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I. Why was my photo rejected?


I.01 The photo doesn’t meet our quality standards

There are several fundamental problems with your photo. If, for example, a photo is out of focus, shows high ISO noise and has an awkward composition, then it doesn’t meet our general quality standards. Sometimes the problem with your photo doesn’t fit any of the common criteria, then we also give this reason for rejection.

I.02 The photo is out of focus

Either the whole photo is out of focus or the focus is not on the point of interest in the photo. Camera shake also results in out of focus photos which can happen if you use a long exposure time without the help of a tripod.

I.03 The photo has sensor dust or other artifacts

Most cameras with interchangeable lenses accumulate sensor dust over time. It shows as grey dots or circles in your photos, especially in the sky. Any common photo software offers retouching tools to remove these spots easily.

I.04 The photo is under- or overexposed

Your photo is either under- or overexposed, resulting in too dark or too bright photos. Pay attention to the histogram when you take photos. Photoshop, Lightroom and other photo software have a shadow and highlight warning function which shows you the areas in your photo that are over- or underexposed which helps you to correct these issues.

I.05 The photo is lackluster

The colors in your photos are lackluster which often results in lifeless photos. You can increase saturation or vibrancy. Software like Lightroom or Photoshop offers you easy to use tools to increase saturation and vibrancy.

I.06 The photo doesn’t meet our quality standards

The horizon (or some other line) in your photo is not straight. Lightroom can try to straighten your photos automatically. In other software you can draw a line along the horizon using the crop tool which straightens your photo.

I.07 There is too much noise in your photo

This usually means too much high ISO noise. You need to apply noise reduction if you use high ISO in your photos.

I.08 The background of your isolated photo is too gray

The white background in your studio shot appears gray. You can avoid this by using different camera settings (adjust exposure and f-stop) and by using a different flashlight setup. You can also try to adjust the background color in software by making a curve or levels adjustment or you can set a new white point in the photo.

I.09 There are unwanted objects in your photo

There are unwanted objects such as tree branches or random people in your photo. You can try to remove these objects in software using the retouching tools.

I.10 The photo was edited too heavily

You maxed out on the sliders and edited your photo too heavily which makes it look unnatural. This applies very often to HDR photos with glowing contours and much too bright colors. Don’t overuse the contrast and saturation sliders either. We usually want a natural look in photos.

I.11 There is no commercial value in your photo

We are looking for photos with a commercial value only. This excludes all snapshots of your pets, family and travels. Artistic photos may also fall into this category, depending on the subject.

I.12 Your photo shows an indecent or explicit subject

We don’t accept explicit photos. We don’t accept pornographic or sexist photos or any photos which glorify violence. Photos of genitals are only ok when not shown in a sexual context.

I.13 Your photo shows copyrighted objects

Contrary to many other photo agencies you can upload photos which show copyrighted objects on Zoonar. But ONLY for editorial use, these photos can’t be sold for any commercial use.
Manufacturer logos, fashion logos and labels, cars, emblems, watches, smartphones, laptops any commercially sold object really, is protected by copyright and photos can’t show these objects when used as primary subject. You need to retouch logos (the “Apple” for example) or make sure that the logo is not visible in your photo.
It’s best to upload photos which don’t show any trademarks or copyrighted objects at all. It may be ok if the objects are merely accessories to the main subject. E.g. one of your models is wearing a rolex watch, but the watch is not the subject and focus in your photo. When in doubt, remove all logos in software. You can’t, however, take a close-up picture of a rolex watch and upload it too Zoonar to sell it with a royalty free or right managed license. We must reject the photo then. Rolex has the copyright for its designs and / or logo and you can’t use photos of their watches commercially without a property release by the manufacturer. We can keep the photo only in our database if it is intended for editorial use. You have to select the corresponding property release status “is NOT available” in this case.

I.14 The photo must be rotated

Your photo has the wrong orientation. A photo in landscape format was uploaded in upright format and vice versa. Rotate the photo accordingly and upload it again.

I.15 The photo has a frame

Please don’t use any frames or other decorative effects for your photos.

I.16 The photo shows text, addresses, signatures or similar

Please don’t insert any signatures, hyperlinks, addresses or any other text in your photo. You also have to retouch any telephone numbers or addresses which are legible in your photo.

I.17 Your model has an unusable expression

We deem the expression on the face of your model or their gestures unsuitable. E.g. the subject in your photo is joy of life but the model looks rather bored into the camera. We can make no general statements here and decide on a case to case basis. Should one of your photos be rejected for this reason feel free to contact us and we will give you a more thorough explanation why we think the expression is unsuitable.

I.18 The upload was incomplete

Sometimes the image transfer is incomplete or some other error occurs which results in your photo file to be broken. Just upload the file again.

I.19 Similar photos are already in our database

Zoonar looks for a wide variety of photos. However, there are some subjects which have already been photographed to death. Common flowers are a prime example here. When you take pictures of very common subjects try to use a different angle or use them in a different context or use a different vantage point.

I.20 Already reviewed photos have been uploaded again

Photos which were already submitted for review before were uploaded again, without any edits or changes. This can happen sometimes. But please keep track of what you have uploaded to Zoonar and what not.

I.21 We can't sell this photo with the Zoonar RF license for legal reasons

The Zoonar RF license allows the use of a photo for commercial purposes. Some subjects however, can't be licensed for commercial purposes, e.g. brand logos, copyrighted designs, people who haven't signed a model release, interior shots of buildings without a property release, and many more. We will reject these photos, if combined with a RF license. You can, however, re-upload these photos with a Rights Managed (RM) license.