Focus. Your image is not in focus or focus is not located where we feel it works best.
Like some other rejection reasons, being rejected for focus can particularly sting for the level of subjectivity involved, i.e. what you may believe to be in focus, or a particular area of your photo with the focus emphasized, may not match Shutterstock‘s opinion of where the focus works best.
When an image appears intentionally out of focus, reviewers can generally deduce that this was done on purpose. Many photographers will shoot photos this way to satisfy an artistic urge -- to get a viewer to think about something in a different way. While noble and worthwhile as an exercise to hone your skills as a photographer, this approach generally does not match up well with the purposes of stock photography.
Take this image, for example:
Similar images with varying focus. Both were submitted in the same batch. Which would you choose to download?
As you can see, the image on the left wouldn‘t stand much of a chance to sell or promote a product, concept or idea. The image on the right would. This is not to imply that you cannot express creativity in your shots (on the contrary), but we suggest that you think of your image‘s overall sales potential during your shoot and prior to uploading to Shutterstock.
Try to always keep your main subject in focus, and have an idea of how your image might be used. This will help you determine what the main subject of your photo should be.
Is there a rejection reason you‘d like to see addressed in a newsletter? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past Rejection Reasons:
Color Profiles in Vectors
Why Was My Image Rejected for Keywords?
Why Photos Get Rejected for Poor Lighting
Limited Commercial Value
Overuse of Noise Reduction Software