How to Earn Money With Adobe Stock Photography

Buildings, moments, pets, people, and what not!

Adobe Stock sells it all.

This service indeed enjoys a prime position in the stock photography market. 

According to a study, the facilitated handling of stock photos assets on Adobe Stock makes it a preferred choice for most creative professionals. Their overall working efficiency is said to increase 10 folds when buying and using stock photos from here.

This makes selling photos on Adobe Stock a means of valuable exposure for the photographers. This stock agency offers higher royalties than its competitive resources, which renders it a lucrative career opportunity for many photographers.

With reliable financial advice and applying stock photography formulae correctly, you can secure sustainable income streams from your favorite past-time.

But not everyone hits the target right at Adobe Stock. The route to greater earnings on this platform is simple but challenging.

In this post, we have outlined the complete step-by-step guide to get your name in the Adobe Stock contributors list and sell your stock photos successfully on this platform.

Let’s get started by learning more about Adobe Stock.

What is Adobe Stock?

Adobe launched its industrial strength stock imagery service in 2015 and called it Adobe Stock.

Many things contributed to making Adobe Stock the big name it is now.

Why Adobe Stock?

When it comes to starting a photography business, showcasing your work on the right platform is crucial. 

A website with considerable exposure and a high royalty rate is always the best choice. Adobe Stock boasts both the benefits and has much more to offer for stock photographers.

Unparalleled Exposure

Contributors at Adobe Stock enjoy the perk of having their photos presented to a broader target audience. 

Basically, Adobe Stock is integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud apps that stock content users (your consumers) already use. These apps include Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and other Adobe desktop apps.

Without leaving their favorite editing tools, designers just need to search for a photo from Adobe Stock library, license (purchase) it to remove the watermark, and start editing right there.

This works as a plus point for the stock photographers who get many consumers from a variety of editing platforms users. Whereas, none of Adobe Stock’s competitors benefit and use their website traffic as a single source of customers.

adobe stock is integrated with CC apps

Competitive Pay Scale

Until 2015, Shutterstock was the leading figure in the stock photo services space. With Adobe Stock taking charge and coming up with top market royalties for the contributors, it became a significant contender.

Many photographers also mention that their earning stats on Adobe Stock outperform Shutterstock earnings. Therefore, it remains amongst their top three stock photo platforms where they sell their work.

Adobe Stock has set a flat royalty rate of 33% for photos and vector art. Whereas videos have a flat commission of 35%.

high royalty rate at adobe stock of 33%

This default rate is commendable. Adobe Stock’s competitor services like iStock allow such high royalties only for its exclusive contributors (who are bound to work exclusively with this agency).

Once your total earnings cross a $25 royalty limit at Adobe Stock, you can collect your wage from either PayPal or Skrill.

With such a vast market penetration, the sales on this platform are very regular. This gives it an edge over its competing stock photo websites that pay higher but have lower exposure to potential buyers.

Yearly Bonus Program

Adobe Stock is excellent at rewarding its active contributors and keeping a motivated environment.

To incentivize the contributors to perform better, it offers them a one-year complimentary subscription to their plans. These plans include Creative Cloud All Apps, Creative Cloud Photography with 20GB, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, or After Effects.

The number of apps one gets access to is based on the number of downloads of their uploads. 

The Rights of Your Work Stay With You

Yes, once you become a contributor at Adobe Stock, you will enter into a non-exclusive partnership with them. 

It means the same photos that make you money on Adobe Stock can be uploaded on other platforms too. So, you have a brighter opportunity to land more sales.

What Content Sells at Adobe Stock?

Designers, advertisers, pro editors, students, and individual freelancers are various users at Adobe Stock looking for an appropriate image, vector, video, or illustration for their specific needs.

From a simple plain border art to the most detailed closeup shot of a bird, everything sells at this place given that it has the ‘Wow Factor.’

To be more precise, this wow factor comes when you click a stock photo that sells.

Adobe Stock’s top contributors shared their secrets that guarantee sales.

Let’s take a sneak-peek at these secrets so that it helps you prepare a solid portfolio to become an Adobe Stock contributor and start selling your work successfully.

Spot a Trend and Create More Content for it

Anything that is the talk of the town or a global interest at the moment, is a great pick for stock content consumers.

For instance, 2020 was majorly all about Covid-19. 

A study shows, ad campaigns that featured face masks drove nearly half the viewers towards it.

This makes it so important for the ad creators to include the ongoing trends in their projects to appeal to them.

Compared to a one-time event, potential buyers at Adobe Stock look for images highlighting a year-round occurrence.

JungleOutThere, a famous contributor at Adobe Stock, explains the importance of following a trend in stock photography:

I love cute stuff, so I’m always checking out gifts, stationery, toy, and home decor shops online and wherever I go. Doing that helps me spot a trend—like unicorns and succulents popping up everywhere. When you follow a trend, it almost guarantees your work will sell.

Uniqueness has a say at Adobe Stock.

Your work must express your signature style to impress new clients around the globe.

Your creative sensibility must be very evident from your portfolio.

Even if you cover some of the most common and popular topics at Adobe Stock like ‘Fear/safety/mental disease/woman,’ do it in the newest way possible.

Take inspiration from the image below, showcasing a woman who is afraid/claustrophobic/stuck.

woman inside a box showing fear

This particular image is named “Woman with eyes closed stuck in a tin can box“. 

The ‘out-of-the-box‘ method used to portray the concept of fear in this photo made it stand out from the rest. This made it appear in the trending images at Adobe Stock, and it is doing very well on the website.

It is The First Ten Keywords That Matters

Adobe Stock finds a submission and lists it in the trending results based on some subtle details associated with it.

One of these includes the order of the first ten keywords used in the image description. Adobe Stock’s search engine does the content grading based on this sequence.

Stock photos with keywords arranged according to their relevance, accuracy, and importance are ‘easily searchable.’

Editable Images are of Value to the Buyers

Capturing an image that makes it easier for editors to make changes to it later is called Marketing-ready photography. 

As a professional stock photographer, you must understand commerce well and create content favoring it.

Anyone paying for an image will be adding some text or contact form on it to deliver their message.

Leaving sufficient copy space (extra room in a picture where you can add text) serves the purpose aptly. It brilliantly enhances the usability of the image and market value for the consumer.

Below is an example of how you can centralize your subject to capture the image while keeping copy space in mind.

stock photo with a lot of copy space

Brendan McCourt, an internationally published photographer, mentioned adding copy space and capturing unique angles as his essential tools that attract clients and increase his business.

This goes without saying that a high-quality image is the first prompting feature of an image to its viewer. Being very strict about its quality standards, Adobe Stock doesn’t accept a submission if it doesn’t stand according to their requirements.

Having said that, let’s quickly take you to the easy process of signing up to Adobe Stock and understanding its quality control process.

How to Submit Images at Adobe Stock and Get them Approved?

Follow the steps below to start with the process of becoming an Adobe Stock contributor.

Method #1

Step 1: Go to Adobe Stock contributor’s page and create an account.

Step 2: Start submitting your photos.


Method #2

Import photos directly from Adobe Lightroom.

Each image you upload for submission must follow the image criteria set by Adobe Stock correctly. Else, the team will disregard it.

Image Criteria

  • Image Resolution: Image must be between 4MP to 100 MP.
  • Image Size: The image size should be a maximum of 45MB.
  • Format: Only images with JPEG format are acceptable.

High Acceptance Rate at Adobe Stock

If you doubt your portfolio’s potential to pass the editor’s quality standards, at least give it a try.

Compared to other stock photo agencies, the Adobe Stock team is generous in accepting contributor’s work. Since its customer’s base originates mainly from its editing apps users, the enhancements in images can be made easily.

This helps give every capable photographer a chance to showcase their work in front of the goal audience. 

Wrap Up

If you are seriously passionate about supplementing your income as a professional stock photographer, Adobe Stock is a great platform to start with.

We wish you excellent luck with your career.

We hope this guide was helpful.