Dreamstime 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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The bottom line

Dreamstime contributor program pays high commissions for each photo, but the overall sale quantity is low compared to Shutterstock. As a result, I recommend contributing to Dreamstime as a supplement to the bigger contributor programs.


  • High comissions.
  • Good supplement to other contributor programs.


  • Low number of sales.
  • Confusing design and lacking overview dashboard.

In this Dreamstime Contributor review, I outline the key features of this unique stock photo agency, explain the earnings system, and how much you can expect to make.

Dreamstime is one of the best stock photo agencies to sell your images due to their high commissions and awesome community and support team.

Let’s take a look.

To become an exclusive contributor of Dreamstime, you must have at least 50 approved images on Dreamstime first. Exclusive means that you may not submit the same stock photos to any other stock photo agency.

Here’s the breakdown of Dreamstime earnings:

Dreamstime contributor earnings
Dreamstime contributor earnings (Credit: Dreamstime)

You get paid via Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill, or by check, once your earning’s balance reaches $100.

More Ways To Earn With Dreamstimes

There are four more ways to earn money with Dreamstime:

1. Referrals

By becoming a Dreamstime partner, you can share your link on your social media, with your friends, or on your blog, and you will receive 10% of the gross value of the person who signed up using your link for 3 years, for both customers and contributors.

You can become a Dreamstime partner by signing up here.

2. Assignments

Once a month, Dreamstime organizes an “assignment” on a specific theme, such as “Ageless” or “Simple things”, and everyone can upload their photos that best fit this description.

Winners receive $300 (1st place), $200 (2nd place), and $100 (3rd place).

However, Dreamstime is very strict about the images that get accepted. In fact, it’s a challenge even to get accepted, let alone being able to win.

Dreamstime team provides some guidelines for images to maximize your chance of success:

  • Unique images – Dreamstime cherishes creativity and uniqueness. If you bring something new to the table, something no one has ever seen before.
  • Artistic pieces – artistic and dreamy images that tell a story through lighting and composition, and also have a narrative.
  • Complex illustrations – well-executed illustrations stand out as much as good images do, plus, they are a lot rarer and therefore more valuable.
  • Rule breakers – while it’s important to follow some rules of photography, Dreamstime encourages you to break those rules and explore new compositions and effects.
  • Don’t upload cliché images.
  • Take advantage of special times of the day, such as the golden hour.
  • Experiment with angles, exposure times, focal lengths, and colour schemes.
  • Find new and interesting subjects.

3. 10,000,000th milestones

Every 10,000,000th (= every 10-millionth) image upload gets a special prize, iPad Air. The next prize is at 150,000,000th.

How can you enter the competition and maximize your chance of winning??

  • You must be an active member on the Dreamstime forum.
  • Upload the maximum amount of pictures allowed each day.
  • Provide high-quality material.
Dreamstime review - Dreamstime contributors prize winners
10,000,000th milestone winners

4. Blog Contests

Recently, Dreamstime has started a new series of assignments with attractive prizes, $300, $200, and $100 for first through third place.

If you want to earn even more money with your photos, read my article on selling photos online.

How to become a Dreamstime Contributor

To become a Dreamstime Contributor, start by creating a free account.

You don’t have to pass any tests to become a Dreamstime Contributor. As soon as you create an account, you can start uploading your images, but make sure you upload only the very best.

Dreamstime has become very competitive lately. Consequently, the criteria for images sky-rocketed. Before they become available to customers, they must be approved by the Dreamstime team. Soisy, vulgar, or unfitting images won’t be accepted.

Before you upload a file, you must make sure that you meet the following criteria.

  • You must be the owner and own the copyright for everything within it.
  • Don’t upload offensive content.
  • Clear copyrighted material, such as labels, logos, etc.
  • Traced illustrations should have the original image uploaded in the Property Release Area
  • Add a relevant description
  • You must upload a Model release or a Property Release for all recognizable people or properties.

Dreamstime prefers generic images with many commercial uses and marketable opportunities, but the approval team will also pay attention to technical quality (colours, lighting, sharpness).

Uploaded images should be JPGs in RGB or sRGB colour space with a minimum resolution of 3 MPs but not more than 70 MPs.

Dreamstime review - image upload requirements
Image/Vector/Video/Audio upload requirements

I know you are eager to upload your own images and earn some money by now, but don’t get too hasty. There’s a weekly limit to how many images you can upload, and it varies based on your approval rating. The more of your images get improved, the more you can upload. Thus, it’s crucial to upload only the very best images.

Here’s the summary of the number of uploads:

  • Approval of 80% and higher: upload the maximum amount of images per week. This also applies for the first 50 submissions for new contributors.
  • Approval between 50-80%: upload 1/2 (half) of the maximum amount of images per week.
  • Approval between 30-50%: upload 1/3 (third) of the maximum amount of images per week.
  • Approval between 10-30%: upload 1/4 (fourth) of the maximum amount of images per week.
  • Approval between 0-10%: upload 1/6 (sixth) of the maximum amount of images per week.

In addition, all exclusive contributors get extra 50% uploads above the given limits. Contributors with more than 500 images online and an approval rating higher than 85% can exceed the weekly limit by several times.

Adding Keywords

Adding keywords to images you upload is for sure a very dull task, but precisely added keywords are a game-changer and will boost your earnings by a 10-fold. What is more, adding unsuitable keywords could get you punished and your images removed. Dreamstime is hell-bent on always showing the most relevant content, and it will also pay $0.02 for reporting bad keywords.

To help you with this mundane task, Dreamstime has a “Keymasters” program, where a person, a “keyworder”, will manually add keywords for you. This service costs 60 cents per image. Although it’s quite expensive for a single image, other Dreamstime contributors love this program.

Dreamstime Companion

Dreamstime Companion is the official Android and iOS app for Dreamstime Contributors.

You can easily download the app from the respective mobile store for free and start uploading the images directly from your mobile device.

Dreamstime Contributor - Download Dreamstime Companion

What is more, you can join the community and partake in forum conversations via your phone now.

You will also love checking your sales with this app.


Can you make money on Dreamstime?

Dreamstime Contributor program is one of the sure-fire ways to make money with photography online. With a high amount of sales, great commissions, and an awesome community, you are guaranteed to make money on Dreamstime.

How much can you earn from Dreamstime?

You can earn between $0.34 and $12.24 for royalty-free photos on Dreamstime. If you manage to sell an extended license, you will get 50% (60% if exclusive) for that image.

Is Dreamstime legitimate?

Dreamstime is one of the few stock photo agencies you may call one of the best stock photo sites. It’s 100% to work with or to purchase images from, offers one of the best earnings in the industry, and takes care of its amazing community.

How do you sell pictures on Dreamstime?

To sell images on Dreamstime, follow these simple steps:
1. Create a free Dreamstime Contributor account.
2. Upload your image/video/audio files.
3. Submit them for a quality check.
4. Get accepted.
5. Wait for your first sale.

What is Dreamstime Companion?

Dreamstime Companion is Dreamstime’s official Android and iOS app for Dreamstime Contributors. You may use this app to partake in the community, check your sales, and even upload files.

Final Thoughts: Dreamstime Contributor review

Whether you’re searching for an additional stock photo agency to contribute to or you’re completely new in this industry, I think you will find a lot of value with the Dreamstime Contributor program.

For one, it has one of the best commission rates, plus it offers additional means of making money, such as intriguing events.

It’s definitely worth giving it a shot!


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