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Rejection Doesn’t Last Always

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 10:23 PM Mindspill

Let me start here - I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit! -------------- Prior to becoming a creative Getty Image contributor via the Flickr Collection, I had dreams of becoming a regular contributor though their “normal” application process.  I actually started the application process then got all nervous and backed away. Finishing the application process remained on my mind for many months but I was afraid of being rejected and honestly, at that time, I was not all the secure with what I would submit. Months after I kinda said, "I’ll just wait," I received an email from Getty Images inviting me to join their Flickr Collection.  I had to read that message a few times to make sure that I understood it correctly.  That was back in February of 2009. Since then, I’ve added over 100 images (small number) to the collection & have been lucky to get sales every month with some months being really GREAT. Because of the success that I was having with the Flickr Collection, I said that I was backing away from iStockphoto where I had been contributing images for a while. The decision to walk away from iStockphoto was because, the royalties are low & I was basically getting no sales. For instance, over a 3 year period, I made maybe 100 bucks.  The stock photography thing is a total crap shoot. You may win, you may win a little bit or you may just lose. With iStockphoto, I just lost & that was OK. Since I was losing, I started to remove my images from their site and concentrate on getting more on Getty Images. While I was in NYC for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I got an email from the Getty Images Flickr Collection requesting me to add 30 more images to the site. I was pretty geeked about that. Now back to me applying to become a regular contributor… Back in April of 2011, I completed my application, sent in test images & uploaded model releases in hopes of getting that email welcoming me to the family. Thirty days went by; no word. Sixty days went by; no word. I decided to email asking for a status update & got a canned response saying that they were swamped and that someone would get back with me. No one ever did. Last week, I decided to send another status update request & got this:
“Dear Tafari, Thank you for your interest in Getty Images. Due to the high number of image submissions we receive, we cannot respond to all applicants. If after the 60 day period you have not received mail from us, this means we have reviewed your imagery for our Creative Stills Collections and unfortunately, after careful consideration, your portfolio has not passed our requirements. As an alternative, you may wish to consider submitting your images to iStockphoto, which accepts a wider variety of file sizes and formats and has excellent resources for adding to your skills…”
When I read it, my jaw dropped & I was just like damn. Why? - My skills, quality and talent obviously is Getty worthy, hence the continued success with one of their collections. - I’m so done with iStockphoto - I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit. I’ve been rejected before and I’m a big boy so that’s not a problem. I think the iStockphoto referral is what threw me. I’m like ughhhh, I’m so past them. But… I have to say that as a designer, I often use iStockphoto because there is some great work there. The option just does not work for me as a seller with them. Oh me & my 1st world problems….

5 Responses to “Rejection Doesn’t Last Always”

  1. MonaMade Says:

    That’s life my brother, sometimes you’re in and other times you’re out. However, we as artist have to continue forward regardless of the feedback. Fear is our enemy but actually it’s a false illusion. Make art until you can’t and make the dreams happen. You inspire me…

  2. Tafari Says:

    Dear Mona, Heidi Klum wants her line back. LOL!!!! Yes, rejection can be a bia but you have to get past it. It is the only way that we continue to grow so… The cool thing in this rejection scenario is that I have a back door safe landing. It’s still a great option & opportunity for which I am totally grateful for.

  3. Afrolicious Says:

    Can I just say watching your photography for the past several years has been inspiring on about 57 different levels from my point of view. As a designer I, for one, would love to have access to your work via Getty. And it’s random that they’d suggest iStockPhoto when obviously they think your work is of their caliber.

    But maybe the rejection is just making space for something better? I like to think so. :)

  4. J V L I V S Says:

    Wow. Sometimes us artists can’t win for losing. As a longtime supporter of you work, you know what you can do and you do it precisely. I have an iStockphoto account, but I lack patience to go through all the application process, so I decided to wait until time permitted (which has yet occurred) to get involved with it then.

    And one thing about rejection, there’s always other opportunities. As one door closes, another one opens.

  5. Meore Says:

    Hi Tafari,

    First, what a great images u have on the site.

    Obviously, its not easy to be a permanent contributor to stock agencies such as getty. I have a friend
    Who works as a permanent stringer for Reuters. And one thing i learnt with him that, in order for u to really have a chance to be a contributor, u have to shoot something that is totally different to others.

    Dont get me wrong. Your collections are beautiful. Your compositions, angles & lighting are superb. But think again, that are a lot photographers who can shoot the same subject effectively as you, even among flickr members itself. Agencies like Getty, Reuters, Zuma press are always looking for something that is unique and fresh.

    Try to shoot new subjects such as travel and documentary. And try ur luxk next time

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