Ever been caught by the Monthly Assignment Fever? Being left ecstatic because your image was selected, or depressed because it was rejected?
Assignments are a rather difficult exercise, with an approval rate of generally less than 15% - sometimes as low as 11%. For the newbies who are already struggling to keep a decent AR and are not too comfortable with image processing, this can be really intimidating. And yet, assignments are fun and, more importantly, very educational.
First of all, one has to work on a given subject, think about how to approach the concept, how to bring forward ideas. This is an excellent exercise for the brain and the eye, and of course the basis of stock photography. Well, I'm often full of ideas when it comes to assignments, but I have to say, it's much harder to bring those ideas to life!
The selection of the Assignment files is tough because images are brought straight away to Level 5, making them more expensive for buyers to acquire. Quality is a must. Although the editors are more strict when it comes to the Assignments, they actually give us an even more accurate description of the reasons behind the rejection than usual, and with them come more lessons about stock photography.
I've found that it is quite possible to resubmit a photo that was rejected for the Assignments as a Level 1 photo. If the comment is "Too simple for this assignment", or, as in the example shown in the gardening photo "Do not crop a part of the body and leave plenty of copy space", then the photo stands a chance to be approved as Level 1. If one feels that the photo cannot be fixed for the Assignment but that it stands a chance as a normal submission, then a completely new submission can be attempted - it cannot be automatically redirected for legal reasons. In any case, if the image is approved as Level 1, this is good news for the AR of course, as it offsets the rejection of the Assignment file. If it goes bad, however, this means two rejections.
Another positive effect of the Assignments is that they stimulate our creativity and some images that don't make it to the Assignment for lack of time for instance, can still be proposed at a later date. It's a matter of continuing to spin he wheel even when the assignment is finished. Thinking about the Assignments actually makes me think of other images I could submit, even outside of the Assignment itself.
The obvious advantage of the Assignments is that, if you are selected, you can get a lot of exposure for your image as well as your portfolio. Quite a lot of the pictures selected sell really well, despite their high price (and of course the winners get a nice little prize!). This is of course because their quality is high and this brings the quality of the whole website up (remember, the Assignment files are all exclusive), whilst generating more revenue for DT and the lucky contributors involved. I would also say that the Assignment images generate quite a lot of spontaneous purchases simply because they get so much exposure.
Finally the buzz around the assignment seems to create a collateral dynamic in sales. For instance this cave image was sold with the keyword "spiritual" during the current assignment. Could that be just a happy coincidence?
@ Thanatonautii I'm not sure if I can do this month's assignment, it's easy enough to take pictures of agriculture but for them to be of top quality is another story! I'm thinking about it though. @ Linqong Thank you!
I`m kind of new around here, but I still think that you are right! Right now i`m trying to think about some solutions for this month assignments! It shouldn`t be that difficult for me, considering that I live in a country where the time is 100 years back :P so here the agriculture is kind of archaic, like in an old story :)...but still I have some small problems :)
I hope I will get to have at least one picture accepted!
Thank you for your blog, and for sharing your thoughts!
@ Mani, I participated to 3 assignments, got in in 1 (First Steps). Looks like I'm going to mis out on this one but I got a new Level 1 concept in instead and learnt a few more tricks on Photoshop. Good luck with your pending files!
Yep the assignment is really great! I had the luck to participate in 3 before & get one on each! 50% AR, 100% AR, 100% AR... Now I'm trying the fourth time! I got a rejection & I have 2 pending ones! My prays goes there as it's related to religion :)))
Thanks for the nice blog & encouraging to participate! ;)
Hi Kaththea, it's not always easy to understand the editors decisions, why they reject our picture and take another one that we might find not as good. At least DT give us some explanations when other sites don't and we also have a chance to try and fix problems and resubmit. This assignment is difficult for me too. I hope that your picture gets approved as Level 1 and that it brings you some sales. Keep us posted!
Thanks for the blog, Rosedarc! I'm still dreaming of participating in one) This time I even spent two days preparing a pics for the current assignment, but unfortunately it's been rejected. First I really got upset and I still can't agree with editor's decision, but the good point is that once it is approved as a regular picture, I'll have, I think, the most beautiful image in my portfolio. So it's really worth trying, as even if the pics are not approved for the assignment they still improve the whole quality of our portfolios)
@Afagundes It's a time consuming exercise for sure and each of us has different priorities. It wouldn't make sense to only focus on the assignment :-) You're doing well in architecture and travel and you've been here a long time, so you've got a lot less to learn than us newbies!
Rosedarc, its been really a long time I havent tried to get into an assignment, maybe its time to give it a chance again, the problem is that I am usually on a hurry and dont have time to stop and think about it, and produce the quality image connected to the selected subject that would be necessary, but its a good exercise, for sure.
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