How to SHOOT and EDIT photos for Shutterstock ?

Quick Tips for Getting Into Stock Photography

To be approved as a shutterstock contributor, you need to submit 10 initial pictures for approval. I got mine 8 or 9 out of 10 approved with the first try, but make sure you read this post to avoid errors as much as you can. Your First Shutterstock Submission and Application Success– by Shutterstock The Ingredients of Top-Selling Images and Videos Untitled-Captured-01 Rejections are frustrating. There is no second opinion about that. Remember, no matter how good you get , you will still get them. And no, it’s not personal. It’s business. I would like to share my experience so far with approvals and rejections on shutterstock and how to improve your acceptance rate. I am sure there are more and different ways to do it, every photographer has its own way of working. In addition to the submitter guidelines, I would like to give some more tips from experience.

1.FOCUS – Focus is a tricky one. But as a general rule – try getting everything in focus. For this, shoot with tripod when light is low to avoid camera shake and make sure to have all your sensors active and as much of them flashing, when composing your shot. I have on my canon a A-Dep mode , that is for – foreground and background in focus. But you can aswell pick the “landscape” mode if you shoot in jpg. Of course photos with shallow depth of field are accepted too. But for macro. If you shoot landscapes, cityscapes or buildings , make sure you have everything in focus. For this, check the picture at 100% resolution. This used to be my main rejection reason in the beginning.
The 10 biggest reasons your shots are soft (and how to avoid it)

2. COMPOSITION – Angles and Lines: How to Avoid a ‘Composition’ Rejection

3.NO PEOPLE – unless you are able to get them signing model releases . Otherwise any photo with recognizable person will be rejected for missing model release.

Focus issues

4.PICTURE SIZE –  The picture size has to be over 4 mpix for shutterstock. Anything under is rejected by the system. So before submitting, check the file size.

4 mpx min

5.WHITE BALANCE –  It is easy to correct the white balance of a RAW file with “Digital Photo Professional”. You can choose either the eyedropper tool and click on a spot of the photo that is supposed to be white. Tadaa!!! Miracle! Or you can adjust the colour temperature, depending of what your light source or time of the day was. But for the correct white balance for shutterstock, it is still something I need to get better at. Тhere’s a trick I read , about how to get the color casts out in Photoshop and it’s the following – Image > Adjustments > Match color and than on the pop-up window check the “neutralize”. It work most of the times , but still trust your eyes first. Practical White Balance and Why You Should Learn It! Perfecting and Playing with White Balance

6.POOR LIGHTING/ HARSH SHADOWS – are another rejection reason. These are the shadows you get by direct sun or any direct light source hitting the subject. As a general rule , avoid shooting under direct sun. Either wait for a cloudy day , or use something between the sun and the subject. Be it a tree, woods, umbrella , reflector, white sheet. Anything that will put your subject under shade. Harsh shadows are actually a great thing to keep in mind while shooting. And even though there are some great portraits where harsh shadows are used to enhance the structure of the subject (especially if black and white), the truth is that harsh shadows are to be avoided.Because like in a blown out sky, everything in the shadows lacks detail and colour. Light Advice: Avoid Rejection for ‘Poor Lighting’ or ‘Lighting Problems’

Poor lighting

7.NOISE – How to Avoid a Visual ‘Noise’ Rejection – a tutorial by shutterstock

8. PURPLE FRINGE – “purple fringing is the term for an out-of-focus purple or magenta “ghost” image on a photograph.” read more in wikipedia

as a general rule, avoid any logos , brands , trademarks. If they can’t be avoided, make sure to erase them in post production. With your editing program, remove ANY signs, logos and inscriprtions the you see on your picture. Roman signs and numbers too. I had the following photo rejected three times before it got finally accepted on the fourth attempt. There was a sign saying “blacksmith” in german on the left building and another inscription “firefighters headquarters” (again in geman) on the central building. But  of course the reviewers are americans, they have not much to do with german.
Why Was My Image Rejected For Trademark? 4 Ways to Use the Warp Command in Photoshop

Submitting Editorial Content, Part 1: Illustrative Editorial


Do I Need a Photo Release For That?


Finally accepted

11. TITLE and KEYWORDS – how to choose them

SEO on Shutterstock: How to Help Customers Find Your Images on Google
Be Descriptive! The Secret to Optimizing Your Shutterstock Content

How to Master the Art and Science of Keywording Your Images

12.SUBMITTING EDITORIAL CONTENT – Special rules for capiton apply to editorial photos. Read more Editorial, Tips More posts about stock photography and how to sell your photos > here. Today , maybe not by coincidence , shutterstock posted An introduction to shooting for shutterstock presentation. Well written and explained. Take a look also at Top 5 Reasons Photos are Rejected by Stock Photography Sites & How to Avoid Them To download from shutterstock , you need to subscribe to the site by clicking here. The subscribtion itself is free.They offer one free photo and illustration or vector per week, but if you want to download a specific picture, you will have to pay for it.The subscribtion plans have different options, starting from €39.00 EUR for 5 all jpeg and vector sizes or 12 small and medium size photos. Announcing: Shutterstock’s New Editorial Guidelines If you want to give it a try and sell your photos on shutterstock , you can register here. I would be glad to help if you have questions on your first 10 photos to submit. better read the Shutterstock contributor success guide

33 Things That You Control to Increase Earnings and Success on SS

What You Need To Know About Licensing Your Work

Seven Signs You Are Becoming a Photographer How to Create Great Photos without Leaving Home 33 Things That You Control to Increase Earnings and Success America’s Most Powerful CEOs 40 And Under – No. 16 Jonathan Oringer Company: Shutterstock, Inc., Market Cap: $835 million, Age: 38

One thought on “How to SHOOT and EDIT photos for Shutterstock ?

  1. right! its a long process! we learn everyday! one thing I am sure they rarely reject isolations or people unless its a apple but even a apple might be approved 😀

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