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Filtered Images

A couple of weeks ago, we published an Infographic for Global Design Trends in 2014 on Shutterstock’s blog. In the post, Shutterstock’s PR Manager, Josh Black, talked about how content with a “filtered” look happens to be in very high demand. With this in mind, we’ve composed a few tips and tricks for how to familiarize yourself with this style of content, and get your images approved.

If you are new to filtered images, you may ask yourself: What is a “filtered” image? Filtered images are simply ones that have been modified in post-production to create a specific look or feel. For example, some photographers apply filters to their images to give them a nostalgic look, similar to images found on Instagram.

Below are a couple of examples that illustrate a “filtered” look:



As you can see, when applying filters to an image you purposely alter an image’s color, saturation, brightness, etc. You may also apply texture effects to replicate a desired look (adding a film grain effect, for example). It can be difficult to review filtered images because it can sometimes be unclear as to whether or not the visual effect was intentional. We understand that applying these effects in post-production can be time consuming, so the last thing we want is to have your images rejected incorrectly. To help reduce the chances of this happening, make sure that the applied effect compliments your image, and take the following pointers into consideration when submitting this style of content:

  •  “Notes for Reviewer” Field
    • Before submitting your content for review, you have the option to include a note with your submission. It is highly recommended that you communicate to the reviewer what effects have been applied, so they have a better understanding of the aesthetic look that you are going for.
  • Title & Keywords
    • The same applies to your title and keywords. If a filter or texture effect is applied to an image, mention that in its title and keywords. Not only will it make the reviewer aware of the effect, but it will also help customers find images with that look.
      • NOTE:  At this time, “Instagram” can be used as a keyword, but it should only be used on images that have characteristics similar to Instagram filters. We ask that you use this keyword sparingly and appropriately. Images that contain the term “Instagram” in the image itself will be rejected for trademark.
    • Editorial Content: Filters can be applied to editorial images, however it is crucial to indicate that filters have been applied in the caption.  As a reminder, editorial content should never be dramatically altered or modified in a way that portrays a subject dishonestly.  See our Shutterbuzz article “Shutterstock’s New Editorial Guidelines” for additional information on submitting editorial content.
  • Image Quality
    • As with all content that is submitted to Shutterstock, each image will be reviewed for lighting issues, excessive noise or artifacts, unacceptable focus, trademark/copyright issues, etc. It is a good habit to check your images for these issues prior to submission in order to avoid rejections. Here are some useful Shutterbuzz articles that cover this topic:

*Please note that the tips provided above won’t guarantee approval of your images.

We hope that you found this information useful and informative! We look forward to seeing your creative content.