My latest images for sale at Shutterstock:

Friday, 29 October 2010

Acceptance rates for the first fifty images

I have now had my first fifty images reviewed at all the sites I have uploaded to with the exception of Veer. Two weeks on, my images are still in their queue and from what I have heard I may have to wait a month or two more yet. It is pretty ridiculous, but the situation was aparently caused by their 'dash for cash' promotion where they offered cash for each image uploaded before a certain date. Once that backlog has cleared then Veer hope to have review times down to a week, but that hasn't happened yet. They aparently have a big marketing push booked for this autumn so hopefully the files that do make it onto the site will see some sales.

The list below shows how many of my fifty images have been accepted at each site: (I haven't made these up btw - they have just worked out weirdly sequential).

Canstock - 41/50 = 82%
Dreamstime - 42/50 = 84%
Fotolia - 43/50 = 86%
Bigstock - 44/50 = 88%
DepositPhotos - 45/50 = 90%
Shutterstock - 29/50 = 58%

I know it is a small sample, but the results are fairly uniform until you get to the Shutterstock figure. The fact that it is so wildly out does give me some comfort - it is not me, it really is Shutterstock being very picky. Probably the most head-shaking example was when they rejected a shot of Edinburgh Castle for 'limited commercial value' (well, who wants to look at that old thing anyway?!).

The results from the other sites I am totally fine about. 47 of these images were previously accepted on iStock - two were new images and one was an iS reject. As I said in answer to an earlier comment, inspection is a subjective process and I did not ever expect 100% of these images to be accepted at all sites. This is some of my best stuff though, so acceptance rates of 80-odd percent seem about right. It's probably petty of me, but I was very pleased that the iS reject was accepted everywhere ....

Even though quite a lot of my images were rejected at Shutterstock there is still hope for them on that site. It seems to only be iStock that does the 'can resubmit/cannot resubmit' thing, the other sites all seem to be fine about resubmissions (as an unrelated new upload) once the problem is fixed. Two things I have learnt though from my SS rejects - they don't like shallow DOF nor do they want images which are cropped in any way, even if this provides more impact for the image. I wanted to show you an example, but I can't get the 'add image' thingy to work on here, so you will have to click on this link if you want to see an example of an image that didn't make it on many sites, aparently as the crop made it unlikely to be used. This cheesy little number has sold 19 times on iStock since I uploaded it at the begining of the year (so relatively successful for me). There were some images I uploaded knowing that there was a chance they would be challenged, but this one really surprised me.

Things have moved very quickly at Fotolia - my images were all inspected within 24 hours and I have had a couple of sales there already. I wish I could say the same about Dreamstime, but after my account was locked down (something to do with me telling them I was still exclusive at iS when I registered - registration and uploading being entirely different things after all) my images took two weeks to be inspected and they do not yet appear to be visible for sale. I have heard good things about Dreamstime so I will try and stay patient and put it down to teething troubles.

That is probably it for now, I will post something on Monday once I have the final figures for October.


  1. It will be interesting to see how your overall sales compare to your istock exclusive sales when you have your whole portfolio available everywhere.
    Are you looking to drip feed in your 600 images or get them up as quickly as possible?

  2. Definately looking to get them up as quickly as possible to try and match my former exclusive income. Real Life has been getting in the way a bit lately and also I am rapidly running out of upload allowance on my crappy internet connection, but that is the goal.

  3. Scour the streets for unsecured wifi connections. I uploaded about 400 images that way, thank you neighbours for not knowing how to secure their internet connection

  4. You were right about Stockfresh. I put in my app on the 26th of October and got this note on the 28th. Glad I am getting ready for life without a crown early. Maybe I'll be approved by the time I'm able to submit/sell (end of January, beginning of February in the New Year).

    "Dear risamay,

    Thank you very much for applying as a contributor. Due to the overwhelming interest in Stockfresh it might take a long time to get approved. We are working round the clock to get as much content online as possible and we will take care of you application as soon as we can. Thank you very much for your understanding!

    Best regards,
    The Stockfresh Team"

  5. Yeah, you need to be careful - some agencies will put your application images up for sale immediately if accepted, which would breach the terms of your exclusive contract if you didn't time it right....