MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: SS strict rejection policy  (Read 4953 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

« on: May 04, 2022, 00:11 »
+1
So, Shutterstock reviewers are rejecting photos left and right, and often with mistakes.
For example, they reject the whole series that I have done, multiple times, because the shirt that the model is wearing, had some material that reminds of some protected Burberry shirt. It is similar, but the colors are not the same, so, it's not protected.
They often confuse a bird in the distance, or snow, with the specs on a sensor. Also had a problem, when the photos got rejected for a reason I cannot remember now, but it was just some mist in the photo.
Not to mention strict policy on sharpness and while other agencies are not that strict, those photos are generating income, for me, and for the agency.
So, people who are reviewing our images, be aware that we invest money, time, and a lot of effort in these images, that you reject, and for your mistake, we are loosing time, and money both.


« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2022, 00:40 »
+5
Correction "shutterstock AI" is rejecting photos left and right, and often with mistakes.

and all for 10 whole cents!  :(

« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2022, 01:01 »
+2
Well, I must be one of the lucky ones, as about 90% of my submissions get through first time. I can normally guess which ones wont. Those shots normally contain water and foliage, that the AI classes as noise or focus issues.

« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2022, 01:14 »
+2
I also get more than 95% of my submission through the first time, so I don't have a problem with them other than their similarity rejections (Which you can mostly avoid by not submitting images from the same shoot in one batch) If you look at their newest images of any random topic you will usually find countless almost identical images where the camera was moved 5 centimeters and that's all the difference, and then you will get two images form the same shoot with a competely different composition rejected for being too similar. There similar rules are also pretty concrete, yet some reviewers seem to have never looked at them or understood them - in both ways. Some accept images that are way too similar and should never have been accepted, others go crazy and reject every photo with the same subject, no matter how different.

Other than that I am almost glad that they have become a bit stricter - I was only looking through my old photos last week to sort some out to possibly submit to FAA and, oh m gosh - there are so many old photos of mine SS accepted that I would not even try to submit these days as the focus is horrible. I am almost ashamed at the thought that a customer might download one of these only seeing the small preview and then realizing how blurry the image is in full size. If I didn't know that 95% of my photos only end up being used in small size on the internet anyways, I might even delete these photos from my port.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2022, 02:35 by Firn »

« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2022, 01:28 »
0
Well, I must be one of the lucky ones, as about 90% of my submissions get through first time. I can normally guess which ones wont. Those shots normally contain water and foliage, that the AI classes as noise or focus issues.

Are you guys sure that the problem is in the AI? If that's the case, then that AI is faulty.

« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2022, 01:32 »
0
I also get more than 95% of my submission through the first time, so I don't have a problem with them other than their similarity rejections (Which you can mostly avoid by not submitting images from the same shoot in one batch) If you look at their newest images of any random topic you will usually find countless almost identical images where the camera was moced 5 centimeters and that's all the difference, and then you will get two images form the same shoot with a competely different composition rejected for being too similar. There similar rules are also pretty concrete, yet some reviewers seem to have never looked at them or understood them.

Other than that I am almost glad that they have become a bit stricter - I was only looking through my old photos last week to sort some out to possibly submit to FAA and, oh m gosh - there are so many old photos of mine SS accepted that I would not even try to submit these days as the focus is horrible. I am almost ashamed at the thought that a customer might download one of these only seeing the small preview and then realizing how blurry the image is in full size. If I didn't know that 95% of my photos only end up being used in small size on the internet anyways, I might even delete these photos from my port.

When I downsize my images, as you guys said, most of them get accepted, but does that means that they will not be sold for an extended license and mostly at 10c?

« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2022, 01:47 »
+1

When I downsize my images, as you guys said, most of them get accepted, but does that means that they will not be sold for an extended license and mostly at 10c?

That will completely depend on what the customer wants the image for, not necessarily the type of licence. If he wants to print it on a huge billboard in town, then, yes, small image size might keep him from buying the image. But if he wants to print it as a postcard, then the minimum size Shutterstock requires is more than enough. I guess in the end it's probably like this: Downsizing will not keep you from getting extended licence sales, but it will make the chance of it smaller as it does limit the possible usage of an image.
But, in the end, the one image you won't get an extended license sale for sure is the image that never got accepted, so I'd say it's better to have a downsized image accepted than not having it accepted at all.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2022, 01:51 by Firn »

« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2022, 02:25 »
0

When I downsize my images, as you guys said, most of them get accepted, but does that means that they will not be sold for an extended license and mostly at 10c?

That will completely depend on what the customer wants the image for, not necessarily the type of licence. If he wants to print it on a huge billboard in town, then, yes, small image size might keep him from buying the image. But if he wants to print it as a postcard, then the minimum size Shutterstock requires is more than enough. I guess in the end it's probably like this: Downsizing will not keep you from getting extended licence sales, but it will make the chance of it smaller as it does limit the possible usage of an image.
But, in the end, the one image you won't get an extended license sale for sure is the image that never got accepted, so I'd say it's better to have a downsized image accepted than not having it accepted at all.

Thanks Firn, will keep that in mind ;)

« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2022, 04:11 »
0
Correction "shutterstock AI" is rejecting photos left and right, and often with mistakes.

and all for 10 whole cents!  :(

I've just asked SS help and got the answer that there is no AI doing the reviews, it's all done by humans.

« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2022, 04:46 »
+1
Correction "shutterstock AI" is rejecting photos left and right, and often with mistakes.

and all for 10 whole cents!  :(

I've just asked SS help and got the answer that there is no AI doing the reviews, it's all done by humans.

Contrary to what shutterstock's owners previously stated.

Anyway SS help is manned by other contributors and they aren't party to the inner workings of SS

« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2022, 05:35 »
0
Well, I must be one of the lucky ones, as about 90% of my submissions get through first time. I can normally guess which ones wont. Those shots normally contain water and foliage, that the AI classes as noise or focus issues.

Are you guys sure that the problem is in the AI? If that's the case, then that AI is faulty.

It's not faulty, it's just not very intelligent. 

« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2022, 08:31 »
+1
I find that it depends on the type of photo.

For example, I find it almost impossible to get landscapes accepted or anything that has a lot of trees/foliage. The usually get rejected for focus no matter how hard I try.

On the other hand, most shots I take of objects or buildings (without a lot of trees around them) or shots I take at home of various objects are accepted first time.

The good news is that Adobe usually accepts those shots which SS rejects and they pay more when one of them is downloaded by a customer.

« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2022, 16:38 »
+6
The whole issue with technical image quality and rejections is absurd. Two of my images with over 1000 downloads at shutterstock, only a few megapixels in size, taken years ago with a poor compact camera and certainly not accepted in terms of quality today, still sell regularly. They still sell even as extended licenses. And another image from back then in the same "poor" quality is still offered at FAA for large print products.

Personally, I am annoyed about the discussion of the technical quality of images anyway. What do buyers expect for the pennies they pay?

I think it's a huge mistake to worry about this as a contributor. If shutterstock doesn't want the images, then just sell them somewhere else - for more money.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2022, 16:54 by Wilm »

« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2022, 22:06 »
+2
Shutterstock rejections have become absurd.  I had almost 100% acceptance there and elsewhere too.
They use out of focus or camera shake as excuse-- totally bogus.  Shot on non-moving tripod with best aperature setting.  Same studio and settings as all the others they accept in studio.  I look at my photos at 200%-- yep, in focus and no camera shake and accepted by place stricter than SS.

I do have to agree, for 10 cents, for most sales no matter what level, SS does not deserve most of the technical qualities they expect.

« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2022, 12:16 »
0
Two of my images with over 1000 downloads at shutterstock, only a few megapixels in size, taken years ago with a poor compact camera and certainly not accepted in terms of quality today, still sell regularly.
I have a few images like this. I even uploaded a better versions of those images, but people still buying a poor quality photos.

« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2022, 14:45 »
+1
I have noticed that many of my images are rejected almost immediately after submitting.  For a short while, the rejection reason in the app said "AI - Noise" or "AI - Focus".  When I reached out to Shutterstock to see how to bypass their AI system and get an actual reviewer, they told me that real people review all images.  When I provided the screenshots of where the rejection reason was labeled "AI" and showed the timestamps of how immediate the reviews were, the Shutterstock Expert said that he would need to speak to his colleagues because he never saw that reason code before my screenshots.

Any tips on how to bypass this awful AI system?  I submit many wildlife photos and the AI seems to interpret grass, leaves, and branches as noise!

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2022, 20:49 »
+2
I have noticed that many of my images are rejected almost immediately after submitting.  For a short while, the rejection reason in the app said "AI - Noise" or "AI - Focus".  When I reached out to Shutterstock to see how to bypass their AI system and get an actual reviewer, they told me that real people review all images.  When I provided the screenshots of where the rejection reason was labeled "AI" and showed the timestamps of how immediate the reviews were, the Shutterstock Expert said that he would need to speak to his colleagues because he never saw that reason code before my screenshots.

Any tips on how to bypass this awful AI system?  I submit many wildlife photos and the AI seems to interpret grass, leaves, and branches as noise!

Which is a clear signal that the "Experts" don't work for Shutterstock and don't know anything more than the people here could tell you.

No you can't avoid the AI and the answer that every image is looked at by a human only applies conditionally to those that are actually reviewed by a human. The AI rejections are before your image gets to review. It's a trick of logic and terminology. Your images or mine that are rejected by AI, are not reviewed, they are deemed unsuitable by the AI.

An easier way to explain would be, if you upload a 2MP image, it's refused and not sent to review. AI says, nope, refused, doesn't meet the standards, it doesn't go to "REVIEW"

 Dumbots do that.



« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2022, 07:45 »
0
I've been on a cruise for the last couple of weeks and have uploaded quite a lot of photos from various stops. So here are some of my observations:

1. There is no consistency in reviews. Some reviewers are ridiculously strict and reject just about everything while others are more reasonable and sensible. That doesn't mean that bad photos pass but good ones generally do depending on the reviewer. So you need to resubmit, often multiple times.

2. Reviews of commercial photos tend to be stricter than those of editorial. Review time is also longer. It is especially hard to get landscapes passed in my experience. Also hard to get shots taken from a distance (e.g. a view of a town taken from the deck of a ship).

3. Focus rejections are a 'catch-all'. I took a couple of photos of a fairly unique church but the sky is completely washed out. Not much I could do about that unfortunately. The church is in focus but it isn't a great photo because of the sky. I accept that. In my opinion, they didn't want the shot and used focus as the excuse.

4. I think they might use AI as a first screening. I had one shot bounced out really fast a couple of times and I think that was the AI. If it gets past AI then it probably goes to a reviewer.

5. Most of the shots I submitted were accepted and even some that I thought were on the edge for various reasons. I have a small file of shots where I continue to disagree with the decision and will continue to resubmit. In a number of cases, I had to resubmit a couple of times but I got there.

6. I have the resubmission process down to a 'fine art' so it costs me very little time to do it.

7. Shutterstock clearly have 'their standard' of what they want in terms of quality and focus. Many of us might disagree but it is what it is and there is little point in getting upset about it. Just play the game.

Just to reiterate, these are my personal observations based on three hundred or so submissions over the past few weeks. Others may have a different perspective and that is their right.


« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2022, 08:16 »
0
I did circle back the next day to the chat since he said that he would confer with his colleagues.  The Shutterstock Expert confirmed that Shutterstock may be doing a trial with AI but never officially announced it.  While AI was always used to weed out the bad image sizes, formatting, etc., it was never used for focus, noise, etc.  I asked how do I bypass the AI since perfectly good images were being rejected because of a bare branch or a leaf being interpreted as noise.  His answer was to slightly alter the image by zooming in to try and bypass the AI screening.  I tested it with a series of images of a bird in a bush.  I edited the 20 that got rejected by the AI for noise.  After editing, (1) got past the AI system, the other (19) were immediately rejected.  This morning, the reviewer approved that (1) image and it's now in my port.  But I thought there was noise?

It's frustrating, but it looks like editing an image to trick a computer is the only way at this point!

« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2022, 11:38 »
0

1. There is no consistency in reviews. Some reviewers are ridiculously strict and reject just about everything while others are more reasonable and sensible. That doesn't mean that bad photos pass but good ones generally do depending on the reviewer. So you need to resubmit, often multiple times.

definitely - i've found some reviewers will reject an entire batch for the same reason, even though only a few might actually be at fault - resubmit gets most accepted

Quote

3. Focus rejections are a 'catch-all'. I took a couple of photos of a fairly unique church but the sky is completely washed out. Not much I could do about that unfortunately. The church is in focus but it isn't a great photo because of the sky. I accept that. In my opinion, they didn't want the shot and used focus as the excuse.

they're very strict about 'posterization' in skies (so mild other agencies accept)- often occurs with bracketed HDR.  i sometimes can fix with just a light Gaussian blur.   i reduce to 4mp then use AI gigapixel & reduce to 6mp (all quickly done in batches). these are accepted after both noise & focus rejects
 

Quote
6. I have the resubmission process down to a 'fine art' so it costs me very little time to do it.
 
that's the key -- and SS is the only agency for which i'll do this

« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2022, 11:39 »
0
... After editing, (1) got past the AI system, the other (19) were immediately rejected.  This morning, the reviewer approved that (1) image and it's now in my port.  But I thought there was noise?

It's frustrating, but it looks like editing an image to trick a computer is the only way at this point!

for some images i'll use PS neural artifact removal filter

« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2022, 14:33 »
0
Has anyone noticed that new images don't sell like the old ones. I have almost no sales for images that I uploaded after march 31 2021.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2022, 21:18 »
0
Has anyone noticed that new images don't sell like the old ones. I have almost no sales for images that I uploaded after march 31 2021.

I answered your other post with the same question, and the answer is yes many people have seen the same trend.

« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2022, 03:19 »
0
I would say that resubmit always goes to human reviewer, but the first attempt... who knows. Basically all landscape images from full frame camera are rejected for focus (but they are just detailed - it seems that some AI does not understand grass straws and consider the details as noise). It is much easier to get accepted blurred images (soft corners) from a compact camera than perfectly sharp images from a full frame.

« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2022, 03:48 »
0
Has anyone noticed that new images don't sell like the old ones. I have almost no sales for images that I uploaded after march 31 2021.

The opposite is true for me. The images I uploaded this year have sold a lot more than images from before.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
12 Replies
4724 Views
Last post March 07, 2007, 11:39
by Lizard
21 Replies
5237 Views
Last post October 16, 2007, 12:56
by Beckyabell
14 Replies
4774 Views
Last post October 22, 2007, 14:07
by Dr Bouz
9 Replies
3858 Views
Last post March 14, 2008, 12:05
by madelaide
18 Replies
8459 Views
Last post August 03, 2010, 10:54
by lefty

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle