In stock photography, sometimes the smallest thing can get an otherwise perfect photo rejected from an agency. Last issue, I sent you some photos that BSC Premium members submitted to their “Everyday People” Challenge to show you what they’re doing right, so you can do the same in your shots. If you missed that issue, you can read it here. Today, let’s look at three common issues I spotted in their photos that could get them rejected. Luckily, all three things are small and easy to avoid — but again, they’re common, so you could be doing them in your shots, too. Take a look at what they are, below, so you can make your photos more saleable every time you shoot. Fixable Issue #1: Too Much Clutter Here’s a photo from the Everyday People Challenge with too much clutter in the background: The expression on these peoples’ faces is priceless. Unfortunately, the mysterious object next to the woman’s head and the garden in the background are distracting. One thing the photographer could do is get up higher and shoot down towards the couple, eliminating the garden. They could also ask the couple to scoot over to the right, avoiding the object on the left. Then the photo would look something like this: Fixable Issue #2: Unintentional Cropping When you’re focusing your attention on the main subject of your photo, it’s easy to miss little details, like accidentally cropping off fingers and toes. This photo is such a great stock shot, except that the child is missing his right hand and just the tip of his left index finger, which is disturbing to the viewer. Make sure you’re looking around the entire image when you shoot — from top to bottom and left to right. In this stock photo, all of the child’s fingers are intact. Fixable Issue #3: On-Camera Flash This man has such a great look on his face, but the flash here is too intense, and will likely get the shot rejected for stock. See the dark line around his chin and in the folds of his shirt? That’s a tell-tale sign of on-camera flash. Try either shooting in natural light, or getting a flash or other light source that you can use off of your camera with a light diffuser such as a softbox or an umbrella. This stock photo was taken using one light off to the side, using what looks like a softbox or an umbrella to soften the light on his face. Notice that there are shadows, but they’re not harsh or distracting. If you don’t have a softbox, umbrella, or other light diffuser, you can also take an external flash and bounce it off of a wall or ceiling to light his face. Or, simply wait until the sun comes up. Note: If the you’re trying to capture a fleeting moment and the only way to get it is by using your on-camera flash, then by all means, take the photo. You may not be able to use it for stock, but you’ll have it as a memory and possibly for other uses. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.] Your Weekly Breakfast Dish The latest from your Breakfast StockClub Facebook Page Lots of successes, questions, and sharing inspiration going on over at the Breakfast StockClub Facebook page… From Phill Danze, who got into Shutterstock: Third time lucky, accepted into Shutterstock; interesting though that they failed pictures that on previous attempts had not failed; there’s that people factor again. From Patricia Yeamen: I’m wondering if I should register all of the photos I plan to send to stock agencies before I send them? What is the difference between registering and copywriting? Here’s an article from professional photographer Efrain Padro on this very issue. From Dana Evanger: When I crop a photo can it be custom or should I leave the photo ratio thing on?? See the answers on the Breakfast StockClub Facebook page.
Three Reasons Photos Get Rejected from Stock Agencies
by Bonnie Caton | May 2, 2011