Tuesday, July 14, 2009

iStock Update

So when do the gold coins start falling from the sky?

I think we all tend to believe that selling your photos online will be easy. We think that once we post, the gold coins will start falling from the sky.

Last week, iStock accepted my application and I began uploading photos to their site.
Oh by the way, they limit me to 15 images a week. The upload process is not quite as easy as Flickr, there are no automated tools for Windows users, yet, so the files must go one by one. For each file, I filled in key words relevant to the image, categorized it and clicked the submit button. Ah yes, now I just sit back, rub my hands together and wait for the mail man.

So where's my check?

Immediately after upload, I checked the database to find the files, to see the result of my half-year-long pursuit. Wha,,, where are they? What does "Pending" mean? I checked the next day, and the next with still no results. Okay, I'm not excited anymore... I asked another photographer, Nicole Young, what to expect.

The Scouts

iStock uses a team of inspectors called Scouts who evaluate each image for composition, lighting, shadows, sharpness and a bunch of other things. Apparently the process takes 5 to 8 days. When they did get to my files, they sent me emails along the way. I got either:

Hello timlimon,

Your file "School Buses" has been accepted into to the iStockphoto collection.

Thank you for submitting your art to iStockphoto. You can view your file here:



Dear timlimon,

We regret to inform you that we cannot accept your submission, entitled Apple for the teacher ( http://www2.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/9915834/2/istockphoto_9915834-apple-for-the-teacher.jpg) for addition to the iStockphoto library for the following reasons:

We could not find a clear center focal point for this file.

For more information about iStock Focus Standards, please see:

:( :)

Its funny, but rejection spurs me onward. I get a little fire under my butt to go out and make a better image. I looked at each rejection and agreed with the inspector. This one is a tiny bit blurry (if I zoom waaay in), this one has dark shadows etc... Hey I'm getting free photo critique, cool!

So a week has gone by and here's my stats: 15 submissions, 6 accepts, 6 rejects, 3 still pending. I must say the rejections have got me to up my game considerably. Now I check the lighting very carefully, I look at the sharpness while zoomed waaaay in, I spend a lot more time planning, and thinking and evaluating each exposure, cause after all, we all hate rejection, right?

No comments: