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JStone

Editorial Submissions rejected - "Similar Content" - this is getting outrageous

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Hello All.

Just wanted to post regarding the recent slew of rejections pertaining to "similar content" and see if anyone has any ideas or wants to chime in. I am an editorial supplier to SS and have been for quite sometime. I was rarely getting any rejections at all until past several months - to a year ago, where photos were being rejected as "similar content". The rejection percentage was getting worse and worse and now its to the point where it does not make sense to upload material. 

This is unfortunate as now that I have a slow few weeks ahead I was hoping to catch on supplying some back material along with a few important stories I will be covering in the bear future. But I don't think that it make sense to do that now. 

I recently sent in a quick batch of images from the NYC premiere of "CATS" - specifically 16 images of both Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson. All but 4 were rejected. They accepted 3 images of Taylor Swift and one image of Jennifer Hudson. They images were not similarly really, just from  the same event. Horizontal and vertical along with different poses and facial expressions were included. I have since removed the 4 images they accepted, as my thoughts were, if you want content from an event, take a proper edit and be more communicative with your suppliers. 

They did not get images from this event from any other contributor from what I saw, except the content that goes on the other editorial premiere websites, for the different subscribers they have. Notice on those sites, there are pages and pages of images from the premiere with similar and identical looking photos from staff photographers, other contributors and contributing agencies.

However on the original SS.com they feel they only need 4 photos? I realize they have these other branches however some of us actually made important contributing contributions to SS editorial before any of of these other acquired agencies or distribution platforms existed. Also Im fairly certain that customers who subscribe to SS.com would very much be interested in more than 4 images from such a premiere and not like to have their choices limited. 

I have tried to address this issue in recent weeks through the regular channels but I have had no luck whatsoever. 

Taylor Swift is one of my biggest sellers, and currently the top rated images in my portfolio as we speak from a previous event. Those types of images are used very frequently and are among met top top succesful images. I tried to resubmit images but they did not go through - all were rejected again. I have read on here that people have resubmitted images with success? whats the story about resubmitted rejection images? Can this be with having them approved second time around? 

I am curious to hear if other editorial contributors have similar experience especially of later and any other thoughts on this topic would be welcome to hear. Ideally I would like to find a way to resolve this, however, if they are going to reject images in such an extreme way its just not going to work for me. 

 

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does this seem to happen more with editorial content or does that not matter? 

If something is rejected - how does resubmitting to get it approved work? is that possible or no? 

I dont really mind rejections when they are valid and reasonable but some of the stuff Im seeing is beyond extreme. 

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On 12/26/2019 at 4:07 PM, JStone said:

Hello All.

...

This is unfortunate as now that I have a slow few weeks ahead I was hoping to catch on supplying some back material along with a few important stories I will be covering in the bear future. But I don't think that it make sense to do that now. 

I recently sent in a quick batch of images from the NYC premiere of "CATS" - specifically 16 images of both Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson. All but 4 were rejected. They accepted 3 images of Taylor Swift and one image of Jennifer Hudson. They images were not similarly really, just from  the same event. Horizontal and vertical along with different poses and facial expressions were included. I have since removed the 4 images they accepted, as my thoughts were, if you want content from an event, take a proper edit and be more communicative with your suppliers. 

...

 

A while back I submitted two photos of a waterfall, one horizontal and one vertical (figuring if someone wanted/needed a larger picture of the waterfall than he/she would get by cropping  the horizontal one, they could use the vertical). Just the two. The vertical one got rejected as being "too similar" to the other one, so I hear you on this one. I get not submitting 30 (or some other #, I'm using 30 just as an example) photos of the same subject with slight variations or even a horizontal/vertical pair for each variation. But a small number like 2 or 4 (assuming one doesn't already have several of the same image in one's port)?!?I don't have an answer to this though. 

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Regarding the rejection of similars or so-called similars, SS is extremely inconsistent. 
Basically, you never know how the reviewers will react.
There are the examples, like here in this thread, with unjustified restrictions.
But there are also examples where hundreds of similar photos were accepted. 
This is also due to the fact that the evaluation in this respect is very subjective. 

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1 hour ago, Adam Gladstone said:

A while back I submitted two photos of a waterfall, one horizontal and one vertical (figuring if someone wanted/needed a larger picture of the waterfall than he/she would get by cropping  the horizontal one, they could use the vertical). Just the two. The vertical one got rejected as being "too similar" to the other one, so I hear you on this one. I get not submitting 30 (or some other #, I'm using 30 just as an example) photos of the same subject with slight variations or even a horizontal/vertical pair for each variation. But a small number like 2 or 4 (assuming one doesn't already have several of the same image in one's port)?!?I don't have an answer to this though. 

Don't submit at the same time. Wait at least until the 1st one is accepted then submit the 2nd one or even wait for a week.

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I have since deleted the 4 photos from the premiere that they accepted, since they when I resubmitted the ones rejected they were rejected again. I couldn't justify them taking such a horrendous edit. 

Does it pay to resubmit the set one more time and see what happens? or will everything automatically be rejected again? Whats the deal with resubmitting. 

Overall, I just dont have the time to play this game with them. Does anyone here know if there is any possibility of getting in touch with a human being to discuss with and come to resolution or is it always their way or the highway. If they are not going to accept new content on a fair basis, I might opt of sales for a while I think about about this. 

Make no sense their decisions when on SS editorial they have a mountain of similar photos that are nearly identical. An outrageous amount and there they barely want to accept anything. 

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10 minutes ago, JStone said:

I have since deleted the 4 photos from the premiere that they accepted, since they when I resubmitted the ones rejected they were rejected again. I couldn't justify them taking such a horrendous edit. 

Does it pay to resubmit the set one more time and see what happens? or will everything automatically be rejected again? Whats the deal with resubmitting. 

Overall, I just dont have the time to play this game with them. Does anyone here know if there is any possibility of getting in touch with a human being to discuss with and come to resolution or is it always their way or the highway. If they are not going to accept new content on a fair basis, I might opt of sales for a while I think about about this. 

Make no sense their decisions when on SS editorial they have a mountain of similar photos that are nearly identical. An outrageous amount and there they barely want to accept anything. 

You might want to try reaching out to @Jeff De about this matter, he will sometimes try to help. Contacting submission support is usually a waste of time, you are first contacted by an 'expert' who can't see your images, you then have to escalate to a back office person who usually just sends a standard reply with links to 'Why did my photo get rejected for ...'. I understand your frustration especially when some contributors get 20 nearly identical photos accepted and not just once.

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8 minutes ago, MJD Graphics said:

You might want to try reaching out to @Jeff De about this matter, he will sometimes try to help. Contacting submission support is usually a waste of time, you are first contacted by an 'expert' who can't see your images, you then have to escalate to a back office person who usually just sends a standard reply with links to 'Why did my photo get rejected for ...'. I understand your frustration especially when some contributors get 20 nearly identical photos accepted and not just once.

thank you for the suggestion. Might you know what his title is and the best way to contact him is. Contacting SS support is beyond useless I would not even consider doing that. 

Any thoughts on resubmitting the set? Sending them in one at a time is just not practical as they events have to many people there and I never had any issues before until recently. 

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15 minutes ago, JStone said:

thank you for the suggestion. Might you know what his title is and the best way to contact him is. Contacting SS support is beyond useless I would not even consider doing that. 

Any thoughts on resubmitting the set? Sending them in one at a time is just not practical as they events have to many people there and I never had any issues before until recently. 

He is one of the admins here on the forum. If you can find one of his posts, look in the announcements category here on the forum you can send him a PM, it might help. One thing you have to keep in mind is that SS is not a NEWS site so for current events that have a short time window SS is not practical because of the review process and time to portfolio. Although your images of Cats might just be what someone needs when writing about the film. As far as resubmitting I can't give any advice on that, it's just personal how far you want to go to get them submitted, I don't resubmit. I have also heard something about keeping on resubmitting the same images and getting them rejected can have consequences for your account, just don't know what. As you asked 'What's the deal with resubmitting' is that you most probably get a different reviewer who might see things differently than the 1st one. As far as deleting the 4 images that where already accepted I don't think this was a good move as better to have 4 images that will probably sell than none at all. I never delete images that are accepted.

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The only explanation I can think of regarding this really annoying subject is that those in charge at SS simply failed to render a reasonable definition of "similar content" to their reviewers --  Something has to change definitely --

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3 hours ago, Thomas Foo said:

I have a feeling this is SS's tactic to cut down input in order to slow down increase in storage capacity and cost.  

I this is the case they should reject rubbish quality work and silly captions which they accept in masses --

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these massive amounts of rejections are new though, I did not experience this over the years until relatively recently? Is there some type of screening process not done by humans that cuts down the edits before it goes to an actual reviewer? 

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In August of this year, Shutterstock said they were going to put stricter enforcement on similar content. Which in theory is a good thing, because image spamming was running rampant anymore. But it is implemented in a very random fashion. Some contributors (like myself) get two out of a set of three rejected, while others get hundreds of similar pics to go though. I think the idea of what constitutes "similar", and the boundaries of how much variation on a scene is good for the customers to have vs. at what point it is too much, is ill defined.

 

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https://www.shutterstock.com/contributorsupport/articles/en_US/kbat02/000012339?q=Similar&l=en_US&fs=Search&pn=1

 

If the subject of what you are photo shooting is nearly the same but doing something different but with same background automatically denied. I get rejected as well for nearly the same subject but with a different motion but in the same area. The entire subject has to be different not just partial.

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On 12/29/2019 at 5:28 PM, Milo J said:

In August of this year, Shutterstock said they were going to put stricter enforcement on similar content. Which in theory is a good thing, because image spamming was running rampant anymore. But it is implemented in a very random fashion. Some contributors (like myself) get two out of a set of three rejected, while others get hundreds of similar pics to go though. I think the idea of what constitutes "similar", and the boundaries of how much variation on a scene is good for the customers to have vs. at what point it is too much, is ill defined.

 

I believe the reviewers should pick out the best ones that would be considered as selling worth.

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5 minutes ago, Aaron of L.A. Photography said:

I believe the reviewers should pick out the best ones that would be considered as selling worth.

That's your job. Don't submit a pile of them, only the best.

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On 12/28/2019 at 9:56 PM, joachim affeldt said:

I this is the case they should reject rubbish quality work and silly captions which they accept in masses --

And the spamming of keywords. I am careful in what I use and often search for photos before I do a shoot to see if there is demand. It frustrates me that my later on my well named photos are hidden behind pages of COMPLETELY irrelevant shots of something else entirely.

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On 1/18/2020 at 12:56 PM, Sari ONeal said:

That's your job. Don't submit a pile of them, only the best.

cool-up.gifOnly The Best

I just did that, 8 of 50. I expect to get some rejected as similar, even if each is completely different, different individual specific shots, (meaning not angles or composition, different...) but the same specific subject, I hope they picked the ones that are "best", because the rest will get uploaded somewhere starting with  AL as exclusive. 😃

Editorial, yes I have had some rejected as too much like other, when it was the same identical subject in a different place. Tough luck, those also get uploaded to AL as exclusive.

Really not worth worrying. If I have 50 editorial shots, and I cull down to the best ten, and SS rejects three for similar, I still have a nice selection. In the case of food photos, I usually only upload one anyway. No chance of mine being similar to my own of the same shoot. If I do a second, it will be very different, not just moving the salt and pepper and calling it a new shot. I mean different composition, different elements.

Yeah anyone can guess, I never was a fan of bloat and similars, just in case the buyer wanted something one inch different from the previous images.

 

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