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Author Topic: how strict should they be?  (Read 4290 times)

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« on: October 11, 2007, 06:57 »
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lately StockXpert seems to have become  a lot more strict with reviewing process which results in a lot of rejections.in this thread I don't mean to complain about the rejections but I'd like to hear your opinion on how strict microsites should  be on reviews.

One the reason   for  being so strict must be to build a high quality image library aiming  to reach the buyers with quality promise.that's perfectly understandable and I think this is something good for everyone in the long term.

but there raises the question how far they should  take this policy . we know cresstock tried this and they seem to have given it up.in my opinion what  StockXpert is doing now is a little too strict because they started to reject any file with a little problem.(thats at least in my experience)for instance several files of mine were rejected for being too noisy.the files indeed contained some noise in the darker areas but it was all (in my opinion)was within acceptable levels.they were taken with  a canon 350D @100 ISO  shot in RAW final jpeg was converted from edited tiff whitout sharpening or any other effect that may cause noise,
at the end  all images got accepted on all other sites(big6) except for  StockXpert.

like I indicated in the beginning I am not complaining about  the rejections but what do you think guys on that do you think this kind of policy  will do any good for both  StockXpert and the contributers or will it mean loss of money for both?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 07:02 by stokfoto »


dbvirago

« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 07:34 »
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If it's a matter of being strict or setting high standards, I don't think anyone has a problem with that. If it's a matter of untrained reviewers speeding through the process to get their enormous backlog out of the way, that's a problem. DT, IS, and SS have high and consistent standards - I don't expect to do worse than them by a reviewe that speeds through 100+ images in minutes.

they are not reviewing in any sort of logical orderly way, and the reviews are inconsistent at best. After clearing out a 3 week backlog in an hour with an 80% rejection rate, the que is backed up to 3 weeks again. But I'd rather wait another 3 weeks than have them all thrown out.

« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 08:14 »
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It's also a question of payback. At StockXpert, the images regularly generate $2.50 with normal sales. At Crestock, this is much more problematic: high quality requirements, but only $0.25 per sale most of the time   :(

« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 13:07 »
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I expect all agencies to become much more strict over time.  Microstock will become the primary source of images worldwide, and an agency needs to ensure absolutely tip top quality if it wants to survive.

I noticed a remark by our friend 'traveller' from the Macro side recently: "Many photographers contributing to microstock today will find the doors closed to them within a year or two".  I think he was referring to holiday snappers and those with borderline quality and/or stock suited images.

« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 13:11 »
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I don't want any reviewers from StockXpert to read this, but they have been approving all my submissions lately, except for one, that I agree it isn't a good composition.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 13:24 »
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I noticed a remark by our friend 'traveller' from the Macro side recently: "Many photographers contributing to microstock today will find the doors closed to them within a year or two". 
And the first door to be slammed in my face will be IS.   :'(

« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 15:23 »
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I agree quality expectations getting higher on many sites.as long as this is a general trend  and there is consistency I am in that game. I know to be able to keep up the business going I need a better camera than an entry level DSLR and better glasses to achieve what I want.I am well aware of the fact that we have to adopt our skills and equipments  but I  hope it is not only us that is expected to perform better.Unless the sites doesn't provide the motivation (in terms of income and etc it will be a game with only one winner which I doubt to last long.I hope no one expect us to create best of the work but still be happy with handful of dollars.I am not referring to a particular site I am talking in general.

« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 17:12 »
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I think that StockXpert, like all the others, must be strict on technical issues.  We will all benefit from the high standards they impose to us.

But what I do not accept are rejections based on poor arguments like "we do not need these kind of photos" or so. 

They don't buy photos, they sell them!  If a photo is technically ok, then give it a chance!  If it is a matter of storage, then discard all the photos with 0 dl after 6 or 12 months; these photos do not sell...

Claude

« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 17:18 »
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But what I do not accept are rejections based on poor arguments like "we do not need these kind of photos" or so. 
I agree.  If an image is technically sound, why not accept it?  If there are too many on the subject already, can't this be better than the older ones?

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 20:00 »
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Hey all,

Hatman 12, you're correct, I am talking about the holiday and occasional shooter. Now that the buyers have found images at prices well below the traditional macro site prices they are now going to be more demanding of the quality. It's the agencies job to help them find those quality images and its our job to produce and provide those images. Therefore as this micro industry grows so will their demands. Those photographers who want to make money in the microstock business will step up their art to a new level and grow with the industry and my guess is some who aren't so serious will eventually move on to other things. It sounds like most of you will do well. Remember its a numbers game, the more you have the more you make. My guess is in time the prices of microstock images will rise. Why, because it takes people to manage and control the quality of the images uploaded and if indeed some are finding more rejections that means people are indeed more involved than they have been in the past. This of course drives up operating costs and therefore the agencies will have to find new ways of generating money, that means higher prices, or so I hope. The same thing happened with royality free photography and my hopes are that is what will happen here. How much? Who knows.

Good Luck to all and don't be disappointed in rejections, let it be a motivator.
Traveler

« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2007, 07:00 »
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I too am upset by the current high rejection rates at StockXpert. 
It's not the fact that photos are rejected, or that the standards have improved.  Rejections seem arbitrary, inconsistent and rushed.

Back in the end of 2005 (if I recall correctly) Shutterstock's approval standards rose significantly.  Photos that previously would be accepted easily were now rejected.  They were now much stricter about technical standards, especially noise.  The sudden change in standards was like a slap in the face for me and many others in my situation.  However, the increased standards were consistent and made sense.  After the initial panic, I was able to learn and improve.

What's going on at the moment at StockXpert just seems strange.  It's a valid strategy to maintain higher standards of quality; it's another matter to properly recognize it.  I am beginning to suspect  the reviewers have been set a target but not adequately trained to achieve it.  Perhaps someone at StockXpert would care to elaborate on what's going on?

« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2007, 03:15 »
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They don't buy photos, they sell them!  If a photo is technically ok, then give it a chance!  If it is a matter of storage, then discard all the photos with 0 dl after 6 or 12 months; these photos do not sell...

Claude


I agree with you entirely. They are not giving the customers chance to see a lot of potential top sellers. All images with no sales after 12 months should be removed and fresh new images added. This should apply to all sites.

I have had a reject with  really a amateurish comment,
'The file is fuzzy'.
The picture was one with shallow depth of field, so I presume they were refering to the focus. This is totally amateur, first the stupid wording, and secondly not to refer to the depth of field.
It seems to me the reviewers really are new to the business, and their work should be checked more thoroughly.

« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2007, 15:25 »
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Guys,

We are working towards providing better explanations for rejections, and we want you to use the contact us form if you need clarification for a rejection or would like to appeal it.

Clivia, you're right 'this file is fuzzy' should be clarified. I don't want this thread to become an individual review appeal forum, but I just looked at your photos with this rejection, and there is definite camera shake or motion blur (not sure which one, but it definitely exists).

I can tell you that many of the images that are rejected for the "we do not need these kind of photos" reason go beyond subject issues. Usually it's subject, technical, lighting, and compostion, and many of these images seem to be the environmental snapshot taken during the  stroll along the beach,  in the park,etc.

It really comes down to what you put into an individual image is what you will get out of it.

Our reviewers are human and they make mistakes, so if after you are as discriminating as possible about your shot and you sense an anomoly exists in a rejection(s) or the rejection is unclear, by all means, let us know.

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2007, 18:54 »
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I can tell you that many of the images that are rejected for the "we do not need these kind of photos" reason go beyond subject issues. Usually it's subject, technical, lighting, and compostion, and many of these images seem to be the environmental snapshot taken during the  stroll along the beach,  in the park,etc.


Steve,

Thank you very much for taking the time to inform us; I really appreciate.

But even if I do recognise that my technique needs improvement (I'm working hard on it  ;) ), the photos you refused were not of the type you're reffering to...
Some of these shots were taken from under the boom of a container crane, where, believe me, you don't want to scroll along... :D

Anyway, as I said, I respect your decisions, these shots already sells on other sites.

Claude

dbvirago

« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2007, 12:18 »
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Thanks for stopping in and posting, Steve. I appreciate the high standards you are trying to set, I'm just not sure that is the case here. If it is about standards, then myself and quite a few other photographers suddenly got a lot worse at the exact same time you began having a reviewer problem and the backlog got so bad.

I just had another set of batches reviewed and 70 of 75 were rejected. Now it could be possilbe that I suddenly forgot how to take a picture, but my reject rate on these same batches was much, much higher on SS, DT, and IS who I consider to be the gold standards.

My rejection rate at SX has always been a little worse than those others and I can accept that you are looking for different images than they are. But the latest rejection increase only started when your backlog of images reached critical mass.

I'm not going to bother posting individual images on your forum or sending to support for critique. In the first place, I don't think any image can stand up to scrutiny beyond a reasonable standard. Many of the reasons are subjective, therefore any image could be rejected. But more than that, I don't think this is a case of individual images or reviewers making mistakes. I think this is a case of SX trying to get through the backlog as quickly as possible - and if the last couple of months is any indiciation, it's not working, even with the massive rejections.


« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2007, 12:57 »
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Thanks for stopping in and posting, Steve. I appreciate the high standards you are trying to set, I'm just not sure that is the case here. If it is about standards, then myself and quite a few other photographers suddenly got a lot worse at the exact same time you began having a reviewer problem and the backlog got so bad.

I just had another set of batches reviewed and 70 of 75 were rejected. Now it could be possilbe that I suddenly forgot how to take a picture, but my reject rate on these same batches was much, much higher on SS, DT, and IS who I consider to be the gold standards.

My rejection rate at SX has always been a little worse than those others and I can accept that you are looking for different images than they are. But the latest rejection increase only started when your backlog of images reached critical mass.

I'm not going to bother posting individual images on your forum or sending to support for critique. In the first place, I don't think any image can stand up to scrutiny beyond a reasonable standard. Many of the reasons are subjective, therefore any image could be rejected. But more than that, I don't think this is a case of individual images or reviewers making mistakes. I think this is a case of SX trying to get through the backlog as quickly as possible - and if the last couple of months is any indiciation, it's not working, even with the massive rejections.



AMEN!!!  Very well stated dbvirago!!!

« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2007, 13:09 »
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Actually, the queue is almost back to normal. I just think the impact of rejections appears greater simply because we've added a few more reviewers and more images are being reviewed in a short period of time.

At first, new reviewers' work needs to be doublechecked by the more experienced reviewers, so it is not usually a case of new reviewer inexperience. And a good deal of those who appeal their rejections have had their images reviewed by our most experienced reviewers.

Like I said, if you think your images should be reviewed again. Let us know. It doesn't benefit either of us to reject images that are good sellers. Getting through the backlog is important, but not at the expense of good, sellable images.

-Steve

« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2007, 14:41 »
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AMEN!!!  Very well stated dbvirago!!!

Double Amen to that!!   Just one big fat coincidence???  What'er the odds? 

dbvirago

« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2007, 15:08 »
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Steve, 95% is 95% regardless of the total number of images or rejections. There have been many threads on several forums including your own with complaints about this and they have all been met with denial.

I can't tell if the que is almost back to normal since, like I've said many times, I have batches spread out over weeks with partial reviews in them. The fact remains that the majority of the reviews for me since all this started have been done in 2 huge batches over a very short period of time, rather than reviewing the 5 or so a day as I upload them. During this time, the percentage of rejections increased exponentially.

It's your business. Run it how you want to.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 15:11 by dbvirago »

« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2007, 16:09 »
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I too find the reviews very inconsistent.   I have about a 60% approval Rating on Stxprt.  I have been making a living from photography for the past three years & I don't feel as if I am a beginner,  I hire Make-up artists for every shoot and put time and effort into my editing, checking every photo at 100%

 My lowest approval rating anywhere else is 82% at dreamstime and up from there.  I do not submit images that are sub-par.  The rejection reasons I received (except for a few files which I did not agree with either) were not for technical reasons.... just the more obscure not what we are looking for ect ect....  too many (on 12 shots of the same model in completely different poses   

I'm still submitting there, but it is frustrating not being able to nail down exactly what your standards are because of the  inconsistency w/ your review process.   :-\

I know some people are not having this problem.... I would just like it to be more cut and dry so I do not continue to waste my time and yours. :)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 16:18 by Beckyabell »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2007, 17:06 »
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I just started with StockXpert and have about a 60% approval rating. Odd though that they seem to be skipping around by paritally reviewing batches and then coming back later to review the rest. Haven't run into the mass rejection issue but I'm only uploading batches of 20-25.

« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2007, 12:56 »
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Today.....23 files out of 23 submitted APPROVED! ;D

I feel like I won some kinda prize.......... lol
.....maybe I spoke to soon :-X

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