First of all apologies for the click-bait title but trust me this will be a useful quick post since you’ve probably noticed that in the past few months SS reviewers have suddenly become very strict.
Now, getting ridiculous rejections is nothing new and I’ve written about my most ridiculous rejections.
From 99% acceptance to (roughly) 40%, overnight
From around September 2019, something drastically changed at Shutterstock HQ when I started receiving a flurry of technical rejections (focus, noise, lighting, etc.). One theory is that they’ve started using AIs on first submissions…
I found it very strange since I’ve been using the same equipment for a good 6 years and know the ideal settings like the back of my hand…as well as how to post-process. Allow me to illustrate the ridiculousness of the situation with the following now-common rejection reasons:
Here’s one rejected for focus
Here’s one clip rejected for Lighting (haven’t had this one for literally years!)
So i re-submitted the above content without any modifications and lo and behold, they were accepted. This suggests that there must be a separate, less strict, review on a second or third try (since I assume that most contributors don’t bother to re-submit). However, difficult to speculate for sure what’s exactly going on behind the scenes…it really doesn’t matter as long as they get through and are potentially useful to buyers. Here’s the batch as accepted within my port, which you can view right here:
Thanks, Mauro, for being my stock prop on the apps shoot!
As for the big cruise ship, I’m pretty certain that it should have never been accepted due to the nasty flickering…for once I agree with the reviewers! The real-time looks OK though, what do you think, Doug?
Give it a go
So my tip is that it’s worth insisting to get your images accepted at SS. Once in a while you may have to make some slight tweaks, such as add noise reduction or in the case of focus rejections, export at lower resolutions.
At any other agency I’d probably give up to be honest as just not worth the effort, especially at the Microstock Minnows.
Good luck on your re-submissions.
I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage. I’ve devoted six years to making it as a travel photographer / videographer and freelance writer (however, had recently go back into full-time office work to make ends meet!). I hope to inspire others by showing an unique insight into a fascinating business model.
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