Why You Might Consider Becoming an Adobe Stock Contributor


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.

29 Replies to “Why You Might Consider Becoming an Adobe Stock Contributor”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

    1. 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.

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

  5. 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!

  6. Hi Terry, I just purchased a new DJIMavic Drone and am interested in contributing. I am a complete newbie to stock contributions, and a majority of the reviews I have read say that “..Stock Photography is dead..” Do you think there is a viable market for scenic drone video (Ocean, Coastline, etc.) on Adobe Stock? I have been weighing the pro’s and con’s, and figured I would ask someone who is successful. Thanks for your time! -B

    1. Hi. First of all Stock is far from dead. It’s a multi billion dollar business. As far as the need for scenic drone video is one top sellers. Keep in mind that you’ll need a commercial drone license to fly for profit legally.

  7. I love to shoot, but it was always a let down at the end because other than uploading to a Facebook album, I never knew what to do with my pictures. When Adobe Stock released the stock portal for Lightroom I submitted and got accepted. Now, shooting for stock is an addiction and the whole world has become a realm of possibilities. I don’t have to choose between landscape, product, wildlife, food. I can do it all. I only have roughly 100 images so far, but I have made a little money. I plan to keep shooting and making more. It’s very motivating!

  8. Thank you for the article. Can you suggest a way to apply the same 5 keywords to a large number of similar images once they have been uploaded? An example.
    After uploading 25 images of a fall forest with approx. 30 keywords added in LR I was having to go into each image to arrange the top 5 keywords. I tried selecting several but could not rearrange the keywords.
    Thanks for your time and any suggestions!

    1. Hi I haven’t looked into it heavily but I think the “Upload .CSV” might be the clue to your problem?

      From Adobe: “Using a CSV file allows you to attach metadata to several assets at once.
      Each row in the CSV should represent an asset that was recently uploaded.”

      There are further instructions on the site.

  9. Adobe Stock sold my photo for 14 pence per photo. If I sell 100 photos a month I will have £14 of extra income. I will be rich really soon!

  10. Hi Terry, is there a way for Adobe Stock to pull metadata? I always enter metadata in Bridge before uploading, but it doesn’t show up in Adobe Stock like it does in Fotolia. Am I missing something?

    1. Hmmm, I would think that it should because if I enter keywords in Lightroom and a title they both go to Adobe Stock when I upload. Can you tell me the exact steps you’re doing?

      1. I’m a vector artist, and I save my files as EPS10. I pull them into Bridge and add title, headline, description, and keyword metadata in ‘IPTC Core.’ When I upload, none of that info is being picked up in Adobe Stock. I can enter it manually, of course, but that’s pretty time-consuming when I have a lot of vectors to upload. I’m including a screen shot so you can see where I add metadata to the file.

        By the way, I’m excited to see you at Adobe Max this year – I’ll also be speaking…about Adobe Stock! 😀 I usually upload through Fotolia though, so I’m trying to familiarize myself with the Adobe Stock platform.


  11. Hi Terry, I’m a new contributor to stock, i’d like to know if i’ll be able to submit the images i submit to Adobe to other stockhouses as well, That is, is the agreement exclusive ? Thank you so much for your time.

      1. Thank You so much for your response Terry, I watch your YouTube Channel, keep up the good work.

  12. Hi Terry,
    Is there any possibility for signing an exclusive contract with adobe stock? I saw premium collection with higher prices, is that possible?
    Thank you! 🙂

Comments are closed.