I was rejected!


Not too many months ago, I discovered one of the tools of the trade when it comes to food blogging: recipe submission sites. I had no idea that anything like this existed (besides pinterest) until I started my blog. There are quite a few websites like Foodgawker, Tastespotting, and Eat 365 where recipe developers and bloggers can submit their recipes. Basically it’s pinterest but ALL food and only profesh looking images. From my limited understanding, recipes are accepted or rejected based 99% on how pretty the picture is. So.

Since then, on Foodgawker specifically, I’ve had 60 62 recipes accepted and 15 rejected. What I’ve learned is that I simply can’t predict if a picture will be accepted or not. I usually submit my recipe to ~4-5 different submission sites. But, for whatever reason, the only one I really care about is Foodgawker. Tastespotting can reject the hell out of my pictures and it doesn’t sting my heart and pride nearly as much as when Foodgawker rejects them.

SO, I thought it would be fun to play a little guessing game called “Was it rejected!!?” Below are some of the images that I have sumbitted to Foodgawker and other recipe submission sites. Take a guess if you think it was accepted or rejected and then roll over the picture to find out!

Have fun! Tell me in the comments how many you guessed right :)

1) Tequila Paloma

Let’s start with an easy one. Accepted or Rejected?? (roll over picture to find out).

This is actually my most popular recipe on Foodgawker. It was also accepted by every other site that I submitted it to.

Tequila Paloma recipe found HERE.

2) Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash “Mac n’ Cheese”

Accepted or Rejected?

Yep! Tastespotting rejected this giving “composition” as the reason. However, this was accepted by Foodgawker and is my second most popular recipe on Foodgwaker. Additionally, this post has brought in about 75% of my total pageviews from over the past couple weeks AND is one of my most pinned recipes of all time. hah. Suck on that Tastespotting!

This Spaghetti Squash recipe can be found HERE.

3) Zucchini Chicken Bites

Accepted or Rejected?

This was another tricky one. Honestly, I didn’t expect this image to get accepted. This, like the last one, was rejected by Tastespotting and accepted by Foodgawker and all other submission sites. And yet again, this is one of my ALL TIME most popular recipes. In fact, this is my MOST PINNED image. I wish my most pinned image was a bit prettier. But if it’s making other peoples’ bellies happy then I’m happy.

Zucchini Chicken Bites recipe found HERE.

4) Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties

I want to preface this one by saying that this was one of my very first food posts. I was such a baby photographer. Accepted or Rejected?

This one was REJECTED by Foodgawker this time but actually accepted by Tastespotting. Moral of the story here: Tastespotting has weird taste in pictures. I was on the right track when I took this picture but still had no idea what I was doing with my camera.

The recipe itself is fantastic though and I did make this fun little gif that I totally forgot about!


The Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties recipe can be found HERE.

5) Breakfast Toast Cups

Accepted or Rejected?

Yay! I did it! This post is from late May and it was about this time that I was really figuring out my camera and figuring out how to style food pictures to my liking.

Breakfast Toast Cups recipe HERE.

6) Chicken Marsala

Accepted or Rejected?

Yea. I know! This is one of those posts that I was TRULY proud of. I went back through and looked at it so many times throughout the day because I just really loved the pictures. Needless to say, I fully expected this to be accepted and yet it was rejected by 3 out of the 4 sites that I submitted it to. That being said, brown mushy mushrooms are hard to photograph. So, I don’t care what they say. This is a GREAT recipe and I still love the pictures.

Chicken Marsala recipe can be found HERE.

7) Light & Easy Jalapeño Poppers

Accepted or Rejected?

This one was rejected by Foodgawker. Sad face. But all the other submission sites accepted it so it’s not a total loss.

Jalapeno Poppers found HERE.

8) Watermelon Tequila Cocktail

Accepted or Rejected??

YESSS!!!! (that’s my reaction every time I log into Foodgawker and see that my recipe was accepted). Unfortunately, as pretty as this picture is, people didn’t seem to care too much for it. It has the lowest amount of clicks out of all 62 of my recipes that have been accepted on Foodgawker. I’ve long since given up trying to figure out what people like and instead ONLY blog about things because I want to blog about them.

Watermelon Tequila Cocktail found HERE.

9) Cauliflower Cilantro Rice

Accepted or Rejected??

At the time, I was really shocked that this was rejected by all but 1 of the sites I submitted it to. Now, I totally get it. I’ve really grown a lot in my photography skills over the past 6 months.

Cauliflower Cilantro Rice found HERE.

10) Doggie Ice Cream

Accepted or Rejected??

This ice cream was difficult to photograph and I didn’t quite expect it to get accepted based on the image. BUT, it did get accepted by all sites and is one of my most liked posts.

Doggie Ice Cream found HERE.

Was it what you expected?? Did you guess right on most of them?

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40 comments on “I was rejected!”

  1. Totally love this post! I’m not sure why, but it does totally sting to be REJECTED! I will never understand the logic behind some of the photos that re accepted and rejected…total guessing game! ha

  2. LOL I only got three right. Tough critics man.

  3. Holy tough critics! I’m pretty sure those would all be accepted by me, but I love food haha

  4. Man I’m good! I got every single one right, hahaha. Your drink pictures are GORGEOUS. Well, all of your pictures are, but I could never make a drink look that stunning.

  5. Woah! I’m surprised that any of these got rejected! They all freaking tasty to me!

  6. Oh my gosh all your recipes look soooo good!

  7. One quick question, what lens do you use to do your food photography?

  8. Interesting! I thought your photography was really good :)

  9. Fun post! I love your creativity and recipes! Your photography is great! :)

  10. It’s such a horrible feeling to get rejected. I think your photography is great though, you capture the food really well.

  11. All of your photos are SO pretty–I would have accepted all of them (especially if there were samples of food involved!). :)

  12. Those all look so good! Great photography!

  13. Your food photos are much better than mine! What camera do you use?

  14. This was so fun! I’ve never heard of the pinterest for food sites but now I know what I’m doing after my littles go to bed tonight!

  15. I guess 90% correct! Your food photos are amazing. I really want to start incorporating my husbands cooking onto my blog but Im so bad at taking pictures of food and my counters are awful (embassy rental). I really want to try that first cocktail!

  16. Everything looks so amazing. I would have accepted all of them :)

  17. Your pictures look fabulous! I blog food, but I don’t use any type of fancy picture. But if I ever delve into submitting to sites like that I’ll need to beef up my game big time.

  18. I don’t know why a lot of your photos were rejected – is it a crew of people on that site rejecting it? And who’s to say it doesn’t look good! I think they’re all magazine quality!

  19. Wow, your photos are excellent, so I’m confused how some of these were even rejected! One thing, though, I’m super hungry after looking at these pics! <3

  20. Wow, so weird to never know what people will like or what will get accepted or rejected- it all comes down to individual tastes I guess. But way to improve your photography in so short a time- the pics look great!

  21. First of all, ALL of these pictures look amazing and so now I will just probably stop posting recipes because my pictures are awful in comparison! ;) Second of all, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to what they accept or reject! I had no idea sites like this even existed! Anyway, everything looks awesome, great job!

  22. I got almost all of them right, but I was just guessing because all your pictures are so great! :)

  23. Okay, I feel like all of them should be accepted because your pictures are absolutely amazing! And the recipes look great!

  24. I got 8/10!!! Of course the pretty and colourful images are going to get the most acceptance!! I have to admit I was shocked about the Sweet Potato and black bean patties! I love that image!

    Lovely recipes too!!

    Katie <3

  25. Interesting – it’s like writing – you never know what will get accepted/rejected. I guessed all of them right except for the Chicken Marsala purely by instinct and how appealing it looked!

    • I agree, Mi1w182#a;&hat more could you ask for than a great mystery with a love story (and some awesome s-e-x, of course). And I love the Native American culture. My husband is part Cherokee. Blood Roles sounds like it’s right up my alley.

  26. Tastespotter is crazy… composition shmomposition… that spaghetti squash mac n cheese looks and sounds DELICIOUS!

  27. Well NOW I’m hungry. :) These all look delicious to me, and your photos are always nice!

  28. Now I’m hungry. Can you please cook for me. LOL I find it so difficult to believe that your recipes/pictures could be rejected. You always have some of the most beautiful food pictures I’ve ever seen.

    –Me and My Mini Me

  29. I accept all of them! Just send them over to my house, LOL! Great looking food and I bet it’s great tasting too!

  30. I don’t even pretend to understand half of those sites – they are so picky!

  31. These all look so good! It amazes me the pictures FoodGawker will turn down.

  32. You are super talented and your pics always make me hungry! I’ve heard this about them tho many times from other food bloggers. You just never know :) You are doing awesome, so keep it up!

  33. I LOVE this post! I have to say my absolute fav is the first tequila paloma but that’s probably cause I drink my dinner ;)

  34. This post is brilliant, tastespotting totally has the weirdest taste in photo’s compared to the other food sites :-)

  35. So very interesting. I actually guessed them all right, but that could be because of my prior photography education. BUT great recipes though. Some things are just a little harder to photograph.

    Thrifting Diva

  36. Got 9/10 right. I loved all of the photos though. I saw a pattern of what they wanted.