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 it is.
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.