When I met Yan (From Hiding to Blogging), two months ago, she told me she had become a ShutterStock contributor, and she encouraged me to sign up. Later she sent me a couple of links: a link to her photo gallery and a link for signing up to become a contributor.
“Why not?” I thought. After all, what am I going to do with those flower or tree photos?
But I really enjoyed my life as it was… peaceful, no pressure, and I could do nothing whenever I liked to, so, I didn’t take any action, even though I told her I was interested.
A month ago, I suddenly had a desire of starting a new project. After pondering for a while and couldn’t come up with a brilliant one, I decided to give Shutterstock a try; So, I submitted a photo.
Right away, I was rejected with the reason: “Unnecessary release”! It took me a while to figure out that while I thought I was releasing my photo to them, I was, actually, tried to submit a model release form. Okay, my fault. I didn’t read the instruction carefully! That’s easy to fix.
Next rejection: “not focused”. Why? I had followed the instruction zooming in my photo 100% to make sure it was focused. Could it be their standard is higher?
Found a better photo and tried again, and soon received another rejection: “not focused”. Slight hand shake? I started practicing every day, holding camera this way, that way and reading my camera manual page by page (embarrassedly, first time 😉
When I was finally satisfied with my photo, I submitted again. And, again, I was rejected with “not focused”. What do they want? I got totally confused, and even started having some self-doubt… maybe I can never be a good photographer… maybe I should give up…
Seeing “someone” frustrated his wife, my husband got upset. “That’s ridiculous! Your camera wouldn’t even allow you to shoot if it is not focused.”
My husband was right. I’ve set my camera that way. But was he totally right?
After taking a two-day break, I gave a lot of thoughts on this whole situation and came up with some possibilities: hands shake after focusing, the spot I focused on was not the ideal spot, or the size of the area that I focused on was not quite right.
That did it. Things became easier after I figured out the real problem. I was finally accepted as a contributor. 😉 It didn’t take me long to find out that even as a contributor, your photo might still get rejected. But I, actually, like rejection now, because, so far, every rejection had taught me something. 😉
I am grateful to ShutterStock reviewers; I have grown a lot as a photographer from my experience. I’ve also learned something about stock photographing. There are people who make good money in selling stock photos or referring people to join, but it is not easy for sure.
So far, I only have 32 photos in ShutterStock. In case you are curious… here is the link for my photo gallery. (Sometime, ShutterStock will direct you to their home page and you have to refresh to see my photos.)
And… Yan’s photo gallery (She has 1000+ 😉
(Hope you don’t mind, Yan.)
P.S. This light house photo was rejected because I don’t have a model release. Since I don’t know the lady (she happened to be there when I took the photo), I ended up cropping her out.)
Thanks for visiting my blog.