iStock Editorial - Deconstructed

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StanRohrer
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Posted Sat Feb 9, 2013 6:50AM
I have shot a lot of travel and tourism from around my state (USA). When iStock introduced Editorial I was excited until I read all the restrictions. I decided it was not worth trying to shoehorn selections of my pics into the iStock rules for the expected lower returns. All my editorial goes elsewhere as RM. I have likely produced 95% editorial (about 5000 pics for stock sale) in the past 5 years.

If my pics are anywhere near borderline rejections for any reason (quality or rules), I would not submit at iStock due to the exclusivity rules about iStock rejections being held captive. If rejected by iStock, they could still have value to me elsewhere so I won't take the risk of iStock rejections. You have to fix this problem if you want more submissions.

Does the Best Match contain a portfolio effectiveness component? If I submitted editorial that sold near zero, would that draw down my placements in the Creative search results? Not sure I want to damage my other sales with an editorial experiment if there is such a chance.

(Edited on 2013-02-09 07:09:35 by StanRohrer)
aluxum
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Sat Feb 9, 2013 9:31AM


If my pics are anywhere near borderline rejections for any reason (quality or rules), I would not submit at iStock due to the exclusivity rules about iStock rejections being held captive. If rejected by iStock, they could still have value to me elsewhere so I won't take the risk of iStock rejections. You have to fix this problem if you want more submissions.

Does the Best Match contain a portfolio effectiveness component? If I submitted editorial that sold near zero, would that draw down my placements in the Creative search results? Not sure I want to damage my other sales with an editorial experiment if there is such a chance.



Those two points are also a reason why I don't send more images to Istock editorial. I also find it very unfair when an image is being held captive after a non technical rejection (releases,etc). It doesn't make any sense to me. If Istock doesn't want it let me at least move it somewhere else as RM. When I have the smallest doubt that the image can be rejected I just don't send it in.
amygdala_imagery
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Posted Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:57AM
i wanted to add that often editorial images are rejected for being "posed" as a creative image is posed, the notion being that true news oriented, real life images won't be "posed" for editorial content.  i have thought in some instances that a posed image of someone using either an item or clothing or what not that pertains to currrent trends and goings on has value for editorial illustration.  for instance, just about all of the images i have had published in magazine have identifiable "product", and very many of those shots are the results of premeditated shoots.  thanks!
davidjmorgan
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:40AM
  • Do you shoot and upload editorial content to iStock? If yes, why? If not, why?

Yes, I don't have a studio and don't work with models, I also find shooting people in a naturual environment especially an activity using the available light and conditions most satisfying.

  • How prolific are you with uploading editorial vs creative?

Much more editorial than creative for the reasons stated above

  • Do you set-out to specifically shoot editorial or are your editorial images happy accidents that you capture in your random travels?

Specifically look for events and locations to shoot editorial

  • How do you feel about the current content guidelines? Are they too restrictive?

Of course they are too restrictive and cautious, non professional sports as an example.. Inspectors are not aware of local conditions and place naming conventions of different countries, fought many battles over what is a 'city' in Australia

  • Now that iStock is accepting images produced on mobile devices, are you taking advantage of this?

As a last resort only

  • Would you be more inclined to upload editorial content if there was a streamlined mobile app to submit it to iStock?

NO

  • Have you read or shot content related to one of the editorial creative briefs?

Have not seen any brief produced suitable to my region with the exception of storm damage which I shot and sold a few.

  • Do you feel there needs to be more direction on shooting editorial content? More detailed and frequent briefs?

Of course

  • How do feel about the Editorial homepage? The search results?

Hopefully now fixed, previously first search page showed ALL images (new)
GreenPimp
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Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:07AM
I'd like a credential and some freedoms to shoot Red Carpet in Los Angeles. EdStock cannot cover all the events in this town.
Razvan
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Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:59PM
1.Do you shoot and upload editorial content to iStock? If yes, why? If not, why?

Yes I shoot editorial. I shoot all what I think is interesting and can be useful in a way for somebody. Sometimes what I shoot can't be included as RF, so editorial is a very nice completion.

2.How prolific are you with uploading editorial vs creative?

Now I try to keep it 50/50. If editorial can give me more downloads to be considered profitable here, I can make the proportion editorial vs creative 95/5.

3.Do you set-out to specifically shoot editorial or are your editorial images happy accidents that you capture in your random travels?

Sometimes they are accidents other times they are very carefully prepared and organized shoots, similarly to creative shoots.

4.How do you feel about the current content guidelines? Are they too restrictive?

Yes. Now they are to restrictive and to confused. They must be improved in the future.

5.Now that iStock is accepting images produced on mobile devices, are you taking advantage of this?

Probably in the future I will consider shooting editorial with mobile devices for stock.

6.Would you be more inclined to upload editorial content if there was a streamlined mobile app to submit it to iStock?

It could be very important especially for events in which the time matters.

7.Have you read or shot content related to one of the editorial creative briefs?

Yes. The creative briefs are very useful.

8.Do you feel there needs to be more direction on shooting editorial content? More detailed and frequent briefs?

Yes. These are very useful things.

9.How do feel about the Editorial homepage? The search results?

Looks ok.


Additional ideas:

-accepting editorial sport would be extremely important

-combining the "Caption" and "Stock photo description" fields in one field only preferably editable after the approval of the file. 

-there are many files which now are accepted as editorial, but in the past they where accepted as RF. Both are now online and RF unfair compete with actual editorial.

(Edited on 2013-02-11 15:00:56 by Razvan)
double_p
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:26PM

Do you shoot and upload edi


 


torial content to iStock? If yes, why?
 - I do because that is the style of photography that I like most, and honestly I was beginning to see the world too much with a creative-stock-no-logo's view. I enjoy documenting.

How prolific are you with uploading editorial vs creative?
- I guess I'm currently at 50% editorial in uploading

How do you feel about the current content guidelines? Are they too restrictive?
- The property release is too restrictive, a lot of shots have implied permission.

Now that iStock is accepting images produced on mobile devices, are you taking advantage of this?
 - Not yet to be honest, I guess I carry my camera with me too often. An app would help though.

Would you be more inclined to upload editorial content if there was a streamlined mobile app to submit it to iStock?
- yep


 


 


It would be great to have editorial in Vetta and E+, and to have the editorial guidelines between Getty and Istock harmonized.


 
stockwerk
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:42AM
I just stumbled across the Hollywood Awards featured light box on the editorial homepage. It features 10 pages of images contributed by EdStock or EdStock2. A very low percentage of images by other contributors are also included (7 out of 460). This just feels wrong. IStock contributors should be allowed to shoot the same subject matter as Getty contributors and the content of iStock and Getty contributors should be available and marketed equally equally on both platforms.

(Edited on 2013-02-12 11:47:44 by stockwerk)
Editorial_Guy
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:19PM






Posted By stockwerk:
I just stumbled across the Hollywood Awards featured light box on the editorial homepage. It features 10 pages of images contributed by EdStock or EdStock2. A very low percentage of images by other contributors are also included (7 out of 460). This just feels wrong. IStock contributors should be allowed to shoot the same subject matter as Getty contributors and the content of iStock and Getty contributors should be available and marketed equally equally on both platforms.

(Edited on 2013-02-12 11:47:44 by stockwerk)





 


This is probably a good post for me to respond to. First - I should introduce myself. My name is Grant and I'm a Product Manager at iStock, and one of my roles is to help look after the editorial home page.


I think there are a lot of fair questions and thoughts about what you all can and can't shoot for iStock when it comes to editorial.


However, with specific regards to the editorial page, we do try to promote the contributor generated content. Currently the Hollywood Awards lightbox is indeed featured in the main spot on the page. This is to coincide with the fact that Oscar season is really the time of year that we do see that content move.


Apart from the Celebrities lightbox, the rest of the content being promoted on the page is indeed primarily contributor content. And in most months, the main spot is also used for this regard. In the past we've highlighted great content that you all are generating on topcis such as (off the top of my head) the Olympics, Big Brands, Health and Wellness, The Environment, Weather, Finance/Economy, etc. We also promoted a collection of images that were appetizing for bloggers that featured a mix from a variety of topics.


 


Frankly, the material that the contributors are generating is what is really driving most of the volume for the editorial collection, so it only makes sense that we would highlight this great material to our customers.


I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Hollywood Awards feature is really the exception, and not the norm.


And again, that's not to dismiss the questions about what you can and can't shoot - that's a bigger conversation to be sure.

(Edited on 2013-02-12 12:21:24 by Editorial_Guy)

(Edited on 2013-02-12 12:21:54 by Editorial_Guy)
yongyuan
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:55PM
Editorial video would be really great when it comes to shoot cityscape. 
whitemay
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:58AM
Do you shoot and upload editorial content to iStock? If yes, why? If not, why?
Yes. I’m not interested in studio or model shoots and it’s the ‘fun of the chase’, looking for things which would be useful as editorial content. I enjoy it very much - introducing editorial is the best thing iStock has done in years!

How prolific are you with uploading editorial vs creative?
It depends on the time of year and my state of health, which is not great. In winter, I do much more scanning and uploading of ephemera and Victorian engravings - sometimes these can be editorial, however.

Do you set-out to specifically shoot editorial or are your editorial images happy accidents that you capture in your random travels?
Usually I would have editorial in mind but would be looking out for non-editorial opportunities at the same time.

How do you feel about the current content guidelines? Are they too restrictive?
Too restrictive.

Now that iStock is accepting images produced on mobile devices, are you taking advantage of this?
Not at the moment, though I hope to rectify that omission one day!

Would you be more inclined to upload editorial content if there was a streamlined mobile app to submit it to iStock?
Not at present.

Have you read or shot content related to one of the editorial creative briefs?
To my shame, not much.

Do you feel there needs to be more direction on shooting editorial content? More detailed and frequent briefs?
Probably, with easier access to finding out where such guidance and information may be found.

How do feel about the Editorial homepage? The search results?
I’m ashamed to say that I seldom visit it. I have had no great problems with the search.

Also: I would love it if we were able to amend the Caption field after submission as things can change over time and mistakes cannot be rectified without contacting support.
Joesboy
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:17PM
  • Do you shoot and upload editorial content to iStock? If yes, why? If not, why? - Yes I do
  • How prolific are you with uploading editorial vs creative? - About 50%
  • Do you set-out to specifically shoot editorial or are your editorial images happy accidents that you capture in your random travels? Yes & Yes
  • How do you feel about the current content guidelines? Are they too restrictive? - Yes
  • Now that iStock is accepting images produced on mobile devices, are you taking advantage of this?- No
  • Would you be more inclined to upload editorial content if there was a streamlined mobile app to submit it to iStock? - No
  • Have you read or shot content related to one of the editorial creative briefs? - No
  • Do you feel there needs to be more direction on shooting editorial content? More detailed and frequent briefs? - No
  • How do feel about the Editorial homepage? The search results? - Never use it, I'm not a buyer


 
yula
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Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:27PM

T?here is still a bug in reading EXIF date format. For example : 1/3 is readed by some inspectors as 3/1


This leads to rejection for wrong date. I wrote about to CR, it is known, but the problem is still exists.
bunhill
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:45AM
I think that one of the major issues with respect to editorial (apart from the lack of customers coming here for editorial other than product shots) is that the CV will never be able to keep up to date with the infinite variety of content.

It would surely be better to abandon the CV for editorial since it is restrictive rather than enabling. Why not base editorial search on free text ? Especially given that in many cases the native version does not need translating - but a translated version perhaps also belongs alongside. For example the Banque de France (not in the editorial CV) is properly known as the the Banque de France everywhere. It does not need translating. Bank of France is probably additionally useful. You need both - not one as a translation of the other.

It is a good example I think of where free text would provide a less cumbersome solution. Also the world cannot be reduced down to fit the CV.

(Edited on 2013-02-14 08:46:16 by bunhill)
LeeAnnWhite
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:23PM
Posted By yula:

T?here is still a bug in reading EXIF date format. For example : 1/3 is readed by some inspectors as 3/1


This leads to rejection for wrong date. I wrote about to CR, it is known, but the problem is still exists.

I have a small portfolio & I've only uploaded a handful of editorial images but this happened to me twice in the few that I tried.  I opened tickets with Customer Support who was worthless...rather than investigating the problem they just told me to fix the date in my camera.   SAY WHAT?!  It's NOT the camera's fault!!!  There's definitely something wonky with the way the EXIF data is read sometimes.
Clearphoto
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:05PM
How about Press Passes to cover political events, boat shows, car shows, etc? I used to belong to an organization that a press pass came with the membership, and was accepted virtually everywhere I used it. This would help increase the contributor base of images to Istock Editorial.
NoDerog
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:08PM
/
/Bit late but here are my comments. Many have already been mentioned.


Yes, I have been submitting editorial since the inception of the program. I am shooting about 50/50 currently.


Yes, the inconsistencies and restrictions have been very frustrating, especially when they result in deactivations on files already accepted. Many of the restrictions are confusing and seem to be open to the interpretation of the inspector or the deactivation team.


 
Yes, I have used a mobile phone on some occasions and have had a number of images accepted. Verdict is still out on whether these will generate much income.



I doubt is I would use a mobile app to upload unless I had an extremely time sensitive subject. I prefer to examine my shots on a computer monitor to check that they are in focus and to pick the best shot when I have several similars.   However, it would be good to have one available just in case.


 



Other concerns:
Contributors need more incentive to upload editorial. Right now there is no Vetta high priced collection for editorial.  E+ files are not mirrored on Getty.  We cannot put editorial files on the Partner sites and we won’t participate in Getty Connect since that program only uses Getty files.  Plus many editorial files become outdated in a matter of months so the return dwindles faster than with commercial images. Getty needs to generate more sales, give us more outlets, and have some higher priced collections.



Keywording is still problematic for editorial files. If you shoot a product, place, restaurant etc not in the CV you have to request to have the keywords created, but only after there are files already accepted with the requested subject matter. Then if the content is too insignificant, your request may still be turned down. You also have to continually review your old editorial images to see if new CV terms are inserted and to check if other important keywords might have dropped out.



Watermark is way too big and unnecessarily obtrusive. If you really need that second line, put it in smaller letters along the edge. Make the "Istockphoto" smaller and offset it over the image. The current watermark is especially bad for editorial travel and street scenes as they tend to be busier than your typical commercial images, and the watermark completely obscures the entire center area.



Editorial search functions: Current tyranny of old in BM is crushing editorial since all editorial images were uploaded since early 2011. Most editorial buyers want fresh editorial material, and even if a buyer searches only editorial files, he is still seeing the oldest images first.



It would also be nice if buyers could have the option to do a simple Google-style word search on the Caption. This would help buyers find obscure products, company names, streets, restaurants, people etc that are not in the CV.



Allow buyers to search by date along with the keyword seach. Example: only images shot on a specific date, only images between two specific dates, or only images shot before or after a specific date. Every file has a create date, so this info is already available. I think buyers doing documentary type work would find this very useful.



Best thing about editorial right now is the extremely fast inspection time. Thanks for that.
Thanks also for the opportunity to comment.

(Edited on 2013-02-14 13:14:13 by NoDerog)
stockwerk
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:54AM

@OP (braddy):


- What is your summary of the feedbacks received?


- Which points do you feel need follow-up?


- What is your thinking regarding these points and what will be your suggestion to your supervisor/the management on how to carry the point forward?
Lobo
This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:31AM

Posted By stockwerk:

@OP (braddy):


- What is your summary of the feedbacks received?


- Which points do you feel need follow-up?


- What is your thinking regarding these points and what will be your suggestion to your supervisor/the management on how to carry the point forward?

We will get back in here with some feedback very soon.
kelvinjay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has won a contestForum Moderator
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:14PM
Thanks to everyone for their feedback on the issues raised in the OP.

If anyone wants to discuss any other general aspects of editorial photography and any potential moral or ethical issues, please feel free to open a thread in the editorial or photography forums. This thread isn't a good place for such musings.
This thread has been locked.
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