16 Aug 2007 What Not to Submit
- Photos of poor technical quality
- Multiple photos of one object in different colors
- Ugly naked people
- Photographer’s feet
- Single tree in a field
- Skyscrapers and tall buildings
- Money / cash
- Blurred tail lights
- USB plugs and computer equipment
- Old camera equipment
iStockphoto provide a list of least needed images. Here’s some of them:
- Your dog or cat
- Immediate environment – computer equipment
- Light blurs
- Brick Walls
- Sunsets and clouds
- Airplane wings
- Your shadow
Notice any common themes? Feet, flowers and computer equipment are all overdone and not desired.
Are you guilty of submitting photos of some of these subjects? I am!
So What’s Best to Submit?
Look at What Sells – take a look at the top selling images on each microstock website. If they’re selling well, they’re in demand. Start your research here:
- iStockphoto’s list of needed images and most popular files
- Shutterstock’s top 50 most downloaded photos
- Fotolia make it easy with their TopSales pages
- BigStockPhoto image search ordered by popularity
Be Guided by Contests – Many microstock agencies run photo contests. Take the topics of their contests as hints about areas of their portfolio they’re looking to expand. If they want more photos of a particular topic, it’s because the topic is selling well but they could use some more images.
Aside from boring the reviewers and costing agencies the reviewer’s time, submitting these over-represented and “convenient” shots is not a good investment of your time. You’ll earn more money submitting well-taken shots of original subjects than gambling that some of your many easy-to-take shots will get through the reviewers.
Better quality and interesting shots will also get reviewed faster. Ever notices that your photos are not reviewed in order? Reviewers want to view appealing photos just like buyers.
Many microstock agencies say in their advice that a good stock photo is planned. This doesn’t mean you planned to take photos today and walked around your house shooting different objects. Do the research, find in-demand subjects or pick a specialty, and plan what the photos you’re going to shoot will look like.
The message coming through loud and clear is quality over quantity.