Dear Adobe and contributors,
I am a successful photographer with more than 20 years of assignment experience. I was a staff photographer for the Houston Post and the Denver Post along with a few smaller newspapers. Additionally, as a freelance photographer, I have photographed in 160 countries and had more than 300 magazine and annual report covers.
After years of successful stock sales through two now-defunct stock agencies, I turned to Adobe with hopes that your model of stock photography distribution would become standard.
I started by submitting just a few images and the first thing I realized was that either Adobe utilizes unqualified editors, or perhaps a computer-based editing system. I say this because of the rejection reasons: “Intellectual Property Violation”, “Non Compliant Content”, “Grain/Noise problem,“Exposure Issue” and more.
The “intellectual property violation” pops up frequently — most recently for me, it came this AM when one of my files was declined. The photograph was a 16mm wide shot of the cobblestoned city center in Antwerp, Belgium. Riding the tailwind of that rejection came another — “Exposure Issue” used to describe a perfectly exposed and quite lovely shot of detail in Antwerp.
The “Exposure Issue” seems to be a recurring rejection theme for me. If I submit a beautiful, dramatic and creative frame, it seems that it will likely be rejected because of an exposure issue. One photograph in particular that received such rejection has sold dozens of prints while on display in my gallery.
I end my venting with this — A recently rejected photograph that was labeled as having a “Focus Issue” was used in a national advertising campaign. It did not have a focus issue by the way.
Briefly perusing the contributor forums, I see I am not alone. I know this is a new undertaking and there will be bumps in the road, but Adobe, if you are listening, please evaluate the who's and hows of your content collecting. I Suspect there may be many like me who will be quit submitting photographs to unqualified editors and insulting rejections.
[Moved from the Stock Contributor Critique forum into the general Stock Contributor's support forum (since there are no images here to critique) - moderator]
Thank you very much for the feedback. I took a look at your submitted content and found a few IP rejections that were appropriately rejected. One example was a bicyclist in which you could clearly see the face of the rider though no release was attached, another was a boat in motion on the water though the boat name is clearly identifiable and no property release was attached.
Since we are selling commercial licenses it's important and trademarked elements of recognizable people or property featured in an image is accompanied by a signed release. I saw another image that did have releases attached however they were not compliant with our requirements. For specific details on your release, please send a ticket to support and we will explain. Without a proper release, this type of image can only be used for editorial purposes and right now we aren't accepting direct editorial uploads. For additional information about our legal guidelines including model release information, please review the information here: Legal Guidelines for Adobe Stock Contributor program
As far as the other types of rejections such as artistic image, exposure, etc. These can be subjective reviews and I understand receiving the rejection can be frustrating. To answer your specific question we have a highly trained team of moderators that work very hard to review all of the content that is submitted in as quick a manner as is possible. It is certainly not a perfect system but generally they do an excellent job determining what has potential for success and what does not. My advice is to avoid processing images in HDR, oversaturation or any type of post processing effect that can take the attention away from the image itself. If you look at a photo and the first thing that the eye is drawn to is the post processing, it will likely be rejected. You will find better success submitting the clean, sharp version of an image with minimal post processing to allow designers the ability to add whatever effect they want to match their project exactly.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I would like to encourage you to post some examples of rejected content in the critique forum to solicit the impartial opinions of other contributors. As a photographer myself I am often humbled by the observations of other photographers on my own work and find that it is difficult to be totally impartial when viewing my photography.
I wish you the best of luck with your future uploads,
I have got to revisit the subject of rejected files. a couple of weeks ago, I uploaded a beautiful video clip which has in fact, sold several times already at another venue. This was my first video clip to upload to Adobe which I am trying to beef up as much as possible. Immediately, I received a rejection because of "Intellectual Property Violation"
Look, if your editing team does not like something, I can understand that. They seem to be in a big hurry and a little unfamiliar with photography in general. But it seems to me your editors just grab a pre formulated rejection reason so they can get on about their business.
I don't want to come off as some bid deal, but I have been shooting professionally for 30 years -- Associated Press, Houston Post, Denver Post, hundreds of magazines, etc. I know my way around a photograph.
A refusal because of property violation has nothing to do with "like" or "dislike". Here there are objective reasons for rejection and no personal "taste assessments" of the selector. The same applies to refusals due to technical problems.
I think you must consider here that for commercially usable pictures/videos in stock agencies different conditions apply than in the press industry regarding copyright and image quality. Please note that Adobe Stock does not allow general upload of editorial images.
I think you should inform yourself well in the Adobe Guides, e.g. here:
It is also helpful, if you have doubts about the reasons for refusal to post these pictures in the Stock Contributor Critique and ask other contributors for their opinions.
I am fully aware of the stock industry and how it differs from the editorial industry.
The clip I submitted was not an "intelectual property violation" as it was flagged and I cannot find flaws that make the clip unsellable. In fact, as I mentioned previously, the clip has made numerous sales already. Therefore, I have no other reason to believe that the rejection was merely a matter of personal taste by the selector.
V.poth, did you, or do you have the ability to see the clip I am referring to? If yes, then perhaps you could inform me of the technical problems? And if the reason for rejection is technical problems, why then was that reason for rejection not used?
My point to this thread is to convince Adobe Stock that the editing team could do a better job. It appears to me that the rejections of much of my contributed material often result from cultural forces rather than artistic and creative values of the imagery. I know nothing of the editing and selection team and I don't intend any personal slight or disrespect, but there is room for improvement.
The only reason I am taking the time to engage in this discussion is because I believe Adobe Stock is worth the effort.
I think it makes no sense to discuss further here without seeing the pictures/clips whose rejection you doubt. It would be very useful to post them in the contributer critique forum to make an effective evaluation possible.
Believe me, there are lots of contributer who are sure to know the stock business and on closer inspection must realize that there are still gaps in knowledge here.
Just try it and have a look at the comments of other providers. It can't do any harm.