I had a few more rejects from Dreamstime (12 of 16 images approved, 4 images pending) which are listed on this page. Also, of 19 submissions to Fotolia, 11 were approved, which is about what I expected. Dreamstime is more lenient than Fotolia, at least from what I've heard. I'll post more about my recent experiences with Fotolia in the future -- the tentative title is called 'Fun with Keywording the Second Time'...
The light-painted cash shot that opens the post isn't too much of a surprise; microstock hates underexposure, especially if certain items (like the coins) aren't recognizable. I should have known better on that one. Oddly enough, Fotolia approved the image. Other low key images haven't done well, including the Angry Blender (didn't bother submitting it to Fotolia) and Jeju Sunrise (FT rejected, DT pending). On all these images I actually spent a lot of time playing with the image to improve contrast -- I tried doing an HDR-type process on Jeju Sunrise but the sand had a lot of artifacts so I put that off and submitted the low-key version.
My two bee images took a hit too on both sites, although I went in to the process knowing the detail wasn't quite there in both images. The second image I went back and forth on submitting it because the composition just didn't seem right (and that nasty shadow on the bee's back) but went ahead and submitted it anyway.
Both images were rejected from DT for poor lighting/contrast/exposure and subject too common or two specific. The better of the images (the first) made it through at Fotolia though and the second was rejected for quality of the photograph.
Really surprising with the rejection of both fuchsia shots at Fotolia for overabundant photo category. While they have a ton of fuchsia shots, one one is on black and it seems significantly different from my shots. Personally, I was a bit surprised the shots were accepted at Dreamstime because I blew some highlights and couldn't get them back. Oh well...
Even more surprising was Fotolia's rejection of my Green Stairway shot from Jeju. They said that:
The photographs in the Fotolia database are intended for sale as illustration of brochures, magazines, websites, and presentations. Your photographic work is excellent but does not meet the needs of the Fotolia customer base.Sorry, but I disagree on that one. It's a solid image that has more merit than many of my other shots that were accepted!
Finally, Fotolia rejected three shots which included the Stanford dish (I don't have them elsewhere on the site, but they are pretty good -- I'll see if I can add them to this post tonight). They cited quality of the photograph, but I really don't see that. Those images were technically pretty good and I feel like they maybe rejected for another reason. Oh well, I'll see how they do at Dreamstime in a few days.
This post might seem like a big complaint about my rejections, but it is anything but. In 75% of cases, I agree with the rejections (and I feel that some of my shots should have been rejected but weren't). More importantly, I'm putting this stuff up to give anyone new to microstock an idea of what is declined, refused, and rejected.
The rejections don't bother me that much. At this point, I'm getting more worried about the commercial nature of my portfolio in general and the economics of it all. But that's another post altogether...