Rejected As A Stock Photographer…For Now

Ready for Another Balinese Ceremony - Sanur Bali

For the last while now, I’ve been playing with the idea of submitting some of my photos for stock photography.  I always thought I’d be selling my soul and nearly giving away my work for near nothing, so I’ve avoided it for some time.  However, the prospect of making some extra money from photos that otherwise just sit on hard drives has become more appealing, as is the possibility of seeing some of my photos in print somewhere.

So, last week I opened an account on a popular stock photography site, went through the application process (test included), and uploaded a few samples as required before formally being accepted to contribute to the site.  Choosing which photos to submit proved to be more challenging than I originally thought, and I finally settled for the three shots on this page; not because I thought they were my best photos by any means, but mainly because….well, I honestly don’t know why I chose these three.  I figured they showed good detail, interesting subject matter, and vibrant colour, among other things.

After pressing “submit”, I really had no idea what type of response I’d receive.  Part of me wanted my samples to pass the approval process, but another part of me didn’t want them to, so I could say that stock photography was definitely not for me.

24 hours later I received an email:  REJECTION!  My first real rejection letter.  And to be honest, it felt kind of good.  It meant I didn’t have to give my photos away for mere cents, and I wouldn’t be selling my soul after all!

Here’s a snippet of the formal rejection, which frankly, was quite kind:

At this time we regret to inform you that we did not feel the overall composition of your photography or subject matter is at the minimum level of standard for ***********. Please take some time to review training materials, resources and articles provided through ***********. The photographs provided in your application should be diverse in subject matter, technical ability and should be your best work. Think conceptual, creative and most important think Stock photography. Try to avoid the average eye level push the button perspective of a common subject. Try and impress us, we want to see how you stand out from the crowd.

Getting Setup for a Ceremony in Ubud

Tiki Wood Carving - Hawaii

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Categories: Bali, Hawaii, Worth Sharing

Author:Thomas & Katherine

A love for travel, adventure, and photography. We just can't help but write about it!

4 Comments on “Rejected As A Stock Photographer…For Now”

  1. March 18, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    I share similar hopes but won’t sell cheap. The digital age has turned almost everyone into a photographer and if you take enough shots, you’re bound to get something decent in the end, even if it’s one in a thousand and stock works on bulk. An artist’s eye and understanding is still needed and that can’t be bought from Amazon. Worth remembering someone rejected the Beetles once.


    • March 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      And, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team! :)
      Thanks for the comment! Enjoyed looking at your pics on your blog!


  2. March 18, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    STUNNING STUNNING photos!! They are mad to reject you. I have such a travel bug it’s scary! Thank you for bringing this to us. It is inspiring!! You have a great blog! Do visit mine at:


    • March 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      Hi Tamika,
      Haha…thanks for the comment! You made us laugh. Really enjoyed looking at your blog. We’ll definitely follow you and watch for updates! :)


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