Top Seven microstock rejections


Since 2006 I've been collecting a tons of microstock photos rejections. This is a “fake” Top Seven of microstock rejection reasons, hope funny, just a pretext to show a list of some interesting or peculiar or common refusals. As we've already said, sometimes a rejection make you say “why, why!?”, sometimes you can learn and try to improve your stock photography style.

rejected notice letter
Β© Red4 (Steven Lambert) |

1. Dreamstime – back to the roots

dreamstime silenzio rejectA lesson of basic stock photo life:

“Image is not RF stock oriented or its sales potential is too low at this stage. Please note that Stock photography is a commercial type of imagery, so, snapshots are not Stock. There are several vital requirements that an image must meet in order to be stock oriented. An image must serve a purpose, must have a concept, must have a good technical execution in terms of composition, exposure, light setting, optical performance. Creativity is a keyword for a successful stock image, as well. It is also very important to understand that Art and Stock are two fundamentally different categories of imagery, that only meet when an artwork can adapt to a wide range of commercial usage”

2. Fotolia – legendary aesthetic quality

polaroid connected puppet reject

One of the most disheartening comment πŸ˜‰

“Fotolia – Photograph Declined – Quality of the photograph
We regret to inform you that photo # was not accepted. Your photograph did not reach our desired level of aesthetic quality.”

3. Shutterstock – focus on focus

concert stage rejectYour focus is not my focus

“Not Approved:
Focus–Your image is not in focus or focus is not located where we feel it works best.”

4. iStockphoto – moment's aberration

marrakesh ornament rejectPurple rain, purple rain…

“The file has unacceptable levels of chromatic aberration, also referred to as ‘purple fringing”

5. BigStockPhoto – let the client crop

public bikes details rejectWhen details are not important

“Poor composition/Cropped subject: Chopping off part of subject makes photo harder to use generally πŸ™‚ thanks”

6. Veer – What are you shooting!?

social networking rejectDon't loose your time with this snapshot stuff

“The subject matter is not suitable for Veer Marketplace”

7. Panthermedia – You are late

orange pink tulip rejectWhy are you sending us this overabundant category without a stunning image?

“Unfortunately, we have too many similar images of this kind and therefore have to reject it. Please see our list of required images and less required images”


About Author

I write about the stock photo and microstock industry since 2006 on my several online-magazines. My goal for MyStockPhoto is to teach photographers and stock photographers how to sell more photos and earn money with their photography hobby.


  1. Hehe… Great post. It sure can be disheartening, those rejections on perfectly good images…. Reviewing remains subjective, but sometimes necessary πŸ™‚

    • Hi Hugo, yes, at the beginning the rejections could be disheartening… then they push you to produce better images. The subjectivity is in the game, I like also to mention that my Stockxpert's best seller was rejected by the other big ones πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for your comment,

      • "I like also to mention that my Stockxpert's best seller was rejected by the other big ones" – isn't that always the case? Quite ironic, and a prime example of the unavoidable subjectivity of review processes… πŸ™‚

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