I know that when you submit photos to stock photo agencies that there are certain standards, certain criteria, that you have to meet before an image will even be looked at. Things like the format of the image; most accept JPG but there are some that also want the RAW file or even a TIFF image. They also have a few things to say about the size of the file they generally don’t like it if you try to increase the size of the image; I have been told that’s a big no-no for most all stock sites. I know from experience that if you have a dirty sensor and there are spots, specks, and hairs that show up in the photo they are not going to accept it. [Thanks for getting my camera cleaned D!] Over filtering is another thing that will get an image rejected; you should only sharpen slightly and only when you really need it. You will also need to pay attention to the composition, crop carefully, make sure the subject is straight, adjust the curves and levels as needed, and if you are lucky enough to have the software to do it then reduce the noise too.
Yes, I know there are a lot of important things that if overlooked will get what you thought was an awesome image rejected, and sometimes a site just has far too many similar images and just doesn’t need another shot of a well covered subject; but sometimes I think it just comes down to the personal opinion of the reviewer on the other end. For example this series of photos I took recently in a rainy rose garden which 123rf accepted practically overnight, while Fotolia and Dreamstime both rejected them for a variety of reasons. Rejected from two sites for everything from “no stock value” and “too much noise”, to “poor composition”, and “poor lighting”; while accepted quickly and receiving compliments from a third. Hum. I know that technically they are not the best rose photos around but I did think that they were OK, and I know that there probably is less call for a rainy rose garden photo than there is for an ice-cold glass of bubbly soda but really I wonder if this just might be a case of things coming down to personal opinion. After all if the reviewer doesn’t like it it’s not going to be accepted. So I’ll say Thank You to the kind reviewer at 123rf who found some worth in my rose garden photos and to the reviewers at the other two sites who did not accept them; I’m sorry, I’ll try to do better next time.