If you’ve been in this game long enough you’ll receive your fair share of rejections that leave you scratching your head. At best you’ll probably just shrug them off and re-submit, at worst it’s enough to lose faith in the whole review process and want to throw in the towel, especially considering the diminishing returns lately.
In this blog post I’ll share with you my four most ridiculous QC rejections. Do you have any you would like to share, if so please comment below!
Ridiculous Rejection #4
Reason: Property release required
WTF? Talk about donkey reviewers! Of course this donkey, captured in Ecuador, belongs to someone but asking to track down the owner and sign a release is taking the legal requirements to the extreme! Crappy Canstock, gonna ditch you soon.
Ridiculous Rejection #3
Reason: Shot at closed event requiring Press Credentials
WTF? From looking at the image you can see that I shot the Danish Pavilion during the Rio 2016 Olympics from a public beach. I wrote back to the agency explaining the facts and was eventually included into the collection. Even though it was perhaps not the most ridiculous of reasons, it was frustrating since the image had time-sensitive value, as it was during the Olympics and they had just set up the pavilion, thus I wanted to have it up asap. By the time they included it in the collection (after many emails and waiting) it was probably too late to cash in.
Ridiculous Rejection #2
Reason: Graffiti “art”
WTF? Seriously? I have to zoom in at 200% to be able to see some “art” on a cityscape building. It’s a piece of cake to clone these out but why are they being such pricks about it when it’s only visible with a magnifying glass? Below is a rejection at SS but as you can see the “art” was more prominent than this example above. I wrote about dealing with graffiti rejections on this blog post.
Ridiculous Rejection #1
Reason: European castle/palace
WTF? Just look at the damn picture, QC Reviewer. Are they using bots?…seems likely…
Bonus Ridiculous Rejection
Thanks Adam Melnyk, Based in Vancouver, Canada, for sending me this rejection by Dreamstime. Hope you managed to get the release in the end!
QC only cares about not getting sued
As mentioned earlier, I rarely ever receive actual technical rejections (focus, composition, lighting, etc.). Do you? Perhaps my photography skills have improved over the years (I hope), but more likely, the Agencies are just overlooking these since they don’t present any legal risks.
As a result, the number of images accepted have risen dramatically in the past few years. A quick search for new images on SS, for instance and you’ll see an abundance of images which will probably never sell for inferior technicals as well as low commercial value.
However, when it comes rejections which are more related to legalities I truly understand that the agency/photographer may have potential (yet unlikely) legal issues should an image be accepted as commercial that may infringe on someone’s rights. That’s fine, but common sense should prevail.
The other extreme – Adobe Stock
Even if this is a brutally honest blog, I need to be careful what I type here.
I’m slightly concerned that Adobe Stock / Fotolia has taken a very liberal view on which types of images they may accept to license as commercial. These include images with CLEARLY identifiable people/property/logos. As most of you are aware, they do not accept editorials into their regular collection.
For instance, the following image I captured of a homeless man sleeping rough which was rejected by all the other agencies as commercial, except for AS:
There are many more examples but at this stage I don’t want to go into more detail. At this stage I prefer to research on whether the agency indemnifies (protects) the photographer in case they accept a “restricted” image as commercial. Will be back soon.
Not great to end in such a negative note but I think this is an important topic. Has anybody noticed the same?
I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted five years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.
I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography
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