Photos vs illustrations

I started at DT with photos but got interested in illustrations after seeing what other DT contributors where doing and the success that some illustrations have had. I taught myself the basics using Inkscape and GIMP and started making my own illustrations. I have found that my acceptance rate for illustrations is higher that for photos. Each time I go on a illustration creating spree my acceptance ration goes up. My photos sell better than my illustrations, however, as my skills are still not where I want them to be. I can make illustrations anywhere in any conditions provided I have a computer where as I can not take pictures at all times. Illustrations take more time to create than a photo but do not have issues such as model releases and trademarks provided you create your illustrations from scratch.

What are your thoughts on illustrations vs photos?

© Mvogel

© Mvogel

Photo credits: Mvogel.

Your article must be written in English



I have resubmitted, but having made the suggested changes, I get the same refusal with the same reason. I want to know if there is a specific time I should wait, like a week, before resubmitting so these illustrations won't get refused for being "in the same batch."

...While I'm waiting I'm working on adding more to my simpler illustrations.


Illustrations is a tricky business. On one hand it is easier to make an illustration but can be harder to get one accepted if you do not do it right. There are numerous reasons for rejection but the one I get the most on illustrations is that the illustration is too simple. Sometimes I take the illustration and add some elements to it, resubmit, and get an acceptance but sometimes I do not. Just keep at it and you will find your way.


I'm a new contributor as of this month and I've had most of my illustrations refused. My comments are "++++++too similar to others in the batch or too simple." I've combined into more than one image and I get the same refusal. I see other illustrations of one subject with no background and I'm stumped. Has the editing changed? As a designer, I look for simplicity and I thought to provide that as well, but I'm not having any luck. I don't want the same images to be repeatedly refused.

Your swirl pattern is beautiful, and very simple, Mvogel. How long do you have to wait to resubmit and not have an image refused because it's similar to something they already accepted? The subject matter and everything is different, but they are all vector images.


Another point I forgot to mention is that my illustrations seem to get reviewed faster than the photographs. I am not sure but there may be a separate group of admins that only review illustrations but I could be wrong.


Illustrations are something totally different to photography - so for me it's nothing because I want to spend that little bit of time I have for my hobby with my camera - so I agree to what Brad is saying. But, yes, if you have fun doing both - perhaps with the time you realize that one of them brings you more success and fun so you really ought to try it out. I like your illustrations and if you find more and more exciting ones - well good for you. I could imagine I soon would run out of ideas. And yes - the competition in photography is stiffer. I remember someone once blogged that she has nearly 100% acceptance rate with her illustrations and with saying that looking down to the poor photographers who have less ;) and blaming them they aren't critical enough - your comment to the acceptance rate proofs a bit that there are here different measures.


For me it is really about the time. I'm first and foremost a photographer and it is my hobby, which I love doing. While I greatly admire the talent of illustrators I want the time I invest here to pay back in my photography. Plus, I would spend a lot more time on the computer if I did illustrations. I really don't want to spend more time on the computer, and like that I can get a salable photo done in a few minutes. I do think most would focus on one or the other depending on where their talent and interests lie. Those that are good at both are probably the ones who do the interesting composites :)

Contrary to what Brett says, I find I don't have to leave the house to do what I do with most of my photos. I'm no landscape photographer, though...


You have nice illustrations in your portfolio. Keep up the good work!


Certainly it's a personal preference, but I like taking photos since you not only take pictures, but also get chances to view the real scenes, as well good physical exercises, so you don't need to go to gym anymore. One stone, two birds!


I would like to try my hand at illustrations but purchased a bamboo tablet recently and it feels really alien, need to force myself to use it and get to grips with it.

I guess the benefit to illustrations is that you do not have to travel anywhere, all comes out your head via your hands. In photography unless your only shooting say still life then you out and about all the time, a mix of both would be great.


From time to time, when I review the gallery of the DT database, there is quite a lot of simple illustration and they motivate me to do also. When, I look closely the illustrations, it is about inspiration. I salute them but I still prefer capturing pictures although the sale is not so high as illustrations.


There are quite a few contributors that do both and seem to do both well. I am not sure I get why you would only want to do one and not both but to each their own.


Hah:) If you want to be Illustrator make illustrations :)
I not photographer... but i have good hardware
for 3D rendering and make only illustrations.
Don't try to make all.. concentrate
in one way to make good portfolio
(only photos or illustrations).
The choice is yours !


Related image searches
Throughts related image searches
To provide you with additional information about how we collect and use your personal data, we've recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Please review these pages now, as they apply to your continued use of our website.