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Author Topic: SS took 5 out 50  (Read 9246 times)

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« on: November 01, 2007, 15:36 »
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Before you tell me I deserve it, please take a look at my portfolio first:)

By hard work and reinvesting most of my money into professional equipment I made it into the top 20 best selling photogs across the microstock industry. On some agencies, top 10.

SS took 5 out of 50 submitted images a couple of days ago. That's 10% approval. I never ever had such low acceptance rate. I never complain when i get rejections - those rejections earn me good money somewhere else. But please not 10%!!! Reasons? None of them make sense to me at all. "Out of focus" for perfectly focused images, "limited value", "similar submissions" for images that are not similar... stuff like that.

Yes SS is a number one earner for me right now (well IS would have been better if not for their stupid upload limit). But - I also want to enjoy doing business with agencies. And if they don't take something, it has to make at least a little sense. A few more rejections like this, and I'll go exclusive with IS. Can use that bigger upload limit, you know...

Sigh.... soo frustrating.

I emailed Jon, got a reply that he "agrees with some of the rejections" since their quality standards increased... and that support should contact me on this issue.
I don't know what quality standards they have - my stuff passed every macro-mid-micro initial submission that I ever bothered to try (didn't try Getty but will once i get 12 mp D300).
So, why isn't it good for shutterstock?

Ok venting here did help a bit... please don't be mean, just having a low moment and looking for some sympathy:)


« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 15:56 »
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Maybe try submitting your photos in smaller batches? Like five to ten per day or something. I submitted eight photos on Monday, and they approved all of them. And I'm not as good as you are.  :)


« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 16:21 »
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Did you delete your portfolio from SS because when I click on the link under your post it comes up as 'There are no photos in this gallery.'
BTW I have looked at your photos with other agencies and they are excellent.

« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2007, 16:33 »
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I think it is because she entered her username and not her shutterstock ID in the profile area - so the link turns up wrong.

« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2007, 17:25 »
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No I didn't delete my portfolio... yet:)  I'll try to fix that link.
About batches - my previous submission which I think was 42 files was 100% accepted.
That's what bugs me most.
No consistency at all. I mean, there is nothing new here, but I had hopes it would improve over time, as the industry matures. I guess not just yet...

« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2007, 17:37 »
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...........That's what bugs me most.
No consistency at all. ................

Ah, there's that word.   Consistency.   I think that's what is frustrating for most folks ...and not just on SS,  really most agencies. 
     Perfect example ( I won't say who).   Last saturday I submit a photo of a small cottage in the midst of a formal garden.
   Photo accepted... and... SOLD ONCE ALREADY!

Tuesday I submit another one of 5  I have in the series...  photo rejected.    why?    Not stock material, low sales potential.   Insert large question mark in a bubble   over my head.

Consistency.  They were essentially the same picture. One was vertical one horizontal.  Go figure.

I don't get nuts about rejections. As someone said above... if I can't sell it here,  I'll sell it there. I've had plenty of pictures rejected by one agency,  posted them on another and there, make a buck on them on a regular basis.   Ain't no biggie...

But yeah,  on most sites....  there is absolutely  NO consistency.   8)-tom 




vonkara

« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2007, 17:48 »
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I noticed one thing recently who just make no sense. But I say it anyway.

When I submit batch of 3 to 5 pics at the time, I do it for every agencies.
 Recently, it's weird, they are accepted almost everywhere except in one agency... and this agency is never the same. One time it's IS, the other it's DT and the other SS.

And when I look at the treads on this group. I saw about the same thing. One week the subject is SS rejections, the other is IS and after it's StockXpert rejections.

It's like there was a guy who say: OK folks, this week nothing pass we have too much pictures online! And the week after: OK folks Fotolia have much pictures than us, let accept everything again!

I think I'm going to put myself in front of the TV and watch a good wildlife documentary, it's more relaxing than checking my review e-mail...

« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2007, 18:00 »
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Ok fixed those links for fotolia and shutterstock. Seems to work now.

The question is - will there ever be consistency. This industry is based on "crowdsourcing", most of contributors are amateurs who are happy to make a few bucks from their hobbies - and don't take me wrong, some of them are really good.
But to consistently grow your portfolio and produce sellable quality images all the time requires different kind of effort - those of us who do that know what I am talking about.
I guess the frustration comes from expecting professional attitude in the world of non-professionals. If you sell you images for 30 cents a piece, and reviewers are paid peanuts for their job, what one to expect... just thinking aloud here:)

About conspiracy theory of one angry reviewer who makes our lives difficult everywhere - hehe, I have to admit I had that thought too - there is definitely some kind of a pattern. And you know what, I wouldn't be suprised if it was true - not hard to imagine.

By the way, great place this site - I love it. Glad I found it:)

« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2007, 18:14 »
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5/50 ... ouch!

« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2007, 18:18 »
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That is because more  photographers are joining microstocks. They can't cope with volume.

vphoto

« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2007, 19:47 »
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Elena... I looked at your portfolio and I am sure I know the reason. Reviwers looked at your work and said "you know what, this gal is too goods, she must be stopped or at least slowed down, lest she instills inferiority complex in most of contributors"...

OK, my sense of humor is quirky and occasionally callous... Seeing your work, such approval rate makes not much sense to me either - I wish I was half as good :)

« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2007, 21:23 »
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5/50 ... ouch!

I agree.  That seems pretty irrational for someone at Elena's skill level.  Hey, I'm all for increasing quality standards but they should be careful not to increase their standards above what .30/dl is logically worth.

Elena, your work is outstanding!  Please do let us know if support gets back to you on this. 

« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2007, 23:09 »
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Thank you guys for your kind words. Not that I was fishing, but it sure does make me feel better:)
I hope support will get back to me on this too, but my hopes are not too high. And come to think of it, these images are already selling very well on other sites. So no biggie.
But this incident has started me thinking. Which expectations are reasonable for microstock, and which are not. When I started doing this 2 years ago, I thought the industry will mature and grow together with me and my improving skill.... :) I think now it is not true. Microstock will remain microstock, it will not turn into Getty or Corbis. It has it's own place and it's advantages and it's flaws. And I will stay with it - for some stuff that I do. But I think I am "outgrowing" it... let's see what the professional world have to offer:)

« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2007, 23:28 »
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Elena... I looked at your portfolio and I am sure I know the reason. Reviwers looked at your work and said "you know what, this gal is too goods, she must be stopped or at least slowed down, lest she instills inferiority complex in most of contributors"...

Well, perhaps that is said in sarcasm, but consider this possibility:  an SS reviewer who is also a submitter decides after seeing Elena's 50 submissions that he (the reviewer) has the same ideas as many of Elena's latest batch but knows that her images are far superior to his, and so rather than letting hers go through, he just hits the "reject" button for various reasons thus eliminating some of his own competition.  Wild idea??  Maybe not---who is actually supervising all these reviewers???

« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2007, 01:07 »
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In my (limited) experience, Shutterstock has been the most arbitrary, subjective in their process and communication with contributors.

I applied and was rejected three times by SS. I've learned this is more typical than not for SS compared to other MS agencies. Like I found and others have reported, SS rejects 5 of the 10 images required for an application, often with reasons (like Elena has reported here as an accepted contributor) which do not seem reasonable, images which most or all other agencies accept through their own quality filters.

For the other 5 images, SS gives no reason, no comment, no outright "rejection" per se, but no hint whether the 5 other images would have been accepted either. Just a failed application, come back in a month and say please.

Why would a business conduct themselves in this strange way? Maybe it's the humidity in their offices.

« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2007, 01:53 »
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I'm shocked, Elena!   :o  As a reviewer on another site, I'm one of the few who has actually seen hundreds of your photos at 100%, and they are as close to flawless as any photographer can get.  I love your work!!!

SS seems to be going backwards.  I'm seeing the same thing...as my work improves, my rejection rates increase.  But if I send in the same old same old, my acceptance rates are great.  Doesn't make a bit of sense.  I don't have that problem at any of the other sites, and yeh...it makes me wonder, too, if I should continue on this path or start looking for other outlets.  What's the point of putting all that work into photos that end up in the garbage heap?   

« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2007, 03:04 »
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Two days ago, I submited a big batch, of 175 images (LOL!), and 150 accepted, 20 rejected because of simmilarity. 5 because of focus. Not bad :)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 03:06 by Chode »


« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2007, 07:29 »
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At least with SS the upload is easy.  I get a lot more annoyed when a batch has a lot of rejects with IS.  It takes much more work to upload there, they have upload limits and sending files to scout can take weeks.  I have never had a file rejected after sending to scout but it is a shame the reviewers sometimes can't get it right the first time.  Some of my rejections there have been ridiculous.

« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2007, 07:35 »
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Elena... I looked at your portfolio and I am sure I know the reason. Reviwers looked at your work and said "you know what, this gal is too goods, she must be stopped or at least slowed down, lest she instills inferiority complex in most of contributors"...

Well, perhaps that is said in sarcasm, but consider this possibility:  an SS reviewer who is also a submitter decides after seeing Elena's 50 submissions that he (the reviewer) has the same ideas as many of Elena's latest batch but knows that her images are far superior to his, and so rather than letting hers go through, he just hits the "reject" button for various reasons thus eliminating some of his own competition.  Wild idea??  Maybe not---who is actually supervising all these reviewers???

Ummm... since you omitted the part of what I've written that refers to humor, I find it necessary to clarify lest I be seen as consipracy theory monger or subscriber - I am neither. That was not "perhaps sarcasm", that was 50% joke and 50% word of support for Elena.

IMO, the reason for this out of norm acceptance rate for this particular case is exactly what Elena said - natural inconsistency of the system where different sets of rules for different agencies are followed by different reviewers with different point of views and different degree of discretion. With so many "differents" in a single sentence we are going to obtain results that differ from agency to agency, from reviewer to reviewer and from case to case. While in a big picture results are consistent and predictable (i.e. great stock photgrapher will always have better overall acceptance rate and sales than mediocre one), on a case by case basis results may be more random. This is close to your standard odds theory where you can predict the outcome in a statisticaly valid sample that is big enough, cannot predict each particular case.

« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2007, 07:52 »
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hey,can I join in the club? lately I got 10/10 images rejected for being noisy,over filtered etc. but 'surprisingly' they got accepted elsewhere.


michealo

« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2007, 08:25 »
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I made the mistake of resubmitting a file that had previously been excepted, and it was rejected not for being the same but for for some other reason. That doesn't figure.

I wonder would happen if you mixed the rejected 45 with other new images in smaller batches?

« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2007, 08:51 »
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I think sharply_done mentioned that Ron Chapple (iofoto) had been with SS for a while and then closed his account.  Anyone know why?  Was it for unreasonable rejections like Elena's?  It's absolutely senseless for a microsite, who's lifeblood is pictures that sell, to reject pro-level work like theirs, absolutely financially stupid!

I recently submitted a batch of 16.  I think about 70% were accepted, one rejection ("focus") I didn't agree with at all, but the others I could understand.  However, without realizing it at the time I had resubmitted a file that was formerly rejected about a year ago.  It was accepted this time.  Then I recalled what had happened and looked up the former submission.  It was originally rejected for "limited commercial value."  Now after acceptance it is selling multiple times every day, even though it had "limited commercial value."  Yeesh!

« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2007, 08:53 »
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If you look back a few days, I had a group of 37 submitted to SS and only 10 accepted. These were all images accepted at other stock agencies. That's a 70% rejection rate. If Jon is correct that they are cracking down on standards, was there an announcement? What they really need to do is crack down on new submitters and only let in people at are worthy.

I think the days are fast fading where you can get accepted with a P&S camera and a few pictures of your dog and kids...

« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2007, 09:38 »
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Two days ago, I submited a big batch, of 175 images (LOL!), and 150 accepted, 20 rejected because of simmilarity. 5 because of focus. Not bad :)
How very brave of you!   Thrilled for you that they were accepted. 

« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2007, 10:07 »
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I think the days are fast fading where you can get accepted with a P&S camera and a few pictures of your dog and kids...

Well,this should have already been history by now and I don't think there are still many people with P&S cameras still uploading photos taken with them   (no offense intended to those who still does) Standards  getting high this is for sure but what confuses us here we(I) shoot with DSLR's using at least reasonably quality glasses using good source of light refrain from going above 100 ISO keep the editing at possible minimum level  to avoid noise and then end up with rejection reasons like  over filtered or too noisy  files. (ok some might tell me you could still get noise at 100 ISO I am well aware of that  but this should be within  acceptable levels)IMO I think these are some reasons why we find reviews inconsistent
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 10:10 by stokfoto »

« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2007, 10:17 »
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Yes SS is a number one earner for me right now (well IS would have been better if not for their stupid upload limit).
Elena,

With your good sales record, can't you have IS accept more from you than the regular limit?  Even not being exclusive, it seems obvious that you could generate them more if you could upload more.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2007, 10:20 »
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noise could easily get out of hand if the image was a little dark and you try and repair it in photoshop.  some people think that shooting in raw gives them a 'free' 2 stops of leverage with an image, but shooting at iso 100 and then changing then bringing up the exposure in raw processing is still recipe for noise..... espcially if saturated colors or darks are involved.

not saying you think like this stokfoto, this is just something i have noticed people (in general) have said here or in other forums.


« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2007, 10:27 »
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I have a suspicion that they are still accepting a fair amount of P&S shots of the pets and other stuff like that. And hey, people have taken amazing photos with P&S.
But the problem is they can't tell a difference between the work of a professional photographer and some amateur enthusiast with P&S. And you know what, for their purposes it doesn't matter.  They sell tons of pics to a very wide audience - people buying images range from kids doing school projects and stay home moms that download images for their scrapbooks to big companies that use these images for advertising. And everything in between. So they are told - "we have to be more strict on quality!" - and they just start rejecting more images, good or bad. That's all:) Like I said before microstock has it's advantages but we can't expect them to be something they are not.

« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2007, 10:36 »
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Yes SS is a number one earner for me right now (well IS would have been better if not for their stupid upload limit).
Elena,

With your good sales record, can't you have IS accept more from you than the regular limit?  Even not being exclusive, it seems obvious that you could generate them more if you could upload more.

Regards,
Adelaide

Hmm, not sure... I am a couple of days away from reaching a diamond rating on IS, maybe I should contanct them and ask for more limit... doubt it would work tho:) They seem to be pretty fixed on exclusivity.

« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2007, 10:53 »
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noise could easily get out of hand if the image was a little dark and you try and repair it in photoshop.  some people think that shooting in raw gives them a 'free' 2 stops of leverage with an image, but shooting at iso 100 and then changing then bringing up the exposure in raw processing is still recipe for noise..... espcially if saturated colors or darks are involved.

not saying you think like this stokfoto, this is just something i have noticed people (in general) have said here or in other forums.

I see your point leaf and I think  you are absolutely right just shooting at 100 ISO not even 50 ISO  doesn't provide you a  guaranteed  noise free picture.

« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2007, 12:10 »
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I think sharply_done mentioned that Ron Chapple (iofoto) had been with SS for a while and then closed his account.  Anyone know why? 
I was wrong when I said that - his portfolio is a little difficult to locate on SS, and I didn't look hard enough before writing.
My bad.

« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2007, 13:19 »
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I think sharply_done mentioned that Ron Chapple (iofoto) had been with SS for a while and then closed his account.  Anyone know why?

I was wrong when I said that - his portfolio is a little difficult to locate on SS, and I didn't look hard enough before writing.
My bad.


Google search "shutterstock iofoto" and BINGO!  Here's Ron's portfolio...

http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-85699p1.html

« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2007, 13:21 »
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I found this quote by Suvakov from Mostphotos in another thread quite interesting.  MP and SS are such different models though with obviously different clients...  I wish SS and IS would lighten up just a little instead of robbing customers of options.  And they should really try emptying the crap from the bottom of their databases to make room for fresh images before they flat out refuse images.


Today i bumped in to a customer on my way to the office.

The first thing he said was that he visits the site on regular bases just to scan the images.
-"It is starting to look real good now and and the images are comming in fast now" he said.
Yes, we are getting some nice images now ( i said "some" having the "bad images" discussions on my mind).
The customer answered: -" It is not just "some" - the most part of them are really good and usable - some are even to good"
I asked him: -" How can  a image be to good?"
Well, he said: "Some images are just to perfect, to fixed - we want good images but with that special reality feeling"
- Okey, what ever makes you happy, i answered and smiled.

Let the every day customer decide if the image is good enough or not - all we can do is to  continue to upload
the best of our work. Customers repeat the same message over and over again: Let us decide.
And we let them (for now) =)

//R

« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2007, 16:46 »
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I have always said the reviewing should be done by the designers.....but the designers I know wouldn't work that cheap...

« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2007, 17:34 »
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I have always said the reviewing should be done by the designers.....but the designers I know wouldn't work that cheap...

Does anyone know how cheap that actually is?  I've always been curious how much a reviewer makes.

« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2007, 04:17 »
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I have always said the reviewing should be done by the designers.....but the designers I know wouldn't work that cheap...

Does anyone know how cheap that actually is?  I've always been curious how much a reviewer makes.

In MicroStock between 2-5 $Cents/ image reviewed, depending on the agency, SY

« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2007, 05:17 »
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I have always said the reviewing should be done by the designers.....but the designers I know wouldn't work that cheap...

Does anyone know how cheap that actually is?  I've always been curious how much a reviewer makes.

the ranges I have heard (from reliable sources) are 3-10 cents/image


« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2007, 10:30 »
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Do they get paid for the images they reject as well as approve?  If so, then it would be awfully tempting to reject a large batch just to get paid for them quickly, especially if it's near the end of the month and/or you have a quota to fulfill.   Just a thought.

(BTW, it's interesting to watch which threads go the longest here---tells you something about microstockers' real concerns)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 10:34 by HughStoneIan »

« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2007, 10:56 »
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I guess they get paid equally for any image inspected, either approved or rejected.  Rejecting images wouldn't be a smart move, because then there would be a lot of complaints on this particular inspector's work. In fact approving images would be faster - no member would complain.  :D

I have no idea of the quality of images submitted, but I guess a good portion can be discarded just by looking at the thumbnail only.

On the other hand, I believe it's possible that some sites inspect images from certain contributors in a more random way.  I mean, if someone has a very high approval rate, the inspector could pick, let's say, 3 out of 10 in a set and, if they're ok, approve the rest.  That would be a smart use of resources, I think. 

Regards,
Adelaide

ALTPhotoImages

  • Please use the hand rail.
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2007, 12:18 »
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As far as reviewing goes, in some cases it is very random on who and when images get reviewed. Which is why some images get reviewed faster then others on some sites. I can also say that the oversight or managing of reviewers is not (in some cases) up to the level we would hope or like it to be. Which can create much of the inconsistency we all see. That and the rest can be chalked up to different philosophies (which many I find self defeating) among the different sites. Also, the resources are not put into it-not a priority. Which can and does, imho, make them a bit hypocritical of their philosophies. Not saying they are being malicious or this is the case for all sites, its just the way it is. 

Although I don't take it personally, I do find some of the review feedback I have received laughable at times. Although I am new to Microstock, I don't mean to brag, but I do know what I'm doing technically and have written image standards for businesses in my time. I know what is a real image issue and what is not. So, I simply move on because with a very busy schedule of full time work, school, and a 3 hour commute I don't have the time to waste with arguments. I imagine we all value our time, so consider that for what is cost effective for you.

Considering point and shoot images. Although the the lower quality these cameras produce is obvious, it should not produce inconsistent reviews given everything else is the same. So, if the reviewers are trained and supervised properly, the standard of acceptability is clear, then the result should almost always be the same. Point and shoot, cheap low end scanner, poorly exposed shot, it doesn't matter. The image either meets the standard (assuming there is a clearly defined one) or doesn't. This seems clear to me or was there some point I missed?

Hope some of this made sense, writing essays is not my specialty. Let me know if I failed to make a point or you need clarification on something I've attempted to write.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 11:41 by ALTPhotoImages »

« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2007, 12:40 »
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3 hours?  That is some commute......

ALTPhotoImages

  • Please use the hand rail.
« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2007, 13:13 »
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Well that is total. It's about 1 1/2 to 2 hours each way-depending on traffic and how often I have to pull over to scream....

« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2007, 13:16 »
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Well that is total. It's about 1 1/2 to 2 hours each way-depending on traffic and how often I have to pull over to scream....

I feel for you... I have the exact same commute time.  1 1/2 hours one way.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2007, 13:39 »
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The company I'm at now is a 5-10 minute commute. Last company I was commuting 1 to 1-1/2 hours each way to go only 18 miles. Make a big difference on quality of life.

« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2007, 13:44 »
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 So, if the reviewers are trained and supervised properly, the standard of acceptability is clear, then the result should almost always be the same. Point and shoot, cheap low end scanner, poorly exposed shot, it doesn't matter. The image either meets the standard (assuming there is a clearly defined one) or doesn't. This seems clear to me or was there some point I missed?


I can't agree more - it shouldn't be a rocket science, should it? Just define the standard, train reviewers, supervise them, maybe pay them a bit more so they won't be inclined to do something like - "I am behind in my quota, I'll look at the first 5 images and just reject the other ones - we get so many complaints about rejections anyway".... Oh, but that would require spending some extra efforts and money.... plus, they are making really good profits anyway, so why bother?
Sigh... a while ago on SS forum Laurin Rinder was saying the same thing - you have a chance to make micirostock into respectable and long-term profitable industry, do it right! ... But no - it seems they are more focused on making quick bucks than building a respectable business and retaining talent. But then, eventually, that talent is going to get pissed and go somewhere else... 
By the way - I never heard back from SS support. Surprise-surprise...


« Reply #45 on: November 07, 2007, 15:39 »
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sending files to scout can take weeks. 

More like months, I've been waiting since August for appeals on 2 images.

At the moment DT, 123RF, IS and BS haven't rejected any of the images I've submitted in the last 4 months, but SS won't accept anything I try to submit.

« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2007, 00:57 »
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Elena,  I have been a member on SS for around 3 years.  My acceptance rate has been around 98% / 99% up until very recently.

I started getting irrational rejections a few months ago.  I am experiencing problems and feelings similar to your own. 

Funny thing is, this week my acceptance rate is back up to 100%.  Why?

My feelings regarding all of this are further confused because I know your work is very high quality and if this continues for you that leaves the vast majority of SS submitters in a very poor position.

I personally take most of what Rinder states with more than a few grains of salt, however I do agree that the sites should pay reviewers more money and I think that their work should be reviewed on a regular basis. 

I am sure some just make snap judgments so that they will not have to take the time to open and review each image. 

« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 01:04 by Alex »


 

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