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Author Topic: submitting strategies - how to keep rejections low  (Read 4142 times)

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marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« on: April 19, 2013, 13:05 »
0
I have by now submitted roughly 300 photos to the 12 highest ranked sites. Obviously there is some randomness in being accepted or rejected. (Like having the same photo being rejected at one site for over sharpening, on another site for softness and accepted at a third site)

I have the worst acceptance rate with fotolia at about 12 percent, shutterstock is about 50 percent, 123RF at about 80 and Pond5, envato and canstock at about 95 percent.

the questions are:
1. do you have strategies how to submit to the various sites?
2. Like: Last weekend I shot skyscrapers, details, building site of skyscrapers. I have edited 25 photos. Is it better to submit all 25 at once or to stretch in three different upload settings over a month or so? When is the acceptance rate higher?
3. different experiences with different sites to this?
4. does it matter for acceptance if your acceptance rate is low? Are you red flagged or is it just the photo that matters?
5. does it make sense to ask to reconsider rejections? Like a rejection of a skyscraper window detail with the rejection reason of property release (can't distinguish the building)
6. I never quite saw the use of the categories. Is there a reason to think more about that when uploading?

lots of questions, lots of sites

I would really appreciate your experiences

cheers

Marcell from Vienna
 



« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 13:17 »
+1
I wouldn't submit everyday overdone things like skyscrapers.  I get the feeling people are rated as 'contributors' and if you waste time with non selling files, that might impact how they judge future work.

« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 13:29 »
+3
On iStock, use the least amount of Keywords to get accepted. You can go back and add more later. I've had rejections for irrelevant keywords, even when they were relevant.

On Dreamstime, use only generic Keywords for submission. (object, macro, color, food, plant, etc.) Never use the same titles or descriptions. Once accepted, go back and add all the more relevent keywords, and desriptions. That way, you won't get rejected for similars.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 13:31 by rimglow »

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 13:35 »
0
to rimglow: thats sound advice! thanks.

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 13:38 »
0
to sjocke: do we know that reviewers look at the portfolio as a whole when accepting or rejecting?

If so the suggestion is to have one profile for the good shots under my own name and a profile for the everday overdone skyscraper shots under the name of my sister....

tab62

« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 13:38 »
+2
I like to use shutter as my base for submitting photos thus look at the areas you are submitting to compare your images- look a the popular, relevant and new sections. For example, let's do a red rose on white (isolated)- type in 'Red Rose isolated' in their search engine  Here is what you get as information-

1. 49,241 images not too bad but still a very competitive area (bear in mind that there are 2.2 million images under flower and red rose is a sub component to this huge 2.2 million library)

2. When I look under popular I see mostly single roses and they are very clean (plus healthy) and bright. Thus you need a perfect rose

3. Now you need to figure out what can you do to be different than the existing inventory- a new angle, special lighting - never copy an existing image! Always try to find your approach/style

On the rejections- don't worry too much. Yeah, Dreamstime and GL will lower your amount of photos you can submit. I usually submit to agencies that will not hurt your rating first and then submit to say dreamstime, iStock and GL. Shutter is my first choice to upload- If they pass shutter you're in good shape and besides who cares if they fail at other smaller sites since Shutter is the main seller.

Lastly, zero in on the good sellers if money is the main concern- medical, food, business, and education are good bets to bring the bacon to the table.

T

 
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 13:41 by tab62 »

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 13:53 »
0
to tab62:
i am about to fry my bacon in my new studio basement going for food. But nevertheless, I have seen landscape photos that are really good but not among the best photos ever sell 2000 times on SS. There should be a way to make money out of every subject :(minus the red roses)


« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 23:57 »
+1
I have the worst acceptance rate with fotolia at about 12 percent, shutterstock is about 50 percent

At these rates I would seriously go back and make a list about the most common rejections you get and adapt your stock submissions accordingly. It looks like you don't really understand the concept and requirements of stock photography yet. The larger sites (IS, SS, FT, DT) tend to reject more because they have stricter rules - but getting the same images accepted at other agencies doesn't mean your images are more suitable.

You should re-read both technical guidelines and content guidelines at the major agencies first and try to get your acceptance to at least 80%. It's not that big a problem to get there. Start learning from the two or three most common rejection reasons you get and you'll be almost there.

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2013, 06:45 »
0
to MichaelJayFoto:

well it strikes me as weird if 123RF rejects 25 out of 25 building photos for the reason of property release while dreamstime or fotolia has no problem whatsoever. Fotolia takes grafitti pictures if they are on public ground while most others reject for copyright reasons. (and there can hardly be copyright protection for illegally applied art in public space).

i often enough get technical reasons as rejection. sometimes I understand it. Sometimes it's silly. I do photoshop for a living so I know if an image is in focus or not.

Basic line is that I hardly see consistency throughout the sites when it comes to rejections. Therefor I wonder how to submit to each site the best way. Obviously I think that there might be a buyer somewhere for each photo I submit.

« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2013, 07:19 »
0
well it strikes me as weird if 123RF rejects 25 out of 25 building photos for the reason of property release while dreamstime or fotolia has no problem whatsoever. Fotolia takes grafitti pictures if they are on public ground while most others reject for copyright reasons. (and there can hardly be copyright protection for illegally applied art in public space).

Well, the basic idea is: It's never the agency's fault if something goes wrong. Most likely it's the person publishing something who has to make sure not to violate any rights. And in the other cases it's likely the photographer who is to blame. After all, you always confirm that your image does not violate any other people's rights when you upload them to an agency. So it's your risk, not the agency's.

However, some agencies have taken up the task to make it easier and safer for the client, so they are strict with regards to potential problems. It is always a combination of "risk" and "reward" - why accept a potential risk if there are similar, less risky images that will serve the clients purpose just as well.

You should be aware that your images are getting published not only within your local laws but under different laws around the world. What you know about the rights might be true in your country but doesn't have to be the same in other countries.

Yes, there is no consistency between agency. You will even find incosistencies within agencies as different editors may judge the same image differently. It's not mathematics with a clear answer to every question.

And while there might be a buyer for each of your images, no agency is obliged to look for that buyer for your images.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 07:22 by MichaelJayFoto »

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2013, 07:23 »
+2
marcnim, the strategy is to understand what they want

And to know what they want you have to submit, to be accepted or rejected, and then draw you own conclusions.

So you will fast understand that 123 RF don't want any building without property release even if these buildings don't need any
You will understand that Fotolia don't like landscapes but loves red tomatoes on white background
You will understand that iStock hates noise and unspecific keywords
You will understand that who accept anything, generally does not sell nothing

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2013, 09:31 »
0
to Beppe: thats exactly what I meant. You learn what to submit in which fashion to which portal. And the idea of my post was to have a short cut to the experience by a couple people sharing their experiences.  I am aware that we all are competitors around the same cake. But if 20 people share one piece of valuable experience each (like beware of irrelevant keywords with IS and always use different titles and desc to avoid reject for similar), then we have invested 1 piece of knowledge and gained 20. (and if you knew all that then you know how good you are)

 

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2013, 09:46 »
0
to MJF: for me there is no question of fault. I have a natural objective to get as many images accepted as possible. And for good reasons. I have received sales from images I have thought of the least likely to be sold in my portfolio. And then photos I thought of valuable have not been downloaded at all. So until I have the exact knowledge what works, I go with statistics. The more you post, the more you earn. Except if I hear that there are (real) penalties for low acceptance rate. I don't want to spam the agencies but then again, this is my point of sale and thus I should do whatever it takes to succeed without breaking the laws.

while my first 123RF batch was in process I had uploaded a second batch with the same topic/scenery. That batch went through with not a single rejection for property release reasons. So yes, it is inconsistent. And if I get the feeling that one day it's no and another day it's yes, I wonder if I shall try again after a no.

Which raises the question if people have experience re-posting rejected images after a while. Do agencies recognize a second upload? Experiences of consequences? Red flag? Asking this kind of question helps everybody. Because I am happy not to find out by trying it. That saves reviewers manpower and speeds up the workflow.

ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2013, 09:48 »
+2
Yes, there is no consistency between agency. You will even find incosistencies within agencies as different editors may judge the same image differently. It's not mathematics with a clear answer to every question.
Example - a while back, I had a specific image rejected as property release needed on iS. I posted it here, and while the majority thought it shouldn't need one, some thought it should.
I thought I just gave in and posted it as editorial, but I don't see it in my port, so maybe I just let it go.
Anyway, last night I noticed that another iStocker saw exactly the same photo, from exactly the same spot, and got it into the commercial collection.

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2013, 10:27 »
0
to shady sue: exactly my experience. what are you going to do? repost?

to Michael Jay: like your blog. will read.  like your photo editing. have been to the same spots in connemara when still doing analog...

i myself come from a different business end. ( www.fischka.com ) Being a professional photographer is surely not the same as a professional stock photographer...

« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2013, 11:01 »
0
Which raises the question if people have experience re-posting rejected images after a while. Do agencies recognize a second upload? Experiences of consequences? Red flag? Asking this kind of question helps everybody. Because I am happy not to find out by trying it. That saves reviewers manpower and speeds up the workflow.

It depends on the rejection reason - some reasons (technical) might be overcome by different processing, so it might be worth resubmitting. Though I would mention it with agencies that allow comments to the reviewer. In general, resubmitting might be successful but more likely will cause some concern sooner or later. Some agencies have good measures to find out if you resubmit and they don't like it.

Personally, I have learned to keep a professional distance between me, my pictures and my agencies. Honestly, the time to keep track, reprocess and resubmit usually doesn't pay of. I have between 80 and 98% acceptance at most agencies, so I don't ever bother thinking about images they reject. Most agencies will accept them, some won't, I don't care.

Being a professional photographer is surely not the same as a professional stock photographer...

Yes, each kind of photography is different. In editorial/news you easily get away with images shot at ISO 1600 or even higher. A contract shoot for a website has different requirements than a wedding. And so does stock. Get to learn to reduce rejections, wasted time, frustrations. Good luck.

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2013, 11:08 »
0
thanks for the advice and may you live long and prosper :-)


« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2013, 12:11 »
0
Obviously I think that there might be a buyer somewhere for each photo I submit.
For RF stock photography you should be aiming to submit images where there are hundreds of buyers somewhere for each photo you submit.

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2013, 12:55 »
0
to shady sue: exactly my experience. what are you going to do? repost?

No, there wouldn't be enough buyers for two almost identical images. I'm surprised I didn't upload it as editorial. The problem might be that I saw a definite concept for the photo, but couldn't think of any way to keyword it to highlight the concept. The recent uploader either didn't see the concept or couldn't keyword it either, I see.

You just have to get used to random rejections. This one was rejected this week for 'poor composition':
http://www.flickr.com/photos/indri_13/8661005359/#in/photostream
Unfortunately, it isn't considered the done thing to take some recently accepted bird photos which are all in darkness or with bits cut off etc,. etc, and ask why they are good composition and mine is bad. Not to mention the wrong identifications. (Don't get me started!)

« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2013, 13:42 »
+1
I wrote an article on submitting to different agencies
http://cascoly.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Submit-Your-Photography-to-Microstock-Agencies

in a future article i'll be tracking the various acceptance oddities & reviewing policies

marcnim

  • I would never join a club taking members like me
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2013, 14:36 »
0
to shady sue: I guess the bird photo is an example of the human factor. The reviewer found it not worthy to be included and pressed just one button. I wished the agencies would purge older photos that wouldn't be accepted nowadays..

to cascoly: thanks a lot for sharing the article!

« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2013, 15:08 »
0
Yes, there is no consistency between agency. You will even find incosistencies within agencies as different editors may judge the same image differently. It's not mathematics with a clear answer to every question.
Example - a while back, I had a specific image rejected as property release needed on iS. I posted it here, and while the majority thought it shouldn't need one, some thought it should.
I thought I just gave in and posted it as editorial, but I don't see it in my port, so maybe I just let it go.
Anyway, last night I noticed that another iStocker saw exactly the same photo, from exactly the same spot, and got it into the commercial collection.
shady sue same thing happened to me - so waited awhile then resubmitted - took out name of bldg  but a month or so later went back in & put bldg name in keywords & title -

« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2013, 10:04 »
+1
My rules are simple.  I do not shoot:

Humans (difficult to get release from unknown people) and besides that I still do not know how to handle the editing of human skin in image.
Art scene like Vendors, something happening on the road. Editorials are no fun for stock photographer.
Conceptual images: I am not there yet. I did some but came back to my own ideas of not doing them until I get the people to be in concept.
Tree, flowers, vegetables spikes, cactus etc. I learnt it hard-way when my entire shoot of flower-show was rejected completely.  So, it is another no-go area.

What I shoot:
I shoot single object in frame and later isolate that on white. It is the safest bet.  I choose my subjects differently than what others commonly do.  I go to small towns and carnivals there, I get very cheap objects there to shoot. I buy many of them and what ever can come under $1 or $2. What I do with those objects and things after shooting. I give away those objects to children and sometimes I send those things to non-profit organizations who can send those things to children who need them most. 

Good thing I learnt is : How to shoot 50 photos from 5 simple objects.

I use gimp 2.8.4 for editing. PS is too expensive for me. I cannot afford it right now. I do not worry about rejections, those are part of life. Just improve everyday and pay attention to the advice of the people here in this forum.

Fotolia is the first agency which began to make money for me.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 10:19 by pro_microstock »

ShadySue

« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2013, 10:12 »
+1
to shady sue: I guess the bird photo is an example of the human factor. The reviewer found it not worthy to be included and pressed just one button. I wished the agencies would purge older photos that wouldn't be accepted nowadays..
I don't think it would make any sense for them to do that as they can still sell well or even very well. The technical standards in general are far too high for any real life use anyway. And some are just plain wrong, so you see e.g. shade-loving flowers 'flashed' to 'acceptible' lighting.
I'd love to see them expunge all spammed and wrongly-tagged images, but at micro prices and their desire for high profit margins, that isn't going to happen either.  :(

« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2013, 13:01 »
0
to shady sue: I guess the bird photo is an example of the human factor. The reviewer found it not worthy to be included and pressed just one button. I wished the agencies would purge older photos that wouldn't be accepted nowadays..
I don't think it would make any sense for them to do that as they can still sell well or even very well. The technical standards in general are far too high for any real life use anyway. And some are just plain wrong, so you see e.g. shade-loving flowers 'flashed' to 'acceptible' lighting.
I'd love to see them expunge all spammed and wrongly-tagged images, but at micro prices and their desire for high profit margins, that isn't going to happen either.  :(

Amen to that


 

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