Adobe Creative Cloud

Getting started in stock photography

So you’ve decided to take the plunge into the exciting world of stock photography! You’ve checked out the brand new Adobe Stock contributor portal and you’re ready to submit your first assets for sale. Now let’s help you find what to upload and prepare your content for success.

Sign up to become an Adobe Stock contributor.

1. Look in your archive

Adobe Stock services the world’s largest creative community, including graphic and communication designers, advertising agencies, design studios, publishers, small businesses and more. So you can imagine how diverse their needs can be. As such, we’re always looking for fresh, original content from diverse locations. If it’s your very first time submitting to a stock agency, it may seem a bit daunting to have to create something brand new to submit. But chances are, your archives are full of eligible submissions. It could be photos from your family vacation or shots of your local farmer’s market.

Make sure you follow our technical guidelines to ensure that your files will be accepted by our moderation team.

Photos and illustrations:

  • JPEG format only
  • Minimum image resolution is 4MP (megapixels)
  • Maximum image resolution is 100MP (megapixels)
  • Maximum file size is 45MB (megabytes)


  • AI or EPS format.
  • Each file must be placed in a zip archive that includes a JPEG preview
  • Preview resolution should at least be 5,000 x 3,000 (15 million pixels)


  • Videos must be uploaded through FTP.
  • Minimum video resolution is 1280×720. However, we recommend recording in Full HD, 4K DCI, or 4K UHD.
  • File format must be: MOV, MP4, MPG ,or AVI format.
  • Duration needs to be at least 5 seconds and not exceed 60 seconds.
  • Maximum file size: 3900MB (3.9GB)
  • Avoid vertical or square framing


2. Plan ahead

If you are orchestrating a shoot specifically for your stock portfolio, a little planning goes a long way. Make sure you have a good idea of the location, compositions and shots you want to take. If you’re setting up lighting and backgrounds, get multiple various of the same set up and model so you can make the most of the shoot. Because most of the use cases of stock stock assets are commercial, it’s often helpful leave white space where the buyer can add text or other graphic elements without disturbing the image.



3. Read up on legal guidelines

Before you submit an image to Adobe Stock or any other stock agency, make sure that you have all the necessary legal documentation. If your image features a person, property or place that is recognizable, you will need a model or property release. This release gives you permission to sell your photos for commercial use.

For more information about model releases, visit our HelpX page.

Funny little girl playing with soap bubbles


4. Become a keywording guru

Keywords help customers find the image that their looking for. So the more accurate your keywords are, the higher your chances of your images getting found and licensed.

Our new contributor portal makes it easier than ever to upload and submit your files for sale. The autotagging feature will take even more work off your hands by visually analyzing your image, comparing it to our database, and generating the top five keywords based on similar submissions. It’s a valuable tool to understanding what terms are popular and sell well.

Remember that keywords need to be ranked in order of importance – the most relevant and prominent keywords should be at the top of the list.


5. Stay up to date

Stock photography is an expansive field and there are many resources to help you succeed. Check out the Tips & Tutorial section of our blog for tutorials on improving your photography, and follow our new Twitter account @adobestockcall for the latest tips and content needs.

Adobe Stock Contributors, Creative Cloud, Photography

Become an Adobe Stock Contributor

Showcase and sell your photos, videos, or illustrations to the world’s leading creative community with Adobe Stock. It’s simple and easy to join!



Join the discussion

  • By william Fearn - 10:00 AM on October 9, 2016  

    I am a little confused by your property rights criteria. I work as a Location Manager on major feature films. We shoot street scenes all the time that include signage murals etc. and unless a sign or mural is highly featured or referred to in dialogue we deem it unnecessary to obtain a release. Why are your criteria more stringent than the Julia Roberts movie I just finished?

  • By Philip Rispin - 6:05 AM on October 10, 2016  

    I would like some guidance as to how much post processing you would like to see in an image or if you would prefer the basic file allowing the customer to adjust the image as they see fit. Thanks for your time.

    Phil Rispin