Uploading stock photos can be a complicated (and long) process – it isn’t always the case, but it can definitely happen. What really sucks is when your carefully curated submissions get rejected after the reviewing procedure. In the event that happens – we sure hope it doesn’t! – here’s our guide on what you can do to ensure the rest of your photo submissions don’t share the same fate.

Quick summary:

  • Avoid creating photos with explicit themes
  • Avoid depicting overly graphic social issues
  • Remove anything copyrighted in your images
  • Secure your model and property releases
  • Submit high-quality images

Avoid creating photos with explicit themes

Well sure, we all know that. Instant rejection if there’s anything overly suggestive. But how explicit is ‘too explicit’? Photos that have full-on nudity will be automatically rejected. However, some images have themes that are necessary to depict a story. For example, to be used in a health-related or medical content piece, or an educational sex-related article. Think about the usage value for digital content commonly used in sites like Refinery29, Bustle, PopSugar, Cosmopolitan.

Photo Submissions Rejected? Here's How To Reverse That - 123RF Blog
It’s okay when their bits aren’t showing.

Avoid depicting overly graphic social issues

Photo Submissions Rejected? Here's How To Reverse That - 123RF Blog
Yikes.

While these issues are very real in our modern environment, themes that contain suicide, gore, and other extremeties will be automatically rejected as well. The same goes for images that speak of conspiracy theories, photos that are too politically charged, or themes that can be viewed as degrading to a specific country. That includes stepping on, cutting up, and burning a country’s flag or bank notes.

Remove anything copyrighted in your images

Photo Submissions Rejected? Here's How To Reverse That - 123RF Blog
Well, unless it’s completely impossible to do so. Then you should probably park the image under editorial, like this photo.

A lot of thought goes behind photo production, especially for stock photography. In a similar light, try not to use any props with big, glaring brands, or small, noticeable logos attached to them. Even something as small as a Nike logo on a model’s sports equipment will cause your image to join the rejected pile. If you can ‘shop them out, that’s great. If you can’t, it’s probably best not to upload them, especially if you’re unable to place them under the Editorial Content category.

Photo Submissions Rejected? Here's How To Reverse That - 123RF Blog
Closeups of a model’s feet in mid-run can make a great shot. Closeups with logos on the running shoes – not so good for stock.

Secure your model and property releases

If your photo has a human (or several) in it, make sure you get your model releases signed and sent in! Taking photos on private property? Get your property release signed and uploaded. Doing so can help you avoid potential copyright issues and lawsuits in the future.

Photo Submissions Rejected? Here's How To Reverse That - 123RF Blog
We’ve all signed our model releases!

Submit high-quality images

Guess it all boils down to this – would you purchase a blurry photo that you will have trouble resizing? By ensuring your images are top quality, under 30MB in size, and clear, you will have no issues with uploads and the review process.

Photo Submissions Rejected? Here's How To Reverse That - 123RF Blog
High resolution? Check.

Try these tips on for size, and grow your stock portfolio with us. If you aren’t already a 123RF contributor, join our stock content community and share your creativity with potential buyers.