Self-advocacy and rejected images
Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions. (VanReusen et al., 1994)
Over the past two years with DT, I've taken almost all of my rejections laying down, not complaining. However, recently I decided to stand up for my belief in the usefulness of my own images.
I shoot mostly editorial type images. It's just my background and preferred way of shooting. I like to show lifestyles, etc. and my images have mostly been used to inform and to educate. That has been my experience, anyway, for the past 40+ years. So when I started getting too many rejections due to "usefulness of this image is low" reasoning, I decided to speak up.
It began with having portraits of my Filipino neighbors being rejected, really nice images too. They showed relationships, emotions, etc - things we all share as people. The trigger for my standing up for my images has to do with DTs categories. I shoot taking my cues from these categories and from doing a search on a category. For example, there are 14,538 images in the db that respond to a search for 'portraits'. Here is just one example (on the left):
Now I'm not blaming nor finding fault in anyone, especially editors for the rejections. However, I do feel there is a bias toward RF images. It is an innocent one for sure, I believe, and this is just my personal opinion, but I think it is there regardless.
Two of my images here (to the right) are ones I got rejections overturned because I believed in them so strongly. They got 11 and 14 views in the first 24-hours on-line.
To end, I do not recommend being a pain-in-the-ass to the editors or administration about your rejections but if you got a gut feeling about potential interest and usefulness of your images, step up and SELF-ADVOCATE. No one else is going to do that for you, just yourself.