Shutterstock and Trump Caricatures

So, I finally got some information I needed yesterday about shutterstock’s rules for stock image submissions.

I have several celebrity caricature and political cartoons that I want to sell for stock images, but they can only be sold for editorial use because they’re images of real people rather than fictional characters and I don’t have a model release. Istock won’t allow illustrations to be sold as editorial stock, but shutterstock allows this, which is just what I needed.

I had a few cartoons and caricatures of Donald Trump, one of which was clearly offensive and kept getting rejected when I submitted it. I suspected it was being rejected due to being offensive, but they never said that. They kept saying they didn’t like my description or the keywords. I gave up on it for awhile, but I tried again a few days ago and I finally got a response that it was rejected due to being an offensive subject.

Which is fair.

It’s also what I needed to know.


My new Trump caricature (below) is very neutral. It’s not quite complementary, but it isn’t offensive at all. I figure this one should easily pass shutterstock’s censors and, based on my sales of my other Trump images, it should sell reasonably well also.

Trump Golfing

[Edit: Trump Golfing is now available on shutterstock.]


I decided to take some of my images just sitting around in my portfolio and put them to work.  To that end I created an iStock account to sell some of them for stock.

I’m pleasantly surprised that, so far, they’ve only rejected one image, and that one because it was a photograph where a brand name was visible (I should have know better).  I was surprised that they didn’t reject more of the photos because they were all taken with a point-and-shoot camera and had compression errors at full size.  I reduced them to fix that, but I still wasn’t 100% sure they were sharp enough.  I uploaded just a few of them mostly to get an idea of if that quality of image was good enough.  I guess they are.

I’ve got quite a few in-queue still and some of the accepted ones aren’t up yet, but if you’d like to see what’s up so far, here’s the link to my iStock portfolio:

Also, I’m curious if any of you have tried iStock as contributors and what your thoughts are on the experience.