Dreamstime Contributor Review

Article by Matic Broz June 3, 2021

Dreamstime Contributor Review

In this Dreamstime Contributor review, I outline the key features of this awesome 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.

Dreamstime contributor program has a commission table that’s closely tied to the licenses and Levels of the images. You are paid based on the sold content level and your commission share.

Percentage-wise contributing photographers receive between 25% and 60% revenue share. Moreover, for any file, you have an exclusive contract, you get an additional 10% bonus.

To become an exclusive contributor of Dreamstime, meaning you cannot submit the same photos anywhere else, you must have at least 50 approved images on Dreamstime.

Dreamstime review - Contributors earnings
Dreamstime contributor earnings

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

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 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 to even 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 that come with attractive prizes, $300, $200, and $100 for first through third place.

How much can you earn as a Dreamstime Contributor?

Your total earnings at Dreamstime depend on how many images your have uploaded and how much of those have sold. Therefore, a better reference is an earning/image amount.

You receive a 25-50% commissions on the net amount for the transaction. Exclusive files get an additional 10% bonus. Exclusive contributors enjoy 60% commissions for all their sales AND the additional $0.20 per approved submissions.

Since you commissions depend on the sale amount, it’s important that you understand how much the images cost at Dreamstime.

Every content type (images, videos, audio) on Dreamstime has its own Content level. The higher the Content level, the more you earn when it gets sold. Therefore, you will earn between $0.34/photo and $12.24/photo.

Furthermore, for each Extended license sold you receive 50% (60% for exclusive) commission.

Dreamstime Contributor Extended License Commissions
Extended License Commissions

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 images become available to customers, they must be approved by the Dreamstime team. Any images that are noisy, vulgar, or don’t fit the context, 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 that have a lot of 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 your 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 of 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 very 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 you 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 high amount of sales, great commissions, and awesome community, you are guaranteed to make money on Dreamstime.

How much can you earn from Dreamstime?

You can earn between $0.34/photo and $12.24/photo 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 that 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 the 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 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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