My observations regarding why some images are declined but
in fact the reason for declining is not apparent.
Sometimes I will decline an image if there is
a lack of wording however there is wording but it can use more work.
For example, I see a lovely image that has the description
of a dog.
Description: “My dog Biscuit on the beach.”
It would be more advisable to write, “A Golden Retriever on
the beaches at Watergate Bay, Cornwall. “ – Generalize, people will remember
their dog at the beach, not your dog. They will have a personal connection with
that moment if you can bring them there.
Avoid using the word “MY” in the description, it means
something to you, but it won’t mean anything to the average customer.
Quick examples to avoid– My wife, my dog, my cat, my hands,
my feet, my friend. You get the idea.
Another reason for a confusing decline is a “Blown Sky” when
there is no sky in the image. It could be just written as a blown object.
A blown sky is a general term, which normally occurs in the
sky. However one of the most common places it occurs is during long exposure
photography and to be more specific in running water. Over the course of the
long exposure, the running water will dominate the sensor and the colours and
come out all white. This will cause a blown effect thus bleaching the colours
around the blown area.
A word about “Dust Spots.” Dust spots can occur on the lens
sensor any part of the photography process, which just needs a quick clean and
away you go.
But sometimes we can’t determine what the spot is. More
times than not we know from experience that the spot is in fact a bird in the
distance. The average customer will see the spot and assume is some sort of
problem or defect and move to the next image. Look at your image through the
eyes of customer. Does it look like it’s perfect? This is why we call it a dust
spot, because it is a spot on the image and the customer cannot determine what
The last subject is about “Lens Flare.” This is the complete
opposite with the dust spot. A customer will purchase a canvas, but when the
canvas is made, a 10mm sun flare is in the centre of the picture. The customer,
never saw the flare and will demand a return/refund or a re-print. Therefore please
be very careful with the flares and unless it is 100% visible and part of the
picture it can be flagged, refunded or a re-print which causes a waste of time
for the customer, photographer (fixing and disappointment) and for us.
Although sometimes a copyright infringement is straight
forward, it can be confusing. Essentially, anything that you need permission to
take a picture can be flagged as a copyright infringement. For example last
week we had a churchwarden email us asking who gave permission to take and post
images of the church. Due to the church being “private property” they needed
permission and was flagged accordingly. Please be sure you have permission to
take pictures before posting.
This leads us into accreditation. Closely linked with
copyright. If you are at an event which credentials given out, you must have
the accreditation to post. It doesn’t matter if the stadium is empty, you are
still on private property and accreds are given out at the clubs/events
discretion. Failing to comply can land you in some hot water.
If you do have accreditation, then you do not need a model release.
I hope this helps clarify things.