Why You Might Consider Becoming an Adobe Stock Contributor

adobe-stock-sales

I know lots of photographers and except for a few, they are all trying to figure out more ways of making money from their craft. Cameras and smartphone cameras keep getting better and better and therefore the market has become more crowded. Skill will usually win in the end, but the jobs are becoming fewer and fewer in between. One source of revenue you might consider is selling your images via Adobe Stock. This is NOT a “Get rich quick” scheme. As with most things in life you will only get out of it what you put into it. With that said, Adobe Stock can provide a way of making additional money from the images you’ve already taken or the ones you could take while out on assignment.

What’s in it for you?

Adobe pays 33% for images that people buy/license through Adobe Stock. They pay 35% for videos. While that may not seem like much, it’s actually higher than the industry average. I would also argue that a payment of 33% for the images currently sitting on your hard drive making 0% is a win! Some will scream “I deserve MORE!” I’d be the first to encourage you to go out and get more. If you’re making more with your images then by all means rock on! This may not be for you. We all have thousands or hundreds of thousands of images just sitting there. I would bet that some of these would be good for stock. You can sign up today to become an Adobe Stock Contributor right here. There is no test or requirement that you be a Creative Cloud customer. Once you sign up you can begin to upload your content immediately. It’s not just limited to photography. There is a need for graphic design, videos and illustrations too. This topic usually generates a TON of questions. I won’t be able to answer them all in this post, but most of the common ones can be answered right here.

I’ve also recorded three videos to help you get started:

Signing up only takes a few minutes via the web.

Yes you can upload via the web

or you can even upload directly from Adobe Lightroom CC or Bridge CC.

The Bottom Line

As I said up front, this is not a get rich quick scheme and honestly most of you that start will probably quit before you make any real money. That’s not because it doesn’t work, it’s mostly because of the nature of wanting to see fast results from anything we try. It’s like saying you want to lose 10 pounds and therefore you eat a salad for dinner. You jump up from the table, weigh yourself and say “this isn’t working, I haven’t lost a single pound.” On the other hand with consistent behavior, you will usually generate consistent results. The people making “real money” selling on Stock treat it like a job. They wake up each day and say “what am I going to shoot for stock today?”. If you only upload a few images, you’ll probably make pennies at best. If you upload hundreds/thousands of pieces of good quality content, then you’ll probably see results that worth the effort. The sales figure at the top of this post is my own. I’ve been dabbling in it for a year. However, at the same time I know I can have more by putting more effort into and I will! I don’t plan on quitting my job anytime soon, but one thing is for sure it has already paid for a few pieces of gear (on images that were just sitting on my drive making NOTHING). I have over 700 images/videos on Adobe Stock, my goal is to have over 1,000 by the end of the year.


  • ErickP

    Terry… how does Adobe verify that images/art uploaded are originals and belong to that photographer/artist? The other thing is there something we should do to register our images prior to uploading to Adobe Stock? Even a video you or a colleague have done in the past would be helpful. Thank you.

  • Dana Fram Pride

    Thank you, Terry White. I just uploaded my first 4 photos!

  • David Levin

    Terry, you mentioned in the first video that the first five keywords in Adobe Stock are the most important, yet we could have about 35 keywords to list for any one image. Do the first five keywords have to be listed in order of importance? (I suspect the first five are the keywords the Adobe Stock search engine will show on the first page of results. Am I right?) Thank you in advance, Terry!

  • David Dilling

    Thank you Terry, pretty neat. I submitted everything and was approved last week. One question that I cannot figure out. How do you set the price you want to sell any given image at?

    • The prices are set by Adobe. Not the contributor. The standard price for an image is $9.99. Keep in mind that if a buyer has a subscription the price per image can be much lower.

      • David Dilling

        Thank you Terry. That seems fair enough. Appreciate the videos. Keep up the great work!

  • What types of images do best in stock?

  • Jesper Vang S J

    Hi Terry, when model release is needed, does Adobe have a standard release form, or is any standard release form fine ?

  • Dana Fram Pride

    Thanks for the demo on contributing through Lightroom. I followed your instructions and it worked really well. One thing I did notice, I had to open a browser and sign into Adobe Stock Contributor before it would upload my photos from Lightroom. Before I signed in, Lightroom told me it could not upload due to technical difficulties, so try again later. After I signed it, it uploaded my photos, just like that!