Get Photos Accepted by Craftgawker More Often
So you’re here because you want to get more photos accepted by craftgawker, eh? Or maybe one of the others in the “gawkerverse” which you may or may not know is a network with other sites including foodgawker, weddinggawker, dwellinggawker and stylegawker? Well, I have some information to share with you today… because nobody likes rejection… I’m the type of person that learns visually and learns by making mistakes. So I’m visually sharing my mistakes with you today!
I’ve had a whole string of rejection in my submission history to the gawkers, but lately, I’ve been on a winning streak with only a handful of rejections (because I’m finally learning from my mistakes – yay!) . But here are the real numbers… I’ve had 293 accepted (woohoo!) and 214 declined (insert string of profanity here).
That’s right, I’ve gotten 214 heartbreaking emails. It’s gotten to the point where I just look for key words when an email about my submission comes through from one of the gawkers. If I see ” Your post titled” then I don’t read any further, I know it was accepted. But if I spy “unfortunately” when an email from one of the gawker sites comes up on my phone I run to my computer to read the problem, try to immediately fix it and resubmit.
So here are the problems I’ve had and how I was able to get past them and get more photos accepted by craftgawker with less rejections.
Composition – awkward angle – this happens most often when I try to get artsy with my images. They want pretty and artistic but shots that are head on are the best. As an example:
Now I think the picture on the left is awesome but my love for it doesn’t matter. The boring one is more acceptable to the layout where a bunch of pictures are jammed together on the page so that’s the one they’re going to accept 9 times out of 10.
Lighting Issues – this often happens when my background is dull but to be honest there are a gazillion ways that your lighting can be off so it’s a hard one to diagnose and correct. But, most of my pics are on white backgrounds because I like the clean look of it, but sometimes in my pics the background looks more gray. I’ll try lightening the background and resubmitting. Sometimes it is accepted, but probably 90% of the time I wind up scrapping it and taking new pictures…
I’ve found that when my images experience “lighting issues” it’s the background issue. If you can get a grasp on what the problem most commonly is with your photography (and I bet you’ll start to see a recurring problem), you can often correct it either with processing or avoid that entirely by changing the way you photograph.
Background Looks Fake – Pretty self explanatory, but say what? Surely I can’t be the only one to get this one (though I’ve never seen it referenced before) I’ve actually gotten this rejection a handful of times, and I don’t Photoshop my stuff onto other backgrounds, but if it looks fake, it looks fake…
It’s so frustrating because that black background is realer than all crap, man. But when the rejection came through, I ran and took the second picture on my driveway (because there’s a lot more texture than a black piece of paper) and resubmitted and it was totally accepted.
Composition – Now this one I tend to get irritated about because it can totally change by each person who is reviewing the images. It’s subjective, I guess. I’ve had images rejected, submitted another one and the next day get a rejection that says something like “your first image was better, can you resubmit it?” But, hey, they’re taking it so whatever…
Again, the second one is so much better. It’s mostly my cat Max so I figured it wouldn’t get accepted, either, but what can I say, I’m a gambler because I love when it pays off!
Overexposed – The image has lost too much detail because it has become, basically too light. Overexposure happens when the shutter stays open too long and lets in too much light in. This causes pictures that are washed out or too light.
You can’t bring definition back when you’ve changed the levels and removed it. I had to go back to the original image and correct the levels without overcorrecting.
Here are some that others that were rejected and the reasons why…
|Grainy and unsharp. I get confused by unsharp – it basically means blurry or lacking definition in the photo which seems opposite of what the name describes. But that’s my problem, not yours :)The photos at original size are gorgeous, but I just can’t get them down to the right size without going all wonky on me. The earrings were already in a bubble mailer on their way to my sister, so there was no new photo session and this project will never be on craftgawker.|
|Prefer photography. Okay, I get it. The text entries always looked more like ads in the lineup back when they did accept them. Totally get it, and I guess to be honest, I prefer it.|
|Underexposed – the image is too dark. I tried a whole slew where I tried to lighten them up but that didn’t fly either because they were so dark in places that when lightened there was no definition (no pattern, no texture, nothing).Simply put, I can’t do much to save it, this photo needs to be retaken in better light.|
|Awkward angle – Sometimes we’re going to see our photo and not notice the flaws. I love the project so I think this is an amazing picture of it. But, they’re right. It looks wonky. Either I need to go to the original and see if it can be rotated and then cropped so that the angle isn’t funny, or it needs to be retaken.|
What should you do?
Everybody has to make up their own minds, but I will try to correct my image a time (or sometimes two) and then abandon ship and retake the images if it doesn’t pan out pretty quickly. I can stare at my computer screen for hours and try to make a bad picture work and it just isn’t going to happen. It’s less stressful for me to just scrap it and start over.
It’s good to realize that you’re NOT the only one who is submitting and resubmitting images (because I used to feel so guilty about wasting the reviewers’ time). Every craft blogger worth their salt wants to get on these gawker sites because they can bring a significant amount of traffic to your page. How much? Well here lately my projects are bringing in less than a thousand hits off of craftgawker, but in the past I’ve had over 8,000 from a single post (and I’ve seen others that have gotten over 20,000). You win some, you lose some and even if it is a disappointing number, an extra 300 hits isn’t going to hurt anyone’s blog.
There is prestige in having your images accepted on the gawker sites for a reason. If all the images submitted were accepted, the sites would be awash in tons and tons of projects and guess what, yours would get lost in that. It sucks, but if I can’t get a good image of my project, I just suck it up and move on. For instance, I’ve only submitted 3 posts to foodgawker but they have all been accepted on the first go. Alternatively I’ve NEVER gotten anything into Tastespotting, though. It’s far more artistic and I’m not there with my photography, yet. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try!
And back to the three hundred hits thing, it’s easy to start to measure the value of our projects by how many views or favorites our projects get. As an example, before the move of my blog (and the change of some of my URL addresses) the project that had driven far more traffic to this site than any other PLUS is one of my most pinned projects is my organizer for glasses. And on CG it’s gotten less than 700 hits and 400 favs. That makes it seem like its just a so so project but it’s not. It’s one I’m proud of and gets around 4,000 hits a month all by itself for this blog.
Now before I shut down, I’ll share with you the one thing that is making a big difference in my photographs and it is something I learned from a kid in junior high, Ty from Know and Tell Crafts (which he hasn’t been at much lately but kids got a lot going on these days). Head on over there and learn about how setting custom white balance to TOTALLY change the color and tone of your images. It’s like magic.
I really hope that you got something good out of this post. If you’re like me and trying to be a better blogger, this isn’t a bad place to start. And while you’re here, maybe you’d like to join up in this week’s fantastic link party and promote your projects in a totally different way! Happy Sunday!