Depositphotos Contributor Review

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.

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Depositphotos contributor thumbnail

You might be a well-established professional photographer, an amateur, or a complete newbie. Regardless, Depositphotos accepts photographers from all walks of life.

The only criteria: Your photos and videos must be at least good.

Even if you only own a smartphone, you can apply for the Depositphotos contributor program and start building a portfolio that will earn you money.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Let’s look at how the Depositphotos contributor earnings are actually calculated.

All images on Depositphotos are licensed under a royalty-free license, which is the most basic form of a paid license. Customers who license your content acquire lifelong rights to use them within the allowed uses of a royalty-free license.

Your actual earnings will depend on two factors:

  • Did the customer license your content with a subscription plan or on-demand?
  • What is your contributor level?

Contributor levels depend on the number of downloads of your content. The more your content is downloaded, the higher your contributor level and your commissions (also referred to as “royalties”) get.

Contributor levelRequired downloadsOn-demand commissionsSubscription plan commissions
Level 1up to 49934%$0.30
Level 2500 – 4,99936%$0.31
Level 35,000 – 24,99938%$0.32
Level 425,000 – 149,99940%$0.33
Level 5150,000+42%$0.35
Depositphotos contributor earnings

It’s worth noting that files downloaded via a subscription plan only count as 1/3 of a download.

Commissions for videos range from 30% to 38% based on contributor level. Audio files are the most profitable, with commissions from 34% to 42%.

Revenue Share Special Program

Depositphotos is quite stingy with information about Revenue Share Special Program. To the best of my knowledge, it means the following:

Depositphotos offers an unlimited plan that encompasses around 700,000 photos from contributors. Contributors who participate in the Revenue Share Special Program share 40% of net subscription revenue from these subscriptions. At the end of the year, the earnings are split between the contributors based on the number of downloads.

How to become a Depositphotos contributor?

To apply for the Depositphotos Contributor program, you need to complete these 3 steps:

  1. Register a Depositphotos contributor account.

    Click here to go to the sign up page. It will take you no more than 10 minutes.
    It’s completely free and comes with no obligations.

  2. Upload a few of your best files

    Make sure you upload only the very best. The initial test is the most strict one.

  3. Wait to pass the examination test by the Depositphotos

    It may take a couple of days or even week. Be patient.

  4. Start uploading

    Even after you pass the initial test, all your flies will be reviewed before they are published on Depositphotos.

  5. Wait for your first sales

    Getting your first sales is an amazing feeling. Just give it time.

To become Depositphotos Contributor, you must be 18 or older. You have to upload your files and own the rights to display the images.

This brings me to my next point.

Model and property releases

When you start earning money with photography, things get complicated. You can’t freely upload every piece of content anymore. Instead, you need to be the rightful owner of the photo/video, and you need the written permission of people and property owners featured within your photos/videos.

These documents are called a model and property release, respectively.

Depositphotos contributor model release
Property release by Depositphotos contributor

You can download a model release form and a property release form from the Depositphotos website.

Video (Depositphotos review)


If you want your content to be accepted, it needs to meet specific criteria.


  • Format: JPEG/JPG
  • Colour space: RGB
  • Resolution: minimum of 3.8 MP (2400×1600 pixels)
  • Size: smaller than 50 MB


  • Formats: EPS, AI
  • Archive: ZIP archive with a JPEG/JPG preview with min. resolution of 3.8 MP (2400×1600 pixels)
  • Size: each ZIP smaller than 50 MB


  • Formats: ASF, AVI, DV, FLV, MOV, MPEG/MPG, WMV
  • Videos codecs: Photo JPEG, Motion JPEG-A/B; DV, HDV, DVCPro; H.264/AVC, DivX, Xvid, SVQ1, MP42, MP43, MPG4, MP4V, M4S2, MPEG-1, MPEG-2; WMV2, WMV3; FLV;
  • FPS: 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.93 or 60 FPS
  • Min. resolution: 0.07 MP (320×240 pixels)
  • Length: 3-60 seconds
  • Compression: the best possible image quality
  • Sound: Optional
  • Size: max 4096 MB


  • Formats: WAV, MP3, AIF/AIFF
  • Bit depth: 16 or 24
  • Sample rate: 44.1 or 48 kHz
  • Max duration: 10 minutes
  • Size: max 1 GB

Final thoughts

Depositphotos is an excellent way to make some more money with stock photography. However, it probably won’t be enough for a full-time job.

Hence, I recommend you sign up for other contributor programs and upload your content there too. This way, you’ll maximize your profits.

If you want to learn how to make even more money as a photographer, read my thorough guide on selling photos online.


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