So, you navigated to the homepage and saw that special tab with hand-picked impressive images and naturally began dreaming of seeing your own among them. You kept trying for a (long) while, but it just isn't happening. What is the deal with those editors, you ask yourself, my images are cool enough! Or perhaps at this moment you don't even dare dream of seeing your image among the editor's special selection.
Before I go on I'd like to say, what I hope will be a word of encouragement to many of you - we (the editors) can't wait to be moved by your images and approve them as editor's choice.
Now, let's step back and look at some guidelines which will help you produce the outstanding images we are looking for.
First, let's try and define "editor's choice". This is a collection of images which have technical quality, concept and execution superior to the majority of other submissions. Some may be more artistic, others strictly stock. Either way, they are loaded with sales potential.
An editor's choice selection is rather subjective, but is still within a general guideline. Here's a part of this guideline:
Fresh and unique.
We've got almost 8 million images online at the moment and we've reviewed considerably more images in total (counting those refused). You can imagine, that it will take something above-average to impress us (the subjective part). Most photographers who are just starting with microstock simply shoot exactly that which they see in the online database, without realizing that this actually makes little sense. Why would anyone want to create a carbon copy of an already existing product?
Truly unique images are among the favorites for buyers who are on the look for fresh content. The buyers of your images also have customers they need to impress, keep that in mind.
Leaving a good impression nowadays is often connected with something unusual, something extraordinary. While this certainly works, it definitely isn't the end of the story, especially when it comes down to photographs. We (the editors) are well used to seeing all kinds of abnormalities and post-processing creations. What we tend to see less of is the natural, the spontaneous, the usual in our life, but then paused by your shutter release. Very few are those who will not stop for a closer look at a moment of a happy family's day in the park.
Telling the story but not all of it.
Composition wise, dead-centered images aren't appealing to most people because the subject is immediately found by the eyes, leaving the viewer with no challenge or adventure. Movie trailers never give out the final frames of the story. Instead, they tell you just enough to spark your interest in what's left out. Can you do the same with photos? Of course you can! I myself am still sitting here and wondering whether a young child scored that beautiful goal or a 35-years-old one. :)
Powerful and relevant.
There is plenty of on-going positive (and sadly - negative) stories in our world today.
Whether it's an international conflict, a rapidly spreading flu, a world championship in some sport... You can raise awareness of it by making it the key concept of your image. In addition, many people will come around the corner looking specifically for such images, as opposed to the more generic ones. Thus, get the big picture well and then re-paint it with whatever props and/or models you have. Alternatively, you can re-draw it. We're having more and more editorial images which make it to the editor's choice section.
If you want to be relevant in a microstock-kind-of-way, then take the very general concept and work with it. Topical events tend to repeat and so does the need of illustrating them in one way or another.
Finally, consider that editor's choice images... need to meet all MR/PR requirements; need to be very well keyworded, entitled and described; don't necessarily have to be Photoshopped ;) ; should (preferably) not be part of a series; sadly will not always sell as much as we would like them to; get extra promotion through various areas of the web-site; are often the result of a lot of careful preparation and work; always make us (the editors) happy. :D