on: April 29, 2009, 11:04 »
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iStock reviewers are definitely the best trained of all, so they do spot things that others do not.

What is your basis for that statement? I'm sure IS would claim it's true, but I wonder if SS would agree.


batman

« Reply #63 on: April 29, 2009, 11:10 »
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Reading both of you stockastic and KB we find that obviously no reviewer in any of the Big 6 is more qualified than the other. None the least IS. If so, the rejections would be consistent between the two of you, or any others.

The only consistency is those who gets their images approved with IS will keep repeating like a scratched vinyl or a digital sequencer that IS is beyond worship.

So really, there is no god ! not in microstock, I am sure  ;)

(re- edited by me)

Regards,
the dark knight  ;D
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 12:57 by batman »

stacey_newman

« Reply #64 on: April 29, 2009, 11:25 »
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whether or not I questioned my IS exclusivity is irrelevant. questioning exclusivity, if anything, should show you that I am reasonably objective when it comes to the iStock experience. regardless of my exclusivity status, iStock's collection is the cleanest and most professional. they are known internationally for their standards. even when I considered non-exclusivity, I was very critical of the SS database and the volume of unprofessional images that I feel they accept. they seem to take a shotgun approach to microstock, which I dislike. clearly my research has led me to remain exclusive at iStock for many very good reasons.

to the OP. iStock is not picking on you or any one person when they reject you images. they are looking for a certain level of quality. it is in your best interest to get your work on iStock, but if you don't, that's one less competitor for the rest of us. whether or not you choose to go exclusive at some point, well that is a whole other discussion but it has nothing to do  with this thread.

if you would like to sitemail me a link to some of your shots, or post some publicly, I'm sure there are many knowledgable people, both non-exclusive and exclusive iStockers, who would be happy to help.

« Reply #65 on: April 29, 2009, 11:28 »
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Based on my own rejections, I would say that the IStock reviewers have "issues" with closeups of objects. They seem to be mistaking grain, surface irregularities, or just the unavoidable digitization of fine detail,  for post-processing artifacts.  Since they don't specify the artifacts, they leave us submitters to argue and speculate endlessly.

How they managed to identify my 3 best-selling images - so they could reject them - is another question  :)  Their training must include some sort of psychic powers.  
 

batman

« Reply #66 on: April 29, 2009, 11:32 »
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Based on my own rejections, I would say that the IStock reviewers have "issues" with closeups of objects. They seem to be mistaking grain, surface irregularities, or just the unavoidable digitization of fine detail,  for post-processing artifacts.  Since they don't specify the artifacts, they leave us submitters to argue and speculate endlessly.

How they managed to identify my 3 best-selling images - so they could reject them - is another question  :)  Their training must include some sort of psychic powers. 
 

Psychic powers, eh? You would think someone like me would understand that, since I am a bat  ;D

« Reply #67 on: April 29, 2009, 11:44 »
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S reviewers have been issued magic glasses, which let them detect "artifacts"  which neither I, nor the reviewers at SS, DT, FT, or 123RF can see. 

Oh man, that is the funniest thing I have heard in awhile. I think it is great that they sometimes send little thumbnail's of your rejected image so (in theory) you can see why they rejected it, but most of the time I have no idea what they are talking about. They sent me one the other day of a freckle on a model and tried to tell me it was a sensor spot.

On another note (im probably going to get run out of town for saying this) does anyone else find it a little frustrating when someone had a perfectly valid complaint with any given site and an exclusive member from said site feels like they need to jump in and defend the site? Exclusive photographers have just as much right to post on MSG as anyone else but their opinions (in my opinion ;) always seem so skewed.

SS is my top earning site but I dont feel the need to jump in and defend it every time someone has a problem with it.

« Reply #68 on: April 29, 2009, 11:52 »
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I could believe that IS has the best collection, has been the most selective and has the sharpest reviewers. I would just like to see some objective evidence for those statements.   Certainly some microstocks have taken in way too much junk in the past; however it seems like right now, they're all trying to change and have upped their standards considerably. 

I'd been burned by IS in the past and recently I tried again. I submitted some images that been recently accepted by SS, DT, FT and 123RF.  IS rejected what I considered 2 spotless images for "artifacts".   There is only so much time I can spend on this, unless they started to show me some sales, which so far they have not.

Like I said, I think a lot of this is due to subject matter.  But I also think they may be obsessing over things which would never matter unless you're printing it 10 feet high.

KB

« Reply #69 on: April 29, 2009, 11:56 »
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iStock reviewers are definitely the best trained of all, so they do spot things that others do not.

What is your basis for that statement? I'm sure IS would claim it's true, but I wonder if SS would agree.


No scientific or provable basis, I admit. It's based simply on my own observations of submissions and rejections. Over time, I have learned what to look for, and I now feel fairly confident when I submit an image that it should be acceptable technically. And it usually is accepted at IS and most other sites. Sure, some sites have their own peculiarities, and I put up with them. But when FT rejects an image I know to be fine for "technical problems", that's when I know that their reviewers are not as well trained or consistent as IS'.

If it's rejected by IS, rather than dismiss the rejection as crazy (which is always my first instinct :D ), I look carefully to find what the reviewer objected to. I can usually find it, though like you, I don't always agree it's actually a problem. I think you're right that they sometimes pick up the grain of a desk or the pattern of an object that isn't in the DOF as artifacting, when it is not. But in my experience, that happens far less often than the arbitrary and completely wrong rejections that occur on many other sites.

« Reply #70 on: April 29, 2009, 12:54 »
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The weird thing is all the files approved by scout after reconsideration.  I havent send in many though, but 8 out of ten has been approved in average so far. What does that say about those reviewers?  Theyre like all the others probably...

« Reply #71 on: April 29, 2009, 13:01 »
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The weird thing is all the files approved by scout after reconsideration.  I havent send in many though, but 8 out of ten has been approved in average so far. What does that say about those reviewers?  Theyre like all the others probably...

I have had only one approved by scout out of probably 10.

batman

« Reply #72 on: April 29, 2009, 13:07 »
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The weird thing is all the files approved by scout after reconsideration.  I havent send in many though, but 8 out of ten has been approved in average so far. What does that say about those reviewers?  Theyre like all the others probably...

it does not say anything about their reviewers; it's only there to give Scout a job and to make Scout feel good  ;D

lisafx

« Reply #73 on: April 29, 2009, 13:23 »
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Based on my own rejections, I would say that the IStock reviewers have "issues" with closeups of objects. They seem to be mistaking grain, surface irregularities, or just the unavoidable digitization of fine detail,  for post-processing artifacts.  Since they don't specify the artifacts, they leave us submitters to argue and speculate endlessly.
 

FWIW if I am submitting a subject that has a particularly grainy looking texture (or even sparkly like some women's makeup for example) I will include a note to the inspector in the description field.  Something along the lines of "sweater texture may resemble artifacts".  That seems to have helped.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 13:26 by lisafx »

« Reply #74 on: April 29, 2009, 13:27 »
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Based on my own rejections, I would say that the IStock reviewers have "issues" with closeups of objects. They seem to be mistaking grain, surface irregularities, or just the unavoidable digitization of fine detail,  for post-processing artifacts.  Since they don't specify the artifacts, they leave us submitters to argue and speculate endlessly.
 

FWIW if I am submitting a subject that has a particularly grainy (or even sparkly like some women's makeup for example) I will include a note to the inspector in the description field.  Something along the lines of "sweater texture may resemble artifacts".  That seems to have helped.

Good tip Lisa, I will have to remember to add "note: freckles on skin may resemble sensor spots" lol


 

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