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Author Topic: Really struggling with iStock application rejections :(  (Read 11375 times)

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RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« on: August 21, 2009, 03:47 »
0
I feel so sorry for myself.
I've attempted 6 times to apply as a contributor at iStock and been rejected every time.
I'm pretty certain I can sell well there, and I'm so disheartened by my constant rejections.
Not a single photo of mine has been accepted.
I've tried so many different styles, ideas, photos etc

I don't seem to be doing too badly on all the other 8 stock agencies I'm registered with - I just CANNOT seem to crack into iStock at all.

I'm at a loss. I've followed advice from previous posts here, I've tried what I can.
Now I have to wait another 180 days before applying again for contributor status.
I'm bummed. What next?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 04:49 by Chris.Alleaume »


« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2009, 03:58 »
0
Omg....ok, calm down... So, not a one of your images had been approved? Can you give us a link to full size images you applied with?

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009, 04:10 »
0
Nope. Not even one :(

I'll provide a link shortly to the images for the last 2 applications (that will be 6 images),
as soon as I can upload them to my site.

« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 04:23 »
0
Istock is definitely the most challenging microstock agency. But seriously, i like that challenge. Its the only agency, where submitting images is still quit exciting. Will the latest batch of images be accepted, or not?  ;D


Kaarsten

« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2009, 04:34 »
0
like whitechild said post some of your previous rejected files and the three your planning to submit next time so people can comment

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2009, 04:46 »
0
Here we go (link to an online album).
Let me know if you can't access this.
http://picasaweb.google.com/chris.rafale/IStockApplications?authkey=Gv1sRgCNzVrK7L_82-Bw#
I'll be the first to admit that, in retrospect, some of these images aren't actually that great.
However, I also think there are some great ones.
In fact, some of these have sold well at other agencies.

In terms of the next images to submit - it's 180 days away (that's 6 months).
So I really can't tell what I'm going to be submitting next...

« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2009, 04:57 »
0
The camel one is the only one I would go with.  Did that get rejected?

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2009, 05:17 »
0
The camel one is the only one I would go with.  Did that get rejected?
Thanks.
Yup -Everything was rejected with the same old reason. Every time.

michealo

« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009, 05:40 »
0
Here we go (link to an online album).
Let me know if you can't access this.
http://picasaweb.google.com/chris.rafale/IStockApplications?authkey=Gv1sRgCNzVrK7L_82-Bw#
I'll be the first to admit that, in retrospect, some of these images aren't actually that great.
However, I also think there are some great ones.
In fact, some of these have sold well at other agencies.

In terms of the next images to submit - it's 180 days away (that's 6 months).
So I really can't tell what I'm going to be submitting next...



First off I would shoot everything at no more than ISO 100 to give yourself the best change
I don't know whether it is Piccaso or not but the white balance looks off in lots of them and the colours are washed out in a good few of them.

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2009, 06:04 »
0
Here we go (link to an online album).
Let me know if you can't access this.
http://picasaweb.google.com/chris.rafale/IStockApplications?authkey=Gv1sRgCNzVrK7L_82-Bw#
I'll be the first to admit that, in retrospect, some of these images aren't actually that great.
However, I also think there are some great ones.
In fact, some of these have sold well at other agencies.

In terms of the next images to submit - it's 180 days away (that's 6 months).
So I really can't tell what I'm going to be submitting next...



First off I would shoot everything at no more than ISO 100 to give yourself the best change
I don't know whether it is Piccaso or not but the white balance looks off in lots of them and the colours are washed out in a good few of them.



Yeah - you're right.
The one with the baby is not the correct white balance - for sure.
So ISO 100 would help me achieve less graining and noise, yeah?

michealo

« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2009, 06:05 »
0
Here we go (link to an online album).
Let me know if you can't access this.
http://picasaweb.google.com/chris.rafale/IStockApplications?authkey=Gv1sRgCNzVrK7L_82-Bw#
I'll be the first to admit that, in retrospect, some of these images aren't actually that great.
However, I also think there are some great ones.
In fact, some of these have sold well at other agencies.

In terms of the next images to submit - it's 180 days away (that's 6 months).
So I really can't tell what I'm going to be submitting next...



First off I would shoot everything at no more than ISO 100 to give yourself the best change
I don't know whether it is Piccaso or not but the white balance looks off in lots of them and the colours are washed out in a good few of them.



Yeah - you're right.
The one with the baby is not the correct white balance - for sure.
So ISO 100 would help me achieve less graining and noise, yeah?


Yep, less grain & noise for sure

« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2009, 06:50 »
0
You should always use only 100 ISO. There are only few cases when you should use higher ISO. If you can't achieve satisfying results at the first time with 100ISO, take your time and learn how to do it. Practice with various shutter speeds and apertures until you get some feeling what you should do in various light conditions to get satisfying results.
For some reason I couldn't open your images on picasa in full size to see them properly, but when I look at them in thumbnail size it looks to me that all of them have white balance shifted toward warm colors. They all look a bit yellowish to me....or maybe more very slightly orange than yellow. Did you try to calibrate your monitor, cause maybe that's the problem...
I managed to open your image of money over white, and I noticed money is pretty dark. You should try to make your subjects lighten up as much as possible, without burning highlight areas.

« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2009, 09:24 »
0
As it was mention before, the colors look yellowish also washed out, and I could not see them at 100% but some of them also look a little soft, try working on the sharpness of the photos too.

« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2009, 09:44 »
0
Welder: Over exposed highlights. On-camera flash. I have seen much better images of welders.

Camel: This shot is almost OK i think. The camel on the right looks more interesting tho. The flies on the nose should be removed. The white things in the background are distracting

Insect: Microstock isn't a really good place for animal photos. Did you provide the name of the insect also? The brown thing under the insect is distracting.

Baby: Fingers look amputated. Striped background is distracting. I'm also not sure about the expression: I have no idea what concept/idea this image could illustrate?

Clip: Strange piece of shadow between the clip and cartridge. Mixel light sources looks bad

Matches: Highlights look over exposed. Mixed light sources here too, very weird blueish shadows. Also when shooting a boring subject, make sure the photo is otherwise interesting. This isn't. I have no idea wht this image could illustrate (?)

Electrical globe thingy: This doesn't look sharp

Money: The composition coud be better. This is trying to be both strict (paper money) and casual (coins), it seldom works, you need to go either way. Weird dark area in the right corner of the second-from-bottom money. Also some borderline over exposed highlights on the left sides


« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 09:48 by Perry »

« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2009, 15:51 »
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I'm sorry about your rejections. I remember your thread from some time ago. I think you should really try to post your pictures on this forum, or even better, to get someone to post your pictures on the IS forum BEFORE the application. I would submit another application only after receiving positive reviews on the IS forum.

« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2009, 16:43 »
0
I feel your pain.

For wat its worth u r not alone, i also have tried ...i think 5 times? & keep getting rejected.

it is my gole in life now. Istock or die.

Like you, i got to admit the pics were not the best that i sent.

But they were my best sellers at other sites!

Anyway this is my two cents:

i belive they want Advertising quality pics, or close to it.

They want tecnically perfect conceptual photos (wb,noise,atrifacts...) that would be used in various places to sell something.

FOR MICROSTOCK!!!

Im able to re-submit again, couple of weeks now but have not and wont until i belive i have met the above qualifications.

hope im right. I willlet you know if i get in, Please do the same!

Good luck to you and hope u get in soon.

Nick

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2009, 16:57 »
0
The camel one is the only one I would go with.  Did that get rejected?
Thanks.
Yup -Everything was rejected with the same old reason. Every time.
All of them with the same reason? Well, at least you're consistent.  ;)
Care to share?
And the other Good News is that you've maybe only got one problem to overcome.  :D

I also support the view that after getting feedback here, you should also submit to the iStock critique forum. There's a well-known denizen of the forums who posted many times before he was accepted, and several people on the critique group thought he should give up, and he's doing just fine now - well on his way to becoming Silver.

PS: if you put your images up in the iStock critique forum, wear your strongest Big Boy/girl pants. In general, people won't be gentle and say "It's a great pic but if you could just ..." - they'll just tear right in and say what's wrong. This isn't rude: iStock isn't BetterPhoto. Some of the people who give advice are top sellers, so pay attention and don't get defensive (my mistake :-( )
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 04:53 by ShadySue »

« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2009, 19:02 »
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Don't let your self be discouraged. You will make it for sure. Just, you know, these days it's harder than before because there are already many contributors, and there are million of images. Anyway, there is always place for new contributors. Take your time. Post your images on IS forum as well, listen to advices, and I'm sure your application will be accepted. After it, everything will be much easier....

« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2009, 21:50 »
0
For your application, your have to send your most impressive pictures. They want to see the best you can do. Forget what sells elsewhere, it won't help you. The application must show your photographic skills, and to a certain point your photoshop skills.

« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2009, 05:17 »
0
For your application, your have to send your most impressive pictures. They want to see the best you can do. Forget what sells elsewhere, it won't help you. The application must show your photographic skills, and to a certain point your photoshop skills.
Exactly.

« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2009, 21:11 »
0
Isn't it three images per application?

Well, obviously you need to select wisely which three out of your portfolio you upload.

The most important thing to me was to upload something that not most of the photographers have access to.

Therefore I would say:

Forget shots of money. Anyone (who has money) can take a picture of it. Not challenging at all.

Same as for the baby. While they might be harder to find than money (in most countries) you are trying to measure yourself with excellent shots that are already in their collection.

Be more creative with your composition. The matches are just a pile of matches - what's your message? What does it sell?

The camel shot isn't too bad but why wouldn't you try to make a step or two to the right so that the one camel you take a picture of is isolated over the blue sky without the other camels' heads in the background. They are quite distracting. It's the details.

Same thing with the clip. Straight forward shot over white - what are you selling with that image?

Furthermore, don't look at other people's images or what has been approved recently. If you do that, you won't start creating your own style but copying just other people's work instead.

Also don't forget. No matter if other people's piles of matches got accepted - will they sell - that is the question you have to ask.

Create images that most buyers want if you're in the game of making a lot of money in a short time ;) That means that the images have be technically fine AND you need to approach it in a way that hasn't been done already so many times.

I have to quote Yuri on that one. He said:

"The more effort it takes you to get a certain shot the higher the chances are that you create an image that hasn't been done before or at least not many times. This gives you much higher chances to achieve sales."

Or along those lines. Check www.arcurs.com it's somewhere in his video blogs I believe.

Don't point your camera just at a cigarette and click away. Use an ashtray, a lighter in your composition and if you can, a pretty woman out of focus in the background wouldn't hurt either :) You get my drift. Keep going.

Good luck!


« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2009, 23:38 »
0
And to think that I used an upsized image in my application years ago (and was approved).   ::)  All images in my application back then were nature/landscape/architecture, although this is not what I produce for microstock.

« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2009, 04:40 »
0
180 days. Ohhh that hurts :-[   Dont rush into it. Take the time you have and make sure you have good enough images. Proven by majority of people here first.

Or maybe you could borrow a few from Rinder ;)

« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2009, 16:23 »
0
For your application, your have to send your most impressive pictures. They want to see the best you can do. Forget what sells elsewhere, it won't help you. The application must show your photographic skills, and to a certain point your photoshop skills.
Exactly.
.just be careful and not try to second guess "what they want" as none of us really know "what they want"...hell, THEY don't always know what they want. And FYI, I think the camel pic is great...not sure why it was rejected. Maybe do some model shots as those are always in demand...something with "attitude". Keep on keeping on.

« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2009, 17:46 »
0
Hi Chris,

Judging by your DT port you are definitely improving. If I had to pick 3 shots from there to submit they would be the 'ASSORTED 9MM BULLETS WITH LOADED MAG', your best-selling welding image and (struggling a bit for the 3rd) maybe the 'ELECTRIC PLASMA SPHERE & BLURRED FLARES '. All three are quite well composed and lit but certainly technically difficult subjects to shoot for inexperienced photographers, especially when subjected to 100% inspection. I've got over 3K images on-line but I'd consider those to be far more of a challenge to get right (even with a high failure rate) than most of what I do shoot. You're certainly making life difficult for yourself with your choice of subjects.

Six months is a long time to get some better stuff together though and you'll learn a lot in the meantime. If I were you I'd get out in the sunshine with a friend, relative or a TFP model and take a few lifestyle shots (playing sport, having a drink, hiking the trail, whatever ...) in perfect conditions where all you have to think about is the composition and when to click the shutter. Whenever you get the chance flick through magazines, newspapers, etc and note the stock images in use. You are bound to see images that make you think 'I could do that'.

I'd really suggest you have a go at DT's ranking game too;

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-rank

It's a good tool for understanding what stock is all about and that is actually your greatest difficulty __ as it was for most of us when we started do this. Good luck!


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2009, 18:38 »
0
Hi Chris,

Six months is a long time to get some better stuff together though and you'll learn a lot in the meantime. If I were you I'd get out in the sunshine with a friend, ...


What's sunshine?  (nobbut a distant memory  :( :( )

« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2009, 06:46 »
0
Hi Chris,

Six months is a long time to get some better stuff together though and you'll learn a lot in the meantime. If I were you I'd get out in the sunshine with a friend, ...


What's sunshine?  (nobbut a distant memory  :( :( )

Sunshine and a friend within six months, now that is a challenge  ;D

« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2009, 15:36 »
0
I disagree about the sunshine and friend. Getting good outdoors shots in bright light isn't easy. Seeing photographers at work in such an environment there are always assistants with reflectors and scrims. I think the biggest challenge for non-professionals is to realize the degree of control one needs over lighting to be commercially acceptable. Especially having much shorter contrast ratios than uncontrolled lighting usually gives. My advice would be to spend six months doing still life and indoor portraits if possible to learn to control light. Rejections for lighting anyone?

« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2009, 18:10 »
0
Sunshine and a friend ... and don't forget to pack the lights.

« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2009, 06:15 »
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I disagree about the sunshine and friend. Getting good outdoors shots in bright light isn't easy. Seeing photographers at work in such an environment there are always assistants with reflectors and scrims.

Well it worked for me without any assistants or reflectors. I had over 400 images on IS before I got around to buying some lights. Back then we were only averaging about 20c per sale so I wasn't confident that it was worth splashing out the money for them. Technical standards were lower then but even so the majority of my outdoor shots would still pass inspection today.

I didn't particularly like using the lights either (it didn't help that they were cheap rubbish off eBay) so it probably took another year or two and the frustration of weeks of lousy weather before I bothered to learn how to use them properly. Shooting outdoors is still my preference for pure enjoyment __ the studio stuff probably pays better and is more predictable but it is purely 'work'. If I wanted to teach a complete novice about stock photography I would most definitely start them outdoors before progressing to using studio lights.

« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2009, 06:49 »
0
Sunshine and a friend is ok, I think daylight and a friend is better, the image setting later in the day when the sun is low will have less harsh shadows, the fringing is often caused with some lenses and strong contrasting light, the sunlight is reflecting off the sand in your example causing the high contrast fringing.


There youtube and plenty of natural lighting tutorials on the web, a bit of research will be a good idea.

One of mine on Removing Purple Fringing in Photoshop

David  ;)

 


 

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