Posted Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:49AM
If you are new to iStock, and are wondering what to do next, then why not post a message here to announce your arrival in the community. Everybody will be please to meet you. If you haven't already, reading the Introduction provides a good overview of how things work.
After that take a peek at the Civics Companion to get a good handle on the place.
The Help forum and FAQs are here to help you get on your feet. If you have any questions or there is something you don't understand just drop a message in the forum. There is bound to be somebody who can help you out.
If you are feeling a little lost, and can't find your way around the site - check out the site map. It may point you in the right direction.
There have also been many questions about keywords and "disambiguation". There are two excellent articles that should get you started:
Word Power (new and improved)
K is for Keywords (an oldie but a goodie)
If you have something to celebrate you can announce it in the "Woo Yay" thread at the top of the Off Topic Forum, where you'll also find various "races" to different milestones and even a gallery to showcase your first download.
After the last minute of the last hour of the last day of the Month (Calgary time) a thread starts up where everyone can share their sales stats for the previous month. Check this main forum around that time. Threads that pop up before that time will be locked.
Please keep celebrations there and hello's here. We've got over 30,000 contributors and over a million buyers, so it helps keep the forums from getting cluttered, as well as allowing the more experienced istockers to find threads where newbies are asking for help, and to provide answers.
Here's how to create "similar" links in your file descriptions.
If you have a question about a rejection you can seek peer feedback in the Critique Forum, and if it seems it was rejected in error you can submit it to Scout.
Here's a great run down of Who's Who.
Check out iStockscoop, which is a constantly updated, RSS enabled, and searchable archive of every great iStock related resource ever created.
Go make some connections in the Meetups forum!
Thanks, and welcome to iStock!
ps - If you are planning on becoming a photo contributor you might find my book Taking Stock helpful.
Here is a great Q&A for new contributors created by someone with a really cool first name:
Posted By RobMattingley:
As a contributor who started in January 2009 I have had a lot of questions and noticed that many other new contributors also were wondering the same things. So to try and reduce the number of posts asking similar questions, I thought I'd write up a FAQ of the most asked questions I've seen on the forums and answer them as a fellow relatively new contributor. If you are a new contributor and have a question, hopefully you can find your answer here!
One of my application images that got me accepted as a contributor was rejected into the collection. Why?
This is one of the most asked questions by new contributors. Essentially the application process is to see if you have the right tools to contribute here and the inspectors are looking for that specifically. However, once you are accepted as a contributor, your images then get viewed for their technical merit (rather than your potential), and sometimes they are not up to the quality standards of iStock. If you check your e-mail from when you were accepted to contribute, this is actually mentioned in there as well.
Some of my images were reviewed, but why can't I upload anymore files?
You are able to submit 15 images per week (168 hours). The clock for that particular "slot" opens up exactly one week after you submit. So if you upload 15 files on a Monday night, your upload slots will open up again one week later regardless if your files have been inspected or not. A resubmit also uses up an upload slot.
If I re-submit an image does it erase the previous rejection I got?
Every submission counts towards your acceptance rate, so if you resubmit an image that was previously rejected, it will affect your rate. For example, let's say you upload 15 images and get 5 accepts, 5 rejects, and 5 rejects with a resubmit. Your current acceptance rate will be 33% (5/15). Now let's say you resubmit the 5 with that option and they are all accepted. Your acceptance rate will now be 50% (10/20).
How long does it take to have my files reviewed?
The inspectors here at iStock do an amazing job with the number of files they get through in a day. Typically for a new contributor it will take around a week to get your files reviewed. However, based on the size of the queue at any given time, this could fluctuate a bit (if the queue is less than 30,000 it might be down to 3-4 days and if the queue is over 50,000 it could take 8-9 days). All that being said, if your file hasn't been reviewed 14 days after you submitted it, send Contributor Relations a note with the file number and ask them (politely) to look into it for you.
One of my earlier submissions was reviewed before a later one. Is something weird going on?
Inspectors take images from the queue in batches and not in a "first in, first out" methodology. Don't be concerned about your file getting lost until it's been sitting there for 14 days.
Pending executive? What does that mean?
Sometimes an inspector sees something in your image that they want a second opinion on (typically with a potential copyright issue, but not always). The file then goes into the "pending executive" queue where it gets looked at again by another inspector to determine if it should be allowed. This process can sometimes take a while so be patient.
Who or what is Scout?
Scout is your "second chance" so to speak. If you feel that your image was rejected in error or if you want to know more about the rejection you received, fill out a Scout support ticket and make your case. You are limited to three Scout tickets a month so use them wisely. If your file does get overturned, this will improve your acceptance rate (because the rejection will turn into an acceptance). This process will typically take a month or so. Also, when dealing with the Scout team, I would suggest taking a deep breath before you fill out your ticket as anger and hostility will get you nowhere.
When do I have to use a model release?
The safest answer is that if there is a human in the image, you need a model release. However, if you have a generic hand shot, it probably won't be needed. HERE is a great article written by Sirimo and theprint that can give you all the details. Just remember that you need a new release for every shoot (including family members). You can have a "catch-all" release for self portraits however. But read the article and then read it again. It has all the information you'll need.
I signed up with a stupid username like crawlinghomedrunk. Can I change this?
Yes, if you send Contributor Relations a note with a new username you'd like (case sensitive) they can change it for you in a day or two. Remember this is a business and a stupid username can scare away potential buyers.
How long will it take to get my first download?
It can take anywhere from a couple days to a few months. It really depends on the quality of your portfolio and a bit of luck. Right now we have over 6 million images on iStock so a portfolio of 10 images will be tough to find. There is a mantra that gets used frequently around here: Shoot, Upload, Repeat. If you do that and upload quality images, downloads will eventually come. Be patient and don't give up.
Yay! I got a download!
Congratulations! iStock has set up a Woo-Yay forum just for this type of thing. Go in and post all about it there, but no need to start a new thread. The current Woo-Yay is always stickied to the top of the Off-Topic thread.
How much do you big contributors make in a year?
For some reason this question gets asked quite a bit by new contributors. Possibly because they want to determine if it's "worth it" or something. I'm not sure as this is one that never really crossed my mind. However, 95% of contributors who are bronze or above probably won't answer this because really, why should they? It is private information and you'll come across a lot better by not asking it.
Artifacts? Overfilterd? What's going on?
So you got a rejection that you didn't understand? Go on over to the Critique Request forum and post a 100% watermarked copy of your image and you will get some help from the community. You will get honest feedback so prepared to hear both the good and the bad.
What is Best Match and how does it work?
Best Match is the default sort method in iStock. It ranks the search results based on a number of factors that none of us mere mortals are privy to. Just make sure that you keyword your image well with relevant keywords (and no spam keywords) and your image should do fine.
I can't find my image in the search results!
It will generally take around 24 hours for your files to show up in your portfolio and in searches. If you can see the file in your portfolio but still can't find it in your search, you might be searching incorrectly. The search works based on your keywords and not the title or description of your image. If you are searching for two keywords at once, perhaps try putting quotes around each set. While there are sometimes glitches (when the entire search is down), I'm sure your file is there somewhere!
Why can't I make my private lightbox turn public?
Public lightboxes require at least 20 files with at least one from another contributor. However, it is always good form to have more images from others than yourself as that is the point of a public lightbox.
Best Month Ever! There is also BWE, BDE, and a whole lot more. emyerson has created a great list of all the acronyms HERE.
How do I link similar images?
A lot of people like to link other images for buyers to see. HERE is a great tutorial (once again from our friend emyerson).
What exactly is a Creative Network?
Think of this like a friend on Facebook. It essentially connects you to another contributor. There is no prize for having the biggest CN so you should just try to keep it to people who have helped you, people you respect, or friends you may have made here. When adding someone to your CN I would highly suggest putting in some comments as to why you are trying to add them - a lot of people won't accept your without one.
Those crowns look pretty sweet! How do I get one?
To become exclusive with iStock you will need 500 downloads and a 50% acceptance rate. You also can't have images available elsewhere - so if you plan to go exclusive, you will need to remove them from other sites ahead of time (and some sites require six months so think ahead).
Other General Comments/Suggestions
This is a great community of people willing to help so always try to stay civil in your forum posts. Sure you can poke fun of people - but do it in a good natured way. Another thing you should try to avoid is deleting your original post in a thread! This doesn't make the thread go away and it makes the thread somewhat useless as there will be answers to a question people don't know. I would also suggest trying to be active in the forums as much as you can. This is a great place to be and you can learn a lot. I highly suggest checking out all the different forums and read as much as you can. This is a great place to learn!
I hope this was helpful! I'm sure there are some questions I may have forgot, so another handy reference for new iStockers is HERE (from our friend sjlocke) and HERE (from another Rob, sylvanworks). The official iStock FAQ can be found HERE.
Good luck with your journey here!
ASIDE: I am not an Admin and the opinions expressed here are my own and in no way should be taken as official.
Posted By Box5:
When will I receive tax forms for my iStock earnings?
iStock does not send tax forms to contributors residing outside of Canada. Contributors outside of Canada should keep track of their earnings and consult a tax advisor in their country and comply with all laws regarding taxation of earnings. iStock does not give tax advice to contributors.
(Edited on 2010-06-13 06:18:39 by sylvanworks)
(Edited on 2011-05-05 10:55:06 by sylvanworks)
Posted Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:51AM
Hi, and thanks for the invitation! Joined in March and already hooked. Learning about artifacts, though..
my first photos
Posted Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:26PM
Been around for a week or so... thanks heaps to the patient inspectors who put up with my submissions 5 times!
Hoping to learn much here and improve my photography!
Posted Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:30PM
Hey its me again!
I Said hi in the other thread but since there is a new one!!!!
Posted Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:52AM
hi I've been here for a little over a year now and got over 800 images (some sell better then others). Never announced my arrival so I thought better late then never or is it too late?
Posted Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:33AM
brand new...excited about iStock...love to see your images and read your thoughts...feel behind already...just running behind you trying to catch up...
my first efforts
thanks for the chance to announce...
Posted Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:24AM
Yeah... I´m new too...
Very few photos now, but it is going to change!
Posted Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:35AM
Hi everyone here at i-Stock, I am new and it seems slow to get reviewed on this site, but am excited to be here and sell my work.
Posted Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:56AM
Hey all! I just "got accepted" this morning and I'm stoked! I love taking pictures and am hopeful to make a little money as I do. I'm also hoping that the istock requirements will force me to get better.
Posted Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:02PM
Hello to everyone! I was one of the last to announce arrival in the old thread, but I want to be one of the first ones on the new one! I have 3 files accepted since a week ago, one download. That's a happy start! I think this will be fun.
Posted Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:53PM
Same here (newcomer that is) - got through the first wave of "approval" and now waiting on my first uploads to take. Looking forward to sharing my images with the world and seeing if there is an interest out there for them.
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:23AM
I joined a month ago and love it here! I do wedding and portrait photography, but enjoy taking pictures of just about everything. At the moment, I have an even dozen images in my portfolio, but hopefully that will change soon since my upload limit is maxed out.
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:08PM
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:43PM
Huge welcome to everyone. I look forward to seeing you all build your portfolios.
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:05AM
Hi,everybody at Istock,I'm newcomer, I'm very glad to meet you at here !
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:07PM
Welcome & enjoy!
Posted Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:00PM
HI, I just joined and waiting from my first images to get approved. So far, I especially like the fact that the people who do the reviews of the uploaded picutres take their time to comment on every single photo. Thank you for that!
Posted Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:02PM
Posted Sat Apr 21, 2007 5:28AM
Welcome To iStock everyone and... Don't ever forget to have fun!
Posted Sat Apr 21, 2007 5:37PM
I'm pretty new here (two weeks?) and it seem really nice so far.
Don't forget to check out my photos!