Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Microstock: 123RF Gets Tough

My 2010 started with a slew of rejections from 123RF.  My rejection ratio there used to be very good, rarely any rejection.  The sudden surge made me wonder whether something special had happened. 

I went into their forum to take a look.  Oh, it looks like 123RF had decided to get a lot more strict on their acceptance criteria. 

It is nothing wrong to get more strict, but the problem is they didn't really communicate that well to the submitters.  My photos were mostly rejected for 'poor lighting/composition'.  At least they should take the trouble to separate 'poor lighting' with 'poor composition'.  If my photos have 'poor composition', really I have nothing to say.  Art is subjective.  Different people may have different opinions on what is good composition, what is bad composition.  We can't really argue there.  But how about poor lighting?  It is more technical and a more objective topic. 

Another point is what do they think are good compositions?  I did get some photos accepted this year, but I don't think they are better 'composite' than those that had been rejected. 

At least they should lay out some guidelines for everybody to follow.  For example, Shutterstock tells every submitter that they don't want to have flower shots, sunset/sunrise shots, etc unless they are exceptionally good.  It helps submitters to avoid wasting time uploading unneeded photos and it also helps 123RF to reduce the work load.  It will be a win-win situation.  However, as it is now, I think photographers will just have to try it out, upload everything then wait and see what gets accepted, what gets rejected and then slowly figure out the unwritten 'rules'.  It is gonna be time-wasting, for both submitters & reviewers.

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