The Image Approval Process

Stock Photo Image Approval Process

The image approval process by your photo agency happens after you submit your photographs. At this point things are out of your hands. The images are curated for quality and content.

If you’ve gone through all the processing steps for your image, you’ll be approved soon. If you missed steps or didn’t focus, your image may be rejected.

Just because you submit an image for approval, doesn’t mean it will pass the agency process check!

The Approval Process For Quality

The first part of the image approval process is a quality check. Technically speaking, is the photo suitable for your agencies collection?

Is the image over or underexposed? Does it include a main subject that’s in focus? Check for correct color balance? Is it well composed?

Think about your potential customers on a stock site as your clients. Is the photo you are submitting good enough for them? If you had a stock photography “boss”, would you submit your image to them?

The Image Approval Process For Content

Just because the image passes the quality check doesn’t mean it will be accepted. The image approval process includes a content check.

What is the theme? Does the agency have enough images of your concept already? Is the subject matter against site policy?

You will learn through experience dealing with an agency what type of images work, and what doesn’t.

Images Are Denied

You will have images that are denied by your agency. Some agencies are good about explaining why, some will be vague.

It’s important to realize that sometimes your images will not pass the approval process. Don’t worry about it. We all go through this. Just learn from the denial process and move on.

What’s more, sometimes one agency will accept your photo, and another will reject it. Some of my best selling photos were accepted on one site and rejected by another!

Your Denial Rate Will Improve

You will get better at this! Your “denial rate” will improve.

As a matter of fact, figuring out what certain sites want and don’t want is a big part of the business and will save you lots of time.

You may decide not to shoot a certain concept or use certain techniques because you know they will be denied anyway.