Our Review: 

Moodboard stopped accepting budget/microstock images on 15th October 2010.
Previous moodboard rating was 3/10

moodboard is not microstock in the commonly acknowledged sense, but they do have a microstock priced offering (from what I can see it has limited images) and they accept images from any one who can pass their acceptance tests.

I really like to concept of the mood board pricing, they offer the full gamut of pricing from micro level $1 right up to $135 per image for their 'plus collection'. They are not the only microstock site to offer this type of thing, istock have launched their vetta collection (previously the premier collection) and fotolia have been selling their infinite collection for several years - mostly in an attempt to woo commercial clients to some level of 'quality guarantee'. Moodboard extends on this and opens these options to anyone who visits the site - the first thing you do as a buyer is choose your price range, if you can't get a result from the low cost images you can then choose other collections to see if a suitable image can be found. Within reason, people are willing to pay more if they see the image they want, moving from $1 to $19 is not a huge ask if the image is prefect for a buyers needs, plenty of people understand it's false economy to spend an hour searching for a $1 image if you have a suitable one for $19 in front of your eyes.


Image Acceptance

If you thought crestock had high standards then be very scared. Save any 35mm film scans for alamy, they don't stand a chance at moodboard. Like crestock It will be difficult for me to perform a review of sales at moodboard due to my difficulty if getting a reasonable sized collection (100+ images) accepted. However a direct comparison between moodboard and a pure microstock agency like istock is perhaps a little unfair. moodboard is quality over quantity, I'm suspicious (if not surprised) at of the lack of images in their $1 collection and get the feeling these might be just a route to attract buyers to their value collection (starting at $15) - a good thing for contributors as the royalties will be greater.

Their useful resource centre contains a photographers wish list of needed images. Some of the images from moodboard are resold through macrostock outlet superstock.com.

Pay attention to the list of categories displayed before you submit your images, categories like 'objects>household' are missing, there is a good reason for this. moodboard are looking for commercial images which carry some sort of message (as are most stock agencies) so if your photo does not seem to fit into a category take a step back and think "how could someone use this image"

A couple of quirks to moodboard uploading. Files must be set to 300dpi - which odd as it's something they could change themselves on the server if they wanted it to be consistent. I've also been asked to sharpen my images - for me that was always a big no-no, I understood that sharpening was for the end users to perform to their taste and dependant on the size/medium they were outputting to.



Review in Progress: My only comment at the moment is that it's great to find a site where the reasons for rejection are clear and logical, the review team seem to be giving me clear reasons why they have rejected images, in some cases suggesting something I can correct and then re-upload. The moodboard submission system currently in place is hindering my review - I'd like to see some refinements here!

Feb 2010 Update: It seems like moodboard is stagnating from the microstock photographers perspective, I've seen little improvement in the photographers area from more than 6 months. At present I've stopped uploading.


Site Details
Real US$ Cost of 1 Standard Image: 
5 (compare prices)
Referral Scheme: 
None (compare rates)
Cost of a standard image (1600x1200) 2MP approx: 
5 Credits
Cost of 1 Credit (basic): 
$ 1
FTP Upload: 

Address: ftp://ftp.moodboard.com
Username: [your email address with a . replacing the @]

Site Statistics
Approx. size of photo collection (0 = no current estimate): 
0 Images (compare)
Alexa Traffic Rank: 
313766 (a measure of the site popularity, lower number is better)
Alexa 3 Month Change: 
40% (measurement of the increase of site popularity compared with three months ago, negative is a decrease)
Overall Rating: 
Site Closed / Not Recommended

Johann's picture

I think moodboard is junk to

Johann (not verified) on Wed, 2010-02-24 16:41
I think moodboard is junk to tell the truth. Last time I checkeb backgrounds are high volume sale items. I uploaded a bunch of those that have been going strong at Istock and more sites and got them rejected for "lack of composition" I mean come on, a FULL FRAME background shot as in macro in high detail of woodpatterns, bubbles in water, wallpapers, rose petals, etc you get my drift. How on earth can that sort of shots lack composition ? I dont think I will bother with such a low sale site if this is all the professionalism they show. It´s fine to reject an image but at least dont be so stupid as stating a reason for the rejection that absolutely cant fit the image in question.
Steve Gibson's picture

Frustrating is the word I would use

Steve Gibson on Wed, 2010-02-24 23:21

perhaps the light composition of the background? e.g. flat looking rose petals?

yeah, moodboard, I find them frustrating more than anything. I can see where they are trying to go, and the concept is great (mixing micro and macro prices on one site - they were one of the first in 2008, now everyone seems to want to be on the band wagon).

At the moment it's not quite there for me either (seems to be stagnating?). I've had 3 of my photos featured in their very nice pfd magazine which goes out to customers, but no sales sadly, I've only had 20 odd images accepted so its probably unfair to make too much of a judgement on that, but acceptance was so awkward I gave up - you can't resubmit images easily if there was a problem highlighted, and the process of categorizing is quite tedious. there are so many good things about their concept and process but also a lot of flaws which are not being addressed.

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