Uploading To iStock Is About To Get Easier

Posted on 1/25/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The tedious process of uploading images for consideration by iStock is about to get much easier. On February 7th  Kasper Ravlo will be launching a new tool called Q-hero. The average time to submit a file for review will drop from over one minute per image to less than 1-2 seconds. Instead of being the slowest site for image submissions, iStock will become the fastest.  

I asked Kasper how this tool will work.

JP - Will individual creators send their images to you for upload, or will they use the tool you supply and do the uploading themselves?

Kasper - This depends on which service level creators choose to utilize. The basic services will be more or less automated in time but the current version still depends on the photographer.

The utility is web based and the basic version targets images that are ready to upload with no need for retouching, developing or similar alterations. In time more advanced options will offer more services.??

JP - What will be the cost?

Kasper - The beauty of this system is, that it will be free for the creator! We know what it entails to upload to iStock, we know how much time it takes, and we know how to do this a lot smarter. Now we want to share this and make life easier for creators. There will be advanced options that can be purchased including retouching services.?

JP - I’m still confused by the “levels of service.” If I understand correctly the utility itself will be something the photographer can use, at no charge, once the photographer has done all the “retouching, developing or similar alterations” including keywording.

Kasper - There will be automated keyword suggestions which helps to improve keywords and hence reduce rejections. We already translate creator’s keywords to the disambiguation system, saving enormous amounts of time and pain, and bulk uploading is part of the service, meaning you only have to disambiguitize once.

JP - Still, if all the retouching, keywording and all the other things necessary to make an image marketable haven’t been done correctly, there still may be a lot of rejections. If I understand correctly there will eventually be advanced options, including retouching services, that can be purchased. These services may not be part of the initial offer at launch, but they are expected to be available soon.

Kasper - Using this tool, rejections will be reduced to those concerned with image quality, because keywording and release management will be handled easily and with enhanced quality.

JP - Will it be possible to use the same tool to speed upload to other sites?

Kasper - Q-hero is currently only available for iStock.

JP - It is my understanding that one of the big problems with iStock is not just the upload, but the seemingly irrational decisions they make on accepting and rejecting images. Will that still be a problem for most contributors or will this tool somehow change the acceptance ratio?

- Most likely this will change the acceptance ratio for a lot of photographers. The reason we believe this to be the case is that most photographers that struggle with rejections just don’t have the time, dedication, nor interest in anything but photography. One of the main lessons from many years with Yuri Arcurs Photography, and something we’ve believed since day one is - keywording is key! It was more important back then, but it is still something that photographers need to invest a lot of time into, to make sure their acceptance rate, and sales are high.

Obviously the image quality has to be great as well, but that just doesn’t help if the images aren’t accepted or lost due to bad keywording.

On top of this there is this “disambiguation” feature in the iStock upload process which is extremely time consuming, extremely tedious, and in a lot of cases just doesn’t make sense. Our tool will take care of this problem. Q-hero will decipher the disambiguation steps and the creator will be able to bulk upload through an automated function that translates keywords into disambituatized keywords.

That will to be a time changer, not seen before in terms of stock uploads.

JP - If iStock suddenly gets a lot more images will this overwhelm the reviewers? Do you know if they are planning to ramp up their reviewing staff?

Kasper - iStock is prepared for this, yes.

JP – Is just getting more images a good thing? It seems to me that uploading more images faster may encourage people to upload more similars and more images of marginal quality. Then either the inspection has to be very good or the quality of the search is likely to diminish in its value to the customer. I’m skeptical that the inspection will improve that much given iStock’s rush to try to match Shutterstock in number of images in the collection and their declining revenue overall.  What do you think? Take a look at this article I wrote last week.

Kasper - More images, more exposure, and constant renewing your portfolio is good, but only if it is quality imagery. So volume or not, it really depends on quality. Quality and consistent inspection is obviously up to iStock, and this is also a key part of the value chain.

JP - If the creator chooses to have you retouch and keyword the images will he/she be able to take the finished product and upload it to other sites even though he/she will have to deal with those special upload requirements of the other sites?

Kasper - Yes, but for now that will be through the regular channels, not through q-hero.

Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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