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Adobe Stock Contributor Review

Matic Broz profile picture By Matic Broz Updated April 4, 2022
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Adobe Stock Contributor is among the biggest contributor programs and pays generous commissions to contributors or stock photographers for high-quality images, videos, and other assets.

How Much Does Adobe Stock Pay?

Adobe Stock pays up to 33% in royalties on images (photos, vectors, illustrations) and 35% in royalties on videos. As a result, you can earn anywhere from $0.33 to $26.40 for images and up to $70 for videos.

Adobe Stock Contributor Earnings

Your earnings from the Adobe Stock Contributor program depend on the licensing method, meaning how a customer purchases your content. For example, customers can buy a license with various monthly plans, credit packs, or even get an extended license, which costs considerably more.

Content Type License Method Royalty
Photos, Illustrations, Vectors 3 standard assets per month $3.30
Subscription (monthly): 10 images/month $1.65
Subscription (annual): 10 images/month $0.99
Subscription (monthly): 40 images/month $0.82
Subscription (annual): 40 images/month $0.66
Subscription: 350 or 750 images/month See table below
Credit packs $2.64-$3.30
Extended License Images On-demand or Credit packs $21.12-$26.40
HD Video On-demand or Credit packs $22.48-$28.00
4K Video On-demand or Credit packs $56-$70
Adobe Stock Contributor earnings

The minimum royalties for 350 and 750 monthly downloads subscriptions improve with your images’ number of lifetime downloads.

  • 0-999 lifetime downloads: $0.33/image
  • 1,000-9,999 lifetime downloads: $0.36/image
  • 10,000+ lifetime downloads: $0.38/image

Bonus Program for additional earnings

If you’re an active and successful contributor, you can get free access to Adobe Creative Cloud assets.

  • 150-4,999 downloads: You can choose a one-year plan of either Creative Cloud Photography (20GB), Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, or After Effects.
  • 5,000+ downloads: one-year access to Creative Cloud All Apps

Note that each video counts as 8 downloads. The downloads only count within a Calendar year, January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2020, and only downloads of photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos qualify towards the download count.

Learn more about Adobe Stock Contributor Bonus Program.

How do I get paid?

You can request a payout of your earnings via PayPal, Payoneer, or Skrill when you have reached at least $25 in earnings. To submit your payment request for the first time, you must have a validated tax form, a minimum of 45 days must have passed from the date of the first sale, and you must have a valid payout account, PayPal, Payoneer, or Skrill.

How to become an Adobe Stock contributor?

  1. Create your contributor account

    Go to contributor.stock.adobe.com and sign in with your Adobe ID (your Adobe account). If you don’t yet have an Adobe account, sign up first.
    For Fotolia users, you can sync your accounts via the Contributor portal.

  2. Upload content

    Accept all the Legal guidelines Adobe throws at you. Also, you need to be at least 18 years old and be the rightful owner of all the content you upload.

  3. Add a title, description, etc.

    Every piece of content you upload to Adobe Stock Contributor needs to have a title, a category assigned to it, and keywords that best describe it.
    If your ima

  4. Submit images

    Your content is now ready to be reviewed. A team of Adobe Stock curators will check all your content for technical quality and value.

  5. Manage your content

    You can add more or remove your content at any time. I also encourage you to edit and update descriptions and titles to make them more alluring regularly.

  6. Earn money

    Wait to sell your first piece of content. It might take a while at first, but the earning will start snowballing once it starts going.

How to upload images?

To upload images as a contributor, you need to create an account first. Then, click on Sell in the top right corner and upload images or videos with an FTP upload.

When the images upload, you’ll need to add a title, description, category, and keywords, for which Adobe Stock automatically provides suggestions. Importantly, you must attach a valid Property or Model release for your photos that depict a property or a person.

When you’re done, click Submit, and Adobe’s curating team will check your photos for technical and artistic issues, which takes around 1-3 days. When your images get approved, they automatically show in search, and you can start earning money.

Adobe Stock Contributor program also daily updates your sales to keep you up-to-date with your earnings.

Guidelines for photos

Adobe Stock doesn’t mind whether you’re a professional photographer with a $5k camera or an amateur with a mobile device. Photos must meet the following requirements:

Technical requirements

  • Format: JPEG
  • Colour space: sRGB
  • Minimum image resolution: 4 MP (megapixels)
  • Maximum image resolution: 100 MP (megapixels)
  • Maximum file size: 45 MB (megabytes)
  • No watermarks or timestamps
  • Do not artificially increase image size

Quality standards

If you want your images to be valuable to customers, they need to reach specific quality standards.

Make sure that they are:

  • Properly exposed and well-lit,
  • Without visible noise, dust specks, or water drops,
  • Perfectly-composed (for beginners: Rule of thirds)
  • Not over-edited

Title and keywords

Title and keyword are how potential customers find your images and videos. Therefore, you must find descriptive titles and keywords.

A common mistake I noticed a lot among beginners is that they want to be poetic.

Adobe Sensei can be a great help here. It helps you by suggesting up to 25 keywords and a title for you automatically. In addition, it leverages artificial intelligence to analyze the content of your image and compare it to similar best-performing images.

Adobe Stock Contributor Keywords

Don’t spam

Adobe Stock considers spam as uploading multiple variations of the same scenery with only minor differences between them. The same applies to different postproduction effects, depth of field, and angles.

Spamming can get your Adobe Stock Contributor account temporarily blocked or even permanently banned.

Pay attention to legal issues

Is the model in your photos recognizable? Is the property in your photos recognizable? Then you need a model or property release, respectively. These contracts specify that the model or the property owner allows the use of the photos for commercial intents.

In addition, Adobe Stock won’t accept any files that contain company or brand names, logos, or trademarks. However, you may upload content where these have been removed. Read more about it.

Get free Lightroom presets to sell more stock photos.
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How to earn more with Adobe Stock?

A friend of mine struggled to sell stock photos. Following my advice, he earned 20% more at the end of the month and 3.1x more shortly afterward. And his investment paid off in only six weeks. Pretty good, don’t you think?

I recommended the following:

1. Get premium photo editing software.

Professionally edited stock photos are the only way to succeed at Adobe Stock due to their high-quality standards. Sure, almost every app can edit photos, but not all of them are easy to use. You want a photo editor that gives you full control over post-processing. I recommend Lightroom for intermediate users and Luminar AI for beginners.

2. Improve your post-processing.

It doesn’t matter which photo editing software you get if you don’t know how to use it. So I recommend you learn the basics of photo editing. The best way to do that is to buy the software first, then follow through. You’ll pick it up in no time.

3. Use professional Lightroom presets.

The Lightroom presets allow you to edit photos quickly and efficiently. What I love the most is the ability to try tens of edits simply by hovering over the presets. It allows me to find the best edit for any photo quickly. Next, I make minor tweaks if necessary. The best presets available right now come with a bundle discount.

There are more options to earn money with photography. Find more about them in my guide on selling photos online.

Looking to edit photos like pros? Get Lightroom presets today.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How to delete the Adobe Stock Contributor account?

Being Adobe Stock Contributor doesn’t cost you anything, so think twice whether it’s worth deleting your account. Navigate to the bottom of the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal and send a request via a contact form.

How much do Adobe Stock Contributors make?

As an Adobe Stock Contributor, you can expect to earn anywhere between $0.33/photo and up to $70 per uploaded video. Some contributors that upload daily make thousands of dollars per month.

How to start selling images and videos on Adobe Stock Contributor?

Create a new Adobe account and sign in with your Adobe ID. Upload photos (or videos), add description, title, and keywords, and submit the content to be reviewed. Once it’s accepted, you’ll start making money for each piece of content sold.

Do I keep remain the owner of the content?

You are only selling the right to use your images, for which you earn money in the form of commissions. You still retain full ownership of your content.

Final thoughts

Adobe Stock Contributor program is one of the best ways to earn money as a photographer.

I want to leave you with one thought: “don’t quit too early”!

You won’t make money with stock photography overnight. It might take months for you to upload enough photos to make decent earnings – but you start rolling, you’ll be amazed.

About your guide

Matic Broz profile image
Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire, Skylum, and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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