Quality and technical issues

For content to have commercial value, it must be high quality. Learn about quality and technical issues and how to avoid content rejection.

Quality overview

To submit good visual content to a stock platform, make sure your images and videos are clear and bright, and that there are no problems or errors. Your vectors should be organized and fully enclosed.

Remember, just because something looks great in an art gallery doesn't mean it's suitable for stock. Think about whether your content is useful for commercial purposes and whether customers would buy it.

Lastly, there may be some issues with your content that the review team may mention, such as blurriness or errors. Make sure your content is clear, focused, and free of issues before submitting it.

Out of focus 

To avoid this issue, always inspect your content at 100% before submitting it. Additionally, when using motion blur to convey motion in an image or video, ensure that the main subject is sharp and in focus. A shallow depth of field can also help guide the viewer's attention, but be intentional with your choice and make sure important elements are not out of focus. Lastly, if the image is in focus but lacks sharpness, be careful not to introduce artifacts when sharpening in post-production.


Use a tripod or monopod, and find the right balance between shutter speed and aperture. Avoid setting the ISO too high to prevent noise or artifacts. Push your camera to its limits, but don't go too far beyond them for optimal results.

Dealing with Artifacts in Stock Images

Artifacts, such as excessive noise or spots caused by sensor dust, can detract from the quality of your stock images. To prevent noise, be mindful of high ISO settings in low-light situations and know your camera's limitations. Save your original file and compare it with the submitted image if a rejection is based on artifacts. Keep your sensor clean to prevent sensor dust spots, which can be removed in post-processing or by consulting a camera store for cleaning options.

Lighting Issue

Too much light (overexposure) or not enough (underexposure) can greatly diminish the overall quality of a photograph. Check your histogram, or look at the image onscreen while shooting to ensure that you’re exposing your images properly.

Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are the three main factors that determine exposure. Whether you’re using ambient light or studio light, learn to adjust the exposure of your images to best capture the scene.

In some cases, the exposure of the image may be indicative of the scene you were capturing though it may not be ideal for stock. When this is determined by the moderation team, the "lighting issue" rejection reason is activated.

Image Quality

If we determine your file to have technical issues other than focus, exposure, or artifacts, which we call out specifically or if the file is determined to not meet our overall quality standards the "Image Quality" rejection reason is selected by moderation. 

Photography and video technical issues include but aren’t limited to

White balance: The white balance may be too warm or too cool.


When you shoot in raw formats, you have great flexibility to adjust the white balance in your post-processing workflows.

Contrast: There may be too much or not enough contrast.

Saturation: Oversaturation may give your file an unnatural look, but under-saturated or spot color can also result in technical decline.


You may want to try the Vibrance slider instead of Saturation in Lightroom.

Selections: Editing must be done inconspicuously. Selecting objects out of their backgrounds (or masking) to composite into new images requires time, patience, and care. Do not submit images that have been poorly selected or look like they are not a natural part of the scene.

Chromatic aberration: Refers to color fringing around objects in the image.

General composition: Is your horizon straight? Have you cropped the image too much? Consider leaving a designer room to add their own text or objects. 

In addition to the above, video technical issues include but aren’t limited to

Visual stability: All shots should demonstrate appropriate camera support and use of image stabilization. If shakiness in the shot is a design aesthetic, then we moderate the file based on that merit. Stabilization in post-production is acceptable if it does not detract from the quality of the image.

Audio: Remove audio that is unusable, such as over-modulated audio or sound that could be trademarked. It is perfectly acceptable to submit clips without audio. If your clip contains audio of human voices, a model release is required for each voice.

Rolling Shutter Artifacts: Shots containing minor rolling shutter artifacts are accepted or declined based on the judgment of the moderation team. Shots containing wobble or “jello” artifacting will be declined. Shots containing skew artifacts will be judged on how obvious, disruptive, or distracting the artifact is to the beauty or effectiveness of the image. Shots containing flash banding are not acceptable and will be declined.  

Logarithmic gamma (log) footage: Footage shot in log should have a simple color grading applied—a basic Rec 709 LUT is recommended.

Up-res Footage: Do not up-res footage (for example, from HD to 4k). Submit footage as shot or smaller, if necessary. Shoot in 4K where possible. 

Vector technical issues include

Open paths: all filled shape paths must be closed.

Raster images: do not embed pixel-based images (JPEGs) into your vectors files—because they are not vectors.

Autotrace: Do not use autotrace on complex images like photos. The resulting vectors are too difficult for a customer to edit.

Artboard size: Your artboard must be a minimum of 15 megapixels or it cannot upload through the Contributor portal.