Turning Rejection Into Self-Promotion

posted on 30th of january, 2012

My name is Angela and I have a rejection problem. It's not the usual suspects that most women my age worry about, so it's slightly tricky on learning how to deal when you can't turn to a friend for advice.
I of course, am talking about stock photography rejections. it's a steep learning curve, and I'm sure everyone on here has had one, two...forty or more. It's part of this lifestyle, and it's something many of us have a hard time to get used to.
Nobody likes failure.
But getting photos rejected isn't a failure, but rather a chance to learn how to be a better photographer and look at other ways to use your work.
So what can you do besides the obvious of submitting to a different agency?
Well, for me one of my new years resolutions was to blog. This means at least a few photos in every post, and a chance to highlight some of my other work.
There is always the idea of doing a photo a day, or even talking about what you liked/dislike and trying to get feedback. Flickr is amazing for getting feedback,
By writing a blog, or using your photos that didn't quite make the cut (but are still amazing), you now have an amazing on-line portfolio for future clients to see. Or, if you're me, your parents to see : )
Another thing that has really worked (for me) was to turn your photos into different types of cards. For a few years I used my pictures and turned my work into post/greeting cards and sold them in local shops. This not only got my name out there, but also earned me some extra income on the side.
The best company I have worked with to turn my stuff into things is moo.com.
Business cards, if you want to go smaller, and photos books (check out blurb.com ), for bigger projects. I have done both and have gotten excellent feedback.
Lastly (or not), donating your photos or trying to get them published via other sources such as the news or magazines. There are a million places looking for submissions (which I will post to my blog when I get a chance), and it's another way to get your name out there.
And if all else fails. print it off, and frame it : ) One day I'll settle down, and my house will be filled with rejections for me to look and smile about the memories I had shooting them.
Nothing is ever really a rejection though, but a different opportunity to use your work for different ways.
Happy shooting from Vietnam (and moving onwards),

Comments (12)

Posted by Dgmate on February 01, 2012
Maybe I should try that too. Thanks
Posted by Angelaostafichuk on February 01, 2012
Thanks for the feedback : ) More to come soon...
Posted by Physi28 on January 31, 2012
thanks for your very interesting info and waiting for more blogs from you!
Posted by FabioConcetta on January 31, 2012
Thanks for info!
Posted by Morrismann on January 30, 2012
Hi Angela. That's a very good post and a large zest of optimism. I think we will gain something in being in this state of mind. Rejected all right but not useless as you proved. Also what is rejected here can be accepted elsewhere. BTW, Vietnam (as you have found out) is a wonderful place with lots of photo opportunities. Enjoy yourself.
Posted by Dash76 on January 30, 2012
I have to admire your optimism in this situation that many of us find gut-wrenching, particularly when starting out. As a person who likes travelling and starting to focus more on photography, I also found inpiration in your portfolio......I just miss a curly redhead.
Posted by Kezza53 on January 30, 2012
Great advice Angela......:)
Posted by Egomezta on January 30, 2012
Thanks for this great blog... : )
Posted by M4rio1979 on January 30, 2012
thanks for sharing, amazing portfolio!
Posted by Jdanne on January 30, 2012
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Celiaak on January 30, 2012
Great piece of advice! It is really hard to see some (or most) of our work rejected, but I'm trying to learn from it too. Never thought of other use for it, so cheers!
Posted by Picstudio on January 30, 2012
Great blog!

Comments (12)

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About me

Hi, thanks for stopping by! My name is Angela from Edmonton and somedays I work as a travel photographer picking up a few odds and ends on the side. I love people and visiting new places and have a long list of things I want to see. If you could drop me a line when you buy my photos and let me know where they are being used, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much.

Currently On The Road, CA

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