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Rejected! Part One

May 25, 2009

I am one for four in submissions to TasteSpotting.  Either they have it out for me, or they hate my camera.  Actually, the more I take pictures with it, the more I hate my camera.


My first attempt was this beauty:

wouldn't these convince you that brunch really is legit?

wouldn't these convince you that brunch really is legit?

The rejection remarks referred to the fact that my caption (for TasteSpotting) mentioned the word “make”, but the link led to a product page, and not a recipe.  HOWEVER!  The photo linked to my kitchen witch website, which as you may or may not know, offers only frozen, ready-to-bake treats.  So, recipe?  No.  Make yourself?  Yes!
Next I tried to contribute a photo from my lemon meringue pie trial run:
baked pie
I will admit, I had trouble submitting this one, as I’m not familiar with their cropping tool.  So the bottom edge was cut off, leaving black space where picture ought to be.  (Don’t worry, the pie didn’t get edited out.)  The rejection remarks included words like: dark, not sharp, no contrast, image too small.  Personally, I am mesmerized by the swirls of meringue on top of this bad boy.
And most recently, I threw this at them:
ice cream sandwiches, large photo
The rejection remarks were somewhat familiar to me: unflattering composition. dark. low contrast. not sharp.
So, while I am not a food stylist, I feel that perhaps I am on my way (albeit painfully slowly).  One of these days I’ll get something else up there.  As for my “one” (as in “one in four”), I’ll leave that for you to discover.  Because this post is really about the dark cloud around my photographic silver lining.
(Edited to add: For the sake of clarity, I just want to note that the top photograph of scones was professionally taken, in my home kitchen, by someone other than me.  While I agree that it is an amazing photograph, my concern is that I have quite a few (professional photos) from my kitchen witch website that I’d like to submit to TS, but even the professionally executed submissions are declined for unclear reasons.  I’m hesitant to try another photo from my site, only to have it rejected, ultimately limiting my ability to drive traffic to my business.  My only accepted submission was taken by me.  That is all.)
8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2009 8:36 pm

    argh! The top photo is perfect and very appealing to me! I’m hoping the feedback helps you improve that ratio! (I am not much of a foodie so had never seen that site, but yum!)

    • kitchenwitchcookie permalink*
      May 25, 2009 8:42 pm

      I must admit that the top photo was professionally done (so it burns all the more that they rejected it). I might actually resubmit it with a caption that is more in line with what they want to see.

      My next attempt may be a radical departure from all the sweets: brussel sprouts. That’ll teach ’em!

      Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. May 26, 2009 3:18 pm

    I feel your pain! I’ve just had two consecutive rejections following an acceptance!

    Comment: “unflattering composition, cutoff. not sharp.”

    Comment: “unflattering composition. not sharp.”

    Oh well! Hopefully next time we’ll both get the more lenient of the mods (looking at some of the photos that make it, there definitely is one!) 🙂


  3. May 28, 2009 2:06 am

    after being rejected, and then searching, for “unflattering composition” i came across your post.

    first: your top pic is amazing.

    second: these rejections that we are all experiencing are becoming increasingly frustrating. it’s obvious that there is a huge amount of traffic to tastespotting, and they are over-worked. however, isn’t the job of tastspotting to be a potluck? have you ever told someone “no, don’t bring that?” i can say i haven’t.

    i’m not a professional chef in the slightest. i run a blood bank in a very large veterinary teaching hospital. my job is to know blood and then teach everything i know. however, i am known at the hospital for my skills in the kitchen. i like to share my abilities with people, it’s why i started the food blog. and it’s probably why you did too. it may not be perfect, but it’s fun. that’s why i like ts, it’s why i want to submit my pictures.

    there are pictures on that site of food that looks horrendous. today i saw a picture of burnt chocolate chip cookies that the poster is proud of. i’m not getting on the baker. however, if he/she can bring his/her food to the table, then why can’t i? i guess the composition was perfect.

    if the mods are going to be more and more picky each and every day, or if we are all just going to get declined because there isn’t enough time in the day and our contrast is slightly off, i’m just going to stop visiting ts. maybe they should just change the name to

    and i’m off of my soap box.
    thank you

  4. May 28, 2009 12:28 pm

    Your top pic is perfection. Follow what you did in the first one and you’ll definitely get more acceptances. Im learning that its all about lighting.

  5. June 6, 2009 12:43 am

    Hey lady! Do you have photoshop? Three things would fix most of your photos:
    1. Unsharp mask
    2. Curves (brightens without washing everything out)
    3. Color balance

    Probably in exactly reverse order.

    Also, turn off your flash. Like forever. Photograph in nice bright natural daylight — on a table near a window would be perfect. Then crouch down so you’re nearly eye level with the food. And take fifty pictures, then throw away all but the best two.

    Composition is harder but there are some tricks to it. More later if you’re interested/when I’m not drunk. Yes this is what I do when drunk. Surf blogs I like and give photoshop advice.

    • TasteStopping permalink*
      June 6, 2009 9:35 am

      You funny.

      Actually, I don’t ever use a flash, because those photos really suck! I think I’m learning that my kitchen (where I take most of these) has dungeon-like lighting. Actually, the scone photo was taken in my kitchen, but by a professional with a fancy-dancy camera that allowed for changes in exposure.

      What’s this “photoshop” you speak of? Sounds dangerous.

      (Thanks for the tips. I may have to actually improve my photography now.)


  1. Notes to self « kitchen witch

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