Posted Mon May 13, 2013 7:55AM
I received the following rejection to my application to be a contributor. I believe that the issues are composition related, but am not sure. I have posted watermarked versions of the files (the first three) on picassa here
The last two are ones I'm considering for re-submission for contribution and would appreciate feedback.
Thank you for taking the time to apply as a contributor with iStockphoto.com.
The iStock administrators have asked that you upload new samples based on the feedback provided below. You're welcome to return in 3 days, upload some new samples and we'll re-process your application.
Comments from the iStockphoto Administrator:
At this time we regret to inform you that we did not feel the overall composition of your photography or subject matter is at the minimum level of standard for iStockphoto. Please take some time to review training materials, resources and articles provided through iStockphoto. The photographs provided in your application should be diverse in subject matter, technical ability and should be your best work. Think conceptual, creative and most important think Stock photography. Try to avoid the average eye level push the button perspective of a common subject. Try and impress us, we want to see how you stand out from the crowd.
We welcome you to return after the number of days specified and upload 3 fresh samples of your work and we will re-process your application. Please note that you will not be able to upload new samples until this waiting period has passed.
For more information on Composition and Impact, please see:
For more information on Suitable Stock Photography, please see:
For more information on files that we do and don't need please see:
(Edited on 2013-05-13 08:44:09 by kelvinjay)
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 8:21AM
A couple things, first don't re-submit anything for an application. You need new shots, if they liked 2 of the shots and not the third one, they would have "accepted" the two and asked you to resubmit just one. The fact that they did not do that mean all 3 shots were rejected and you need to start over.
You need to really think through each shot with a way more critical view than you would for normal photography. The last two have several issues that you can learn from, so I will give you a couple pointers...
1) Truck Image. Not a horrible picture by any means, but also not special at all. It's just an old truck. The background might actually make it worse since its in some sort of field. If it were in a dusty repair shop, or a broken down road, that might add to the theme. But as it is its way too common. I think it might be a firetruck, but again its so beat up, I'm not even sure. That's the real problem, not your photo, but the subject is unclear. Also the lighting is harsh because of the shadows. This is one of the hardest things to get for iStock, lighting has to be near perfect, as its "stock". You would probably need to take this at a better time of day.
2) Airplane shot. This shot would be more unusable for you. First off the composition is cutting off the airplane on 3 of the 4 sides. Even if you chose to cut the wings off because the highlight was the prop, than you should not have cut off the propeller. Lighting is a major issue here, its underexposed and pretty flat. Lastly, like the truck. The background distracts rather than adds to the composition.
It might feel like I'm being harsh or nitpicky, please know my intention is to help you think like the inspectors have thought through my experience. Stock is off the charts picky, so you need to think through every detail first.
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 9:00AM
Which pictures are you talking about? Frog, butterfly, waves are the first 3 that I see.
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 9:02AM
Thanks.. nothing harsh.. this is the kind of critique that i am looking for. I can easily go re-take images of the plane, since i know where it is. The truck is indeed kind of uninteresting, now that you mention it.. i was thinking that maybe some closeups of components of it might be interesting but not sure if they are stock photo interesting.
I don't plan on re-submitting any of the shots, rather was curious as to what you thought might be wrong with the composition or content. Trying to learn here what stock photos are interesting and what are not.
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 9:08AM
The first three.. Frog, Butterfly, and Waves where what I submitted. The rest are ones i was considering for my re-application, but now i realize that the truck and the plane are not really interesting/composed well.. I did upload an additional macro shot of a cactus bloom as well to the album.
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 9:11AM
To start off with, if you want feedback on the technical aspects of images you really need to provide individual direct links to full size watermarked images.Too many links to click through on Picasa, and it's unclear which images you are asking for critique on. Hosting the images on Dropbox, or in your own site if you have one is probably best.
None of the images you have here are really "stock". How would they be used? As already said they don't mostly look like terrible photographs, but they almost certanly won't get you accepted as a photographer here. You need diversity in subjects so the usual advice given is to shoot a still life, a landscape and a portrait of a person for application. The person really needs to be doing something, and the still life should preferably show some kind of concept too. The images need to be technically good, with correct lighting (natural or artificial) correct exposure, using correct settings to give the required DOF etc. and good focus. Composition needs to be right too. Shoot just for application, and with the above in mind. Keep it simple. Don't go through you hard drive looking for shots you might already have.
I'd read through previous application threads here if I were you.
Good luck with future applications. You can post here before uploading to get help if you wish.
(Edited on 2013-05-13 09:12:22 by Difydave)
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 10:34AM
Thanks... would you have a suggestion for a better place to put photos. These are all great tips, and my plan is to go and purposefuly shoot for stock. Trying to learn here.
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 10:58AM
As I said, either Dropbox, that's what most people seem to use, or if you have your own web space put them somewhere there. It makes them a lot easier to view properly at full size on our preferred viewers. Anywhere really though that just hosts the file, and doesn't resize it, or make it complicated to see the full size file. If you can keep the exif with the file that helps too.
Posted Mon May 13, 2013 11:02AM
Posted Tue May 14, 2013 9:55AM
Thanks all for the very constructive feedback, it is very helpful in my quest to understand what makes a good stock photograph. One last question, when submitting for critique, is it best to put the raw image (camera raw) vs a jpeg out. I'm not sure if aperture can export a copy of the raw that has been adjusted. Also, if someone knows how to make sure the EXIF data is also exported from aperture I'd appreciate it. If not i'll continue my google searches.
Posted Tue May 14, 2013 11:14AM
stick to JPG. EXIF data should stay embedded unless you specifically set program to delete it.
Posted Thu May 16, 2013 4:40PM
Posted By sabade:
Thanks all for the very constructive feedback, it is very helpful in my quest to understand what makes a good stock photograph.
Don't forget a good stock photograph should also be a good photograph. Don't get too hung up on the commercial aspect for your first three. There are a lot of Vetta images that only sell once or twice. You are trying to impress someone and show you are a decent photographer so out of everything you have shot are you sure these are the three images prove that?
And don't listen to mom because she will put anything you do on the fridge. I've been burned on that one before
(Edited on 2013-05-16 16:40:56 by shayes17)