Editors have feelings too, you know?
Tolstoi once said that everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. I try to remind myself this quote daily, especially when confronted with criticism. Everybody wants to go to heaven, no one wants to die.
The most common question received from (new) photographers regards refusals. If you're no longer new and noticed this (forbidden) question on the boards think what support sees on email. Just as the rules apply on the forums, they apply on the blogs too, so I will not discuss here about refusals. When one receives a refusal, he/she might want to really take it as a guidance and try to shoot better their next batch. Don't complain to support, if it got refused it will not sell. Maybe it will do it once, twice, but we want it to sell hundreds of times.
If you're approval ratio is low, let's say under 50%, try the following:
1. Think more about the subject that you will shoot, what makes it special? Don't go out and point the camera to the first thing that you reach. Plan your shooting and maybe travel to the most attractive place in your area.
2. Decided what you intend to shoot? See how other photographers have done it. On Dreamstime, with traditional famous collections or just google it. See the best shots and ask yourself what you will bring new to the buyers? Think well, there are millions of Eiffel tower pictures. If you are taking the same classical shot, let it be perfect as technical, equipment etc. If you don't have that, be original. Print the best examples you found.
Take lots of shots, bracket, change angles... but select only one, the best one. Throw the rest away in a remote folder, then use Photoshop to try to get most of that very picture.
If small details are lost and cannot be seen at thumbnail size, remove them. If they are important for the concept, you're on the wrong path. The buyer will see ONLY the thumbnail.
Editors review thousands of images per day. They see extremely good images that brings them all together in the office, clapping their hands and nodding heads :) Then they see images that are ...well, not so good. Those are immediately refused.
PS: if you've done all these already, then the next step would be to read Ellen's latest article.
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