For a microstock photographer, there are few things as frustrating as getting a dreaded email from your agency that tells you that your image has been rejected.
The initial reaction is usually one of confusion and disbelief. What? How can that be? This is a great shot!
But when you read the specific reason for the rejection, and then take a closer look at your image, chances are you will understand and even agree with their assessment.
So what are the most common reasons for a photo to be rejected? And how do you go about correcting it to make it microstock ready?
In the video below, Bonnie from GreatEscapeTV does an excellent job of answering these questions. Going one by one through a series of actual examples of rejected stock images, she visually shows us the reason for the rejection. Then she uses Adobe Lightroom to demonstrate how to fix the issues.
Fix Before you Submit
As explained in the video, you can avoid most rejections by carefully viewing your image at 100% before you submit it. At this full size, you can more easily see details that you can’t see when viewing at a smaller size on your screen. This way you can find and fix the most common issues such as:
- recognizable logos or branding
- color fringing
- image noise
- sensor spots
- over saturated, pixelated colors
In addition to viewing at 100%, you also want to look carefully at the histogram for your photo. This way you can adjust the overall lighting and contrast, and identify and (where possible) fix blown out highlights or ultra dark areas, before you submit.
Fortunately, the majority of the time your stock agency will give you the opportunity to fix the problem in a rejected image. So when you do get a rejection email, don’t panic! Just take a closer look at your photo, use your photo editing software to fix the issue, and then resubmit the updated photo for review.
As you gain experience in knowing what to look for and correct it BEFORE you submit future photos, you’ll find that more and more of your images will get accepted.