Trip Advisor Trips Out and Rejects High Quality Photos

This cracks me up. I upload a professional quality photo of a restaurant to Trip Advisor as a favor to the restaurant. Basically my way of saying thank you as I’m not the type to spend time writing reviews. And I know people love visuals. A few of my photos got approved for a restaurant Rachel and I enjoyed in San Francisco. Trip Advisor has them live on this page and they are the only photos of the restaurant. Given we got great service and had fun watching the Giants game that night, it seemed like a nice way to say thank you.

I go on vacation and figured hey, why not upload a few more for that restaurant and a few other places we went. Good karma. Make people happy. Etc. I forget even which ones I uploaded but then I get this:

Thank you for taking the time to contribute to TripAdvisor. Our photo editors have opted not to post some of your photos because they do not meet one of our photo submission guidelines, listed below:

*File properties
No single photo file may exceed 5MB in size. All photos submitted to the site must be in .gif, .jpg, .bmp, or .png format. Any file not meeting these requirements will be rejected upon submission
In general, landscape layout (more wide than tall) will look better than portrait layout (more tall than wide). All photos will be scaled to fit the standard display boxes on our site. Photos should not be altered in any way that distorts the scene being depicted. We will not post photos that are blurry, dark or otherwise difficult to view. Sideways photos will not be published.

You can also view these photo guidelines on our site:

We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will continue to post photos that do meet our guidelines.

Yes seriously. Welcome back to 2005.

At first I am curious which photos were rejected. So I go to my profile at:

It has a link that says “My photos (3)” so I dutifully click it. Then I get this message:

My Recent Photos
You haven’t contributed any photos yet… but we hope you will!

Trip Advisor is now using 3 of my photos, with my permission, and the nav acknowledges it. Some other photo was rejected for being too high quality (shhhhh, don’t tell them servers can resize images) but now I also realize that they aren’t even giving me credit for the photos I DID upload.

So remember that, only crappy photos folks. Or YOU go out of your way to reduce your images to upload for some restaurant or bar that… um…. you don’t work for to a web site that you don’t work for.

Nah. I’m not a tourism bureau and I don’t work for any of these places. I was doing Trip Advisor a favor and whatever restaurant that was a favor (the email doesn’t specify which photo got rejected) and instead I get a rejection email as if I have done something wrong giving them my CC licensed high resolution photos.

Sorry Trip Advisor, it’s just not worth my time to hunt down whichever photos I uploaded if it isn’t worth your time to ask your programmer to JUST RESIZE IT. Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter (even MySpace!) have somehow figured out the magic of resizing photos. If I give you a free CC licensed professional quality photo then send me a thank you note, not a rejection letter like I’m some n00b. Really? I mean REALLY? If I wanted to be treated like that I’d buy a cat.

I guess the lesson is the Internet evolves. Evolve with it. Maybe a second leson is don’t have one of your first interactions with me, a first time user of your site in “gonna try your site because my wife likes it” and greet me with a negative email telling me that my photos aren’t good enough for you, no link, no data, and apparently batch rejection.

I apologize. Please excuse me for the error of my ways. What I won’t do is create special “lower quality export settings especially for older sites” even though the site is actively asking me for photos. Sheesh.


Now to flip it around, to be fair, I should sign up for Tendenci as an anonymous person and see how our team does on delivering customer service. It’s easy to find fault, and really Trip Advisor lobbed that one up to me as a photographer. But how does my company treat people in tone and voice when they exceed a system limitation that I might have forgotten about? I’m curious. We might suck even more. Something I will find out given my spare time not uploading photos to other sites during my travels…..