Adobe became a household name (at least in houses with creatives) with their ubiquitous software programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. In 2015, Adobe also began its own stock image service, named Adobe Stock.
As Adobe’s software and content library become more closely integrated, Adobe Stock is rapidly becoming the go-to way for creatives to find the perfect image to complete their project.
This post may have affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission on purchases through the links (at no extra cost to you). This does not change our opinion but does help support the site. Thank you!
For photographers, videographers and illustrators, becoming an Adobe Stock contributor can be a great way to earn passive income, get your work in showcases on a global platform and earn you money while you sleep. But how do you become an Adobe Stock contributor?
Who can become an Adobe Stock contributor?
The requirements for selling images on Adobe Stock are simple but also subjective. First the basics: you need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid government i.d. and be the sole owner of every file you submit for sale. A signed release is necessary if you include images of recognizable people or private property.
The second part is less straight-forward. Adobe’s own description is you need to have “great” imagery. More specifically this includes being well-composed with proper lighting and exposure, no visible noise or heavy use of filters and processing.
You do NOT need to be an Adobe customer to sell on Adobe Stock.
What can I sell on Adobe Stock?
Photographers have the option to sell general stock photos as well as news related editorial images. There’s also a Premium photography featuring specific collections and high-end visuals from select photographers.
Illustrators can sell illustrations and vector art. Additional categories include 3D assets, design templates, and video.
Popular subjects include images highlighting cultural diversity, technology, fashion, food, lifestyle, architecture, beauty, business, and more. To get a sense of what topics to focus on it’s worth browsing the website or their trend reports which will give you an idea of what types of images are needed.
How much can I earn on Adobe Stock?
Let’s get to what everyone is actually interested in: earning money! Selling on your own requires hours of effort to get your portfolio seen, negotiating rates, and communicating with clients. Selling on a stock platform like Adobe Stock streamlines all that… for a price. Currently, each time your work sells, you earn either a 33% commission for photos and vector art or a 35% commission for videos.
Once you hit $25 in royalties, you can get paid out with PayPal or Skrill. Obviously, if you have a photo that takes off on a platform with millions of users, the potential earnings are incredibly high. However, for most photographers and image creators, the percentage means it’s more likely to be a nice steady drip of secondary passive income.*
How Do I Get Started?
Getting started selling your images on Adobe Stock is quick and easy. To sign up, you’ll need a scan of your valid government id and about 10 minutes to fill out the forms and set up your profile.
I’d recommend you also complete your tax information when setting it up — while it’s optional, if you haven’t set it up yet, Adobe is required to keep the maximum taxes possible which translates to 30% of your earnings. Ouch!
Ready to turn your passion into earnings? Become an Adobe Stock contributor here.
Step 1: Get Familiar with Adobe Stock
Before you dive head-first into signing up to be an Adobe Stock contributor, I’d recommend taking a look at the aesthetic of the Adobe website. From what’s highlighted on the homepage and each subsection, you’ll quickly start to see what type of images flourish on the site and what buyers might be looking for currently.
Step 2: Get Your Adobe ID
Go to the contributor page on Adobe Stock and click on “Get Started” to create an Adobe ID. You need your give your name, email, date of birth, password, country and accept their policies. If you already have an Adobe ID, you can use it to sign in.
Step 3: Prepare and Upload Your Work
Once you’ve set up your ID, you can already start uploading images you want to sell on the platform. The dashboard is pretty user-friendly allowing you to see the stage of all your images, whether they’re under review, up for purchase, or analytics on sales.
Before you start uploading, here are some basic guidelines to follow. All images must be in the JPEG file format and use color space sRGB. Files cannot exceed 45 MB (megabytes), the minimum resolution is 4 MP (megapixels) and max is 100 MP. Do not upsample files to reach these minimums. No watermarks or timestamps allowed.
Step 4: Add Titles and Keywords
You might have the most beautiful images in the world, but without keywords, no one will find them. It might seem weird and unnecessary to add a title and keywords but it’s critical to your success on the platform. Most people use Adobe Stock to find specific images to fit their theme and the better you can use language to describe your image, the better for everyone.
Adobe’s Sensei helps by suggesting up to 25 keywords and a title. You’ll probably still need to review and edit them as necessary but it does speed the process up considerably.
Step 5: Wait for Your Review
After all that, now you need to wait. Newly uploaded files get reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and can take up to a week to be reviewed.
Step 6: Analysis and Optimize
Once your photography has been approved, you can still continue to optimize and improve. Read Adobe’s trend reports to plan your upcoming shoots. If you discover a popular niche, create more content for it. Fill in gaps where there’s little content.
Joining as an Adobe Stock contributor can be a great, hands-off way to earn some extra money each month. It’s free and easy to sign up and earning on the platform is passive once you’ve done the initial set-up.