Embracing Rejection (Recipe – Taco Salad)

My photo of the Toasted Pita Salad that I wrote about last week was rejected by Tastespotting because of its “poor composition”. When I found that out, I was a little dejected and immediately felt a bit defensive.  Not that I think my photos are all that, it’s just, I was this close to submitting that same photo to my own Culinary Snapshot as a “how to” about photographing food at different angles! Even though Foodgawker was nice to me and did accept that photo, I am pretty sure no one wants to learn about the techniques for getting your food photos rejected at any of the food photography websites!

After I got over my rejection, I perked up quickly. I now had a photo I could submit to one of the newest food photography sites, TasteSTOPping! Tastestopping is the very witty creation of one smart blogger named Casey. Casey created Tastestopping as a place to share your rejected photos with the world. Now your sad, lonley rejected photos have a place to call home.

Between Culinary Snapshot, where you can learn from the community about how to improve your photos to get them accepted on the “food photography elite” sites (and share your photos & tips as well!), and Tastestopping, where you actually kind of hope your photos will get rejected from the “food photography elite” sites so you can participate in the fun, the world of food photography is one hot topic!

This Taco Salad is something I am positing over at Culinary Snapshot (and if it doesn’t get accepted at any of the “food photography elite” sites, you’ll find it on Tastestopping too!

On a side note, I do have to say that Tastespotting and Foodgawker have both been very kind to me and my food photographs. I would hate to be the people behind the scenes having to pick and choose which photos get the golden pass!

What are some of the other food photography sites that you like to visit and why?

Western Taco Salad (Adapted from the back of the Western Dressing bottle)


1 lb. ground beef
1 package (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning mix
3 cups Nacho Cheese Flavor Doritos, crushed
3 cups shredded lettuce
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup diced English Cucumber
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced
Wish-Bone® Western® Original Dressing
  1. Brown ground beef in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in taco seasoning mix and continue preparing according to package directions.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, ending with the taco meat, Doritos and Western dressing. Toss and serve immediately.
I love these other posts about food photo rejects!

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  1. Pat Wogan says

    How did the food taste…or isn’t that important. I now judge food photographs in magazines by your photos. And often you come out ahead.

  2. says

    It’s tricky, isn’t it? What one likes, the other doesn’t–or if you’re lucky, they both do. It’s all in who is looking at any photo at a given time. What one person puts through, another may not.

    I’ve had good luck with TS and FG for the most part, so I can’t complain. I did have a really bad stretch with TS a while ago, though.

    Some new sites popping up? Food & Fizz, Savory Sights, and Healthy Yum. Submit same size photos, 250×250. Haven’t had any trouble submitting anything yet.

    Food Photo Blog? My stuff always says it’s submitted, but it never gets found, so I gave up.

    By the way, the recipe and photo look really good!
    .-= Elle´s last blog ..Vegan Brunch: Tofu Rancheros =-.

  3. says

    Thank you for this post. I get so frustrated with tastespotting and foodgawker sometimes. It’s so exciting when a photo gets accepted, my blog will spike in hits that day. Then I’ll put way too much pressure on myself to get another one in. It can be so hard to get the rejections. Thanks for the Tastestopping shout-out. I received a comment a little while back from Casey after yet another tastespotting rejection and have yet to check out her site. I will be sure to moving forward! I’m sure it’ll substantially help my bruised ego.
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Paula’s Magical Peanut Butter Cookies =-.

  4. says

    I get rejected from tastespotting and foodgawker more than I’d like, but I try to take the suggestions/reasons into account when I’m taking my next picture. I have to say it does make me feel a little better that you have pictures rejected too, probably because I think your pictures are amazing.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Summer Galette =-.

  5. says

    I always have a little moment of wth when they reject one of mine, but I can tell you that I learned a heck of lot from looking at my rejected photos with a more critical eye. They accept mine far more than they reject and I do think they have gotten pickier lately because they have more to choose from. I don’t mind the pickiness – you get a lot more traffic from them if your photo stays on the front page longer and accepted fewer photos ensures that. Great post Kristin – it made me feel better about a reject I just got to see that you got one too :)
    .-= Donalyn´s last blog ..Contrast =-.

  6. says

    Label me mean and obnoxious but I was sorta dancing while reading this. I guess misery loves company~always thought I was the only food blogger in the whole food blogging sphere getting the rejection slips. I’ve had better success with Foodgawker than Tastespotting. My photos will get approved at FG and will not cut it at TP. Just proves beauty is always subjective. Funny thing is, I only one photo EVER accepted at Tastespotting and it was one I didn’t even submit. The higher ups there grabbed it from my site and posted it as one of their favorites. Imagine that, never even liked that photo of blackberry grilled cheese sandwich.

    Kristen, I am as dense as they come in food photography but I sure know how to eat. Whether tasteSPOTting or tasteSTOPping material, your pictures always have me drooling! Definitely orgasmic food porn!

  7. says

    Hi, I was just surfing the net after being rejected at TS and FG yet again, and found some comfort in your post. Though I know my submissions do really pale in comparison versus the images selected at these sites, somehow the rejection just stings and lingers. I did find other sites you may want to check out:

    Kitchen Artistry: they use the full horizontal image format instead of the 250×250 square image where I often get “composition” problems.

    Foodepix: Great site, and they really give out valid reasons for the rejections, and helpful tips to improve the photo.

    Savory Sights: Just discovered this last week, doing good so far with my submissions.

    Rezimo: Another one I found recently, nice, clean site.

    Dessert Stalking: Focusing on desserts only, cool site.

    I still have a lot to learn about taking good photos, so it’s back to the drawing board for me…


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