What Sylvester Stallone Can Teach You about Stock Photography

When Sylvester Stallone accepted the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1976 for Rocky, he read out loud all the rejection slips he’d received while he was trying to get the film made.

And it wasn’t just his screenplay that kept getting rejected. Stallone wanted to star in the movie, too, but producer after producer said no way.

Stallone was offered $100,000, then $200,000 and finally $400,000 for the screenplay itself. But he truly believed that he was the right one to play Rocky, so he declined.

And he didn’t stop trying to get what he wanted.

He persevered – and, in the end, he got the part. As we all know, Rocky went on to become a blockbuster hit (with a theme song that sticks in your head anytime you see someone running up stairs ).

Stock photographer Steve Collender handled rejection the opposite way. Instead of persevering – trying again and again – he retreated.

“I felt really bad when Shutterstock rejected me the first time back in 2007. It was almost two years before I tried a second time and finally got in. Two years before I finally got enough courage to try again!! And I kick myself every time I think of all that time I wasted not trying again sooner.”

Does this sound like something you would do? Are you so afraid of getting rejected that you haven’t even tried to submit your photos for the first time?

Or maybe you’re waiting for some magic moment when I’ll knock at your front door and sit down with you, go through your photos, pick out the best and then help you upload them online?

Sorry. I can’t do that. I can’t come to your home (though I’m sure it’s lovely). But I can provide you with motivation and helpful tips...

It’s important to get other people involved in your efforts to become a successful stock photographer. Most of Steve's Collender’s motivation came from his wife, who kept asking him when he was going to try again. Steve also had a friend who called him regularly, asking to see photos he’d submitted.

Today, having put the fear of rejection behind him, Steve sells his photos on Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Big Stock, Canstock, 123RF and others. And he’s had nearly 50,000 sales.

So hold your head high, face rejection with pride... and have fun!

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]