The most successful stock photographers almost never get photo rejections from agencies. It happens, but not that often.

Is it because their photos are always perfect? No.

It’s because they have a few tricks up their sleeve. And one of those tricks is called downsizing.

Here are three of the top reasons photos get rejected from stock agencies:

Noise – Remember film “grain”? Noise is kind of the same thing. The higher your ISO when you take a photo, the more noise you’re likely to have. It often shows up in the dark areas of your photo, and looks like a sandy texture, or like TV static.

Blur – The main subject of your photo should always be in sharp focus. If it’s a little blurry, it could either be that the lens focused in the wrong area, or your shutter speed was a little slow, making the whole image a little blurry.

Compression – Compression happens when your camera “compresses” the image file and throws out some data so you can fit more pictures on your memory card. Always make sure you shoot either in RAW, or at the highest quality possible on your camera. It usually shows up all over the photo and looks sort of like pixilation or tiny blocks where the image should look smooth.

The easiest way to spot all three of the above is to zoom in and view your photos at 100% in your computer.

If you don’t see any problems, then great! Upload to your agencies and hope for the best.

But if you see some blur, noise, or compression in your photo when you view it at 100%, you may be able to fix it by downsizing the image.

The idea is that if you make your image file smaller, problems won’t be as noticeable.

It’s quick to do in Lightroom. When you export an image, select “resize to fit,” and fill the minimum size requirement for your agency. For me, that’s 4.1 megapixels.

I made a quick video showing how it’s done for Breakfast Stock Club Premium members. You can access it on your Premium Member Page at

This is a great trick that many pros use to fix slightly out-of-focus or noisy images… but it won’t work if the problems are too severe.

Of course, it’s always better to try and get technically perfect photos straight out of your camera, but everyone makes mistakes from time to time. When that happens, give this trick a try.

Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.

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