- Launched in 2015, Adobe Stock is one of the newer players in the stock photography world.
- Works with millions of Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) community users worldwide, as well as those searching for affordable stock images.
- Is fully integrated into Adobe CC software, making it extremely easy to submit photos.
- Provides a modern submission platform and dashboard.
- Is non-exclusive, meaning you still own the rights to your work; Adobe Stock simply has the right to promote and license your content.
- Makes it easy to find and purchase images directly through Adobe CC products and PowerPoint as well as the Adobe Stock website.
- Gives you two-for-one exposure, featuring your photos on two stock photography websites: Adobe Stock and Fotolia.
- Maintains real-time stats and sales.
- You must be 18 or older.
- You must be the sole owner and own the full rights to any photo that you upload.
- You must attach releases with any photos that have a recognizable person or private property in them.
- They are sticklers when it comes to having signed photo releases for both private property and persons. No release, no approval
- They will reject any photo that looks like it might have any form of identifiable marks. Make sure you thoroughly clean up images to remove marks such as street numbers, license plates, logos, etc.
- They hate noise and artifacts. To fix these, be sure to look at your photos at 100% and adjust to remove any noise, etc.
- They want commercial, not editorial images. In fact, your images may be rejected due to “no aesthetic or commercial appeal.”
- They want photos with minimal processing. While you may need to adjust the original a little, too much post processing can reduce the quality and increase the noise. That being said, Adobe Stock does want images to be straightened and cropped if needed, with neutral tones (i.e., not too warm or too cool), correct exposure, pleasing color and saturation, and any unwanted items removed. Adding filters is not recommended.
- Input your keywords in order of importance. Adobe Stock has a nifty auto keywording feature that suggests up to 25 keywords for you, making this often-dreaded part of the job easier. You can add or remove words and rearrange them in order of importance in the contributor portal. Be sure to indicate not only the subject of your photo, but also other objects in the image, as well as any action words that may be appropriate (e.g., sitting, standing, etc.). Unlike some other sites, Adobe Stock also allows you to change your description or keywords even after the photo has been approved.
An important sidenote: if you prefer to add your keywords while working in an Adobe CC program, the automatic keywording program will be disabled when you upload. Additionally, Lightroom Classic automatically arranges any keywords you input in alphabetical order. You will need to rearrange them in order of importance after the image is uploaded.
- Make your photos stand out. If you are submitting photos of popular topics like pets, flowers, sunsets, and so on, make sure yours are unique. You will have a lot of competition.
- Don’t crop too tightly. Think about how your images may be used. Your image may be a horizontal shot but the customer wants to use it vertically. Or maybe the customers wants to post a headline over part of the image. Leaving some extra space around the primary subject will help your image fit a wider variety of needs, and thus make more sales.
- Do your research. Pay attention to what images are selling on different stock photography sites, what images you see in advertising, as well as what trends the photography world says are expected to be popular in the near future.
- Play the numbers. As with any microstock site, Adobe Stock is a numbers game. The more photos you have approved, the more money you can earn.
Photo by agrobacter via iStock
Like with other microstock sites, Adobe Stock is not a get-rich-quick opportunity for photographers.
However, the site does have some distinct advantages over other microstock sites, especially for photographers wanting to get into the stock photography business.
In particular, Adobe Stock makes it extremely easy for contributors to upload images, as well as for customers to download stock images directly into their works in progress.
Adobe Stock Snapshot
Editor's Tip: Take your photo-editing game to the next level with the next generation of photo editors. Try Luminar today.
Adobe Stock: How Much Do They Pay Photographers?
Adobe Stock pays 33% commission for photos and 35% for videos, based on how much the customer paid for the image. The customer’s price varies depending on the number of images the customer commits to purchase or their subscription service. This generally starts at about 66 cents and goes up to $3.30, depending on the customer’s plan.
Photos downloaded from “large subscription” users are paid at Adobe’s guaranteed minimum rate, which varies depending on your rank. Your Adobe rank is based on how many downloads you’ve had.
Finally, you can make as much as $26.40 from extended license customers. You can find a detailed example of payments and ranking on the Adobe Stock website.
Once your balance reaches $50, you can request payment either through Paypal or Skrill.
Adobe Stock: How Can I Become a Contributor?
Becoming a contributor to Adobe Stock is super easy.
First, you must set up an account. You can either use your Adobe CC account information, or create a new account. Next, you must agree to their legal requirements. Then you can start uploading your images. There is no test or other requirements to qualify as a contributor.
A few things to keep in mind:
How Do I Upload Photos to Adobe Stock?
Because Adobe Stock is fully integrated with Adobe CC software, uploading images is extremely simple, especially compared to some other sites.
Photos can be uploaded directly through Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom (including the app), Bridge CC, or the Adobe Stock website. Additionally, Adobe Stock automatically converts your photos to the size and format that it needs so you don’t have to.
In Adobe CC products, you simply have to select, drag, and drop your photos into the Adobe Stock Publish Collection. (Make sure that “Enable Adobe Stock” is turned on in your plugin manager.) This will upload the photos directly, then take to you the contributor website to finalize your submissions.
If you upload through the site’s contributor panel, again, it’s a matter of dragging and dropping your photos.
Learn more about how to upload your images to Adobe Stock in the video above by Adobe Creative Live.
Adobe Stock: Tips for Getting Photos Approved
Adobe Stock’s strength is its ease of submitting photos. They are also known for their quick turnaround, usually approving or rejecting images in just a couple of days.
Once you have an image approved, you are a contributor. There is no minimum for how many images you must have approved to become a contributor, and no requirement for how many photos you must add in the future.
That said, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Editor's Tip: Have some photos you want to keep for yourself? Turn them into jaw-dropping wall-worthy prints.
Adobe Stock: Tips for Selling Your Images
The Bottom Line
As with any microstock site, it takes a while to see a payoff with Adobe Stock, and that payoff may not be a whole lot of money.
However, if you have commercial-grade photos sitting around not making any money, it may be worth becoming an Adobe Stock contributor.
It’s free, and the ease of uploading images means less work for you than some other stock photography sites, while the pay percentage is competitive.