dreamstime sell photos

What is Dreamstime?

Disclosure: This post might contain affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I trust. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my work!

Well, I am here to tell you about my experience at Dreamstime. I have been using it for years now, and it has been a game-changer. What is Dreamstime? It is an agency that genuinely cares for its contributors and gives them some of the highest commissions in the market.

That is why many stock photography contributors go for it. Here is a brief introduction about Dreamstime, and then we will go into the details of how it works, the demand it generates, the commission a contributor can earn, the things that make it a top player, and much more.

Please keep reading to know all about this beautiful agency, which can also turn your life around as it did mine!

A brief introduction

Dreamstime is one of the oldest sites working as a stock photography agency. Since its birth in 2000 as a royalty-free microstock site, its sole purpose is to make it easy for buyers and sellers of stock content to connect.

It is not very flashy like some of its competitors because it believes in being elegant and user-friendly. It has ensured that the services it offers are trendy and the technology it uses is up-to-date. It has the name of its known and has gained a faithful following due to its solid reputation and reliability.

The number of suppliers and customers has consistently increased over time, as they found it fair and dependable. Many things make it famous, but the things I like about it the most are its reliable support staff, efficient systems, and appropriate treatment of photographers, global network, and reliability.

We will divulge into them later. Let us now have a look at its features:

What is Dreamstime?

Dreamstime is home to more than 24,000,000 registered members, which is increasing day by day. This means the contributors have a large customer base and can quickly sell their content at rates that provide a good return.

The demand generated by it supports over 4,000,000 contributing photographers and counting.

You can become a part of it, too, by adding your content to its extensive library of more than 96,000,000 photos, clipart, illustrations, and vectors, which generates over 11,000,000 unique visitors in a month.

Most of its customer base comprises the world’s largest advertising agencies, international magazines, national newspapers, TV production companies, bloggers, etc… It also accepts both commercial and editorial photos.

This gives contributors a plethora of options to explore as variety is not a problem.

The demand for content is dynamic, so photographers don’t have to worry about their content not being sold. By the way, it promotes uniqueness and creativity as demand for such material is high.


Dreamstime is famous all around the world because its users trust it and have spread the word. The reason for this reliability is the long experience and high-quality standard, along with excellent service.

Additionally, it is a member of the Digital Media Licensing Association (renowned trading association for stock agencies), which has enhanced its place in the United States stock market. It is also the first community-based agency that has received as Coordination of European Picture Agencies Press Stock Heritage membership, which is quite a big deal.

Lastly, it is also one of the founding members of ETA (European Tech Alliance). All of this has led to its fame globally and making it a top player in the market.

The earnings of a Dreamstime contributor

Dreamtime’s commission schedule depends upon various factors, which makes it a bit complicated, but on average, photographers receive commission between 25% – 50%. Additionally, there are both exclusive and non-exclusive options offered to contributors.

dreamstime earnings

So if a file has an exclusive contract, the contributor receives 10% extra as a bonus. So if you become an exclusive contributor, you get to earn a maximum of 60% revenue share, which is way more than what competitors pay.

But for becoming an exclusive contributor, you should have at least 50 approved images in your account, and you won’t be able to submit these photos anywhere else.

There are many other ways to earn money on Dreamstime as well. The first one is through Referrals. Not only will you make money through your contributions, but if you bring in other contributors, you can receive 10% of their amount as well.


This is done by becoming an affiliate partner. Another way is by completing assignments that Dreamstime announces every month. The best three submission wins, and the 1st place receives $300, 2nd place receives $200, and the 3rd place receives $100. Any active contributing photographer can win if their content meets the criteria.

So keep an eye on these assignments and regularly upload files. Dreamtime has also announced a monthly blog contest that offers cash prizes of $300, $200, and $100 to its respective winners. Thus, you can earn extra income and improve your skills if you keep your eyes open and participate in these competitions.

If you prefer video over reading, here is a video by Dr. Arindam Ghosh – Dreamstime review and upload guide:

You can find more about Arindam Ghosh by accessing his Facebook page.

Payment methods

The payments are also made in a timely fashion so that there are no time lags and no inconvenience for the sellers. You get a constant stream of income, which you can rely on, updated in your Dreamstime account as soon as you make the sale.

But to transfer the money to your bank account, you can request a check out once your balance reaches $100. You can make use of PayPal, Skrill, Payoneer, or check whichever suits you best to transfer money. Please take a look at my account:

My Dreamstime account overview

Other Features

Dreamstime also manages an active blog to enhance the knowledge of its users. Articles are published continuously on how to become a better contributor who is helpful. There is also a forum and message board that contributors can use to resolve their queries.

The staff is also there at your beck and call and are very friendly and supportive. They ensure that you receive the best service and that you do not encounter any problems. Another feature that makes it stand out is its strict adherence to rules.

The system it works with is quite intelligent and can identify any variations if the criteria set for images are not met. This ensures that contributors are uploading only high-quality images and are meeting the requirements. All of these leads to enhanced quality and draws more customers.

Here are some tips to make your content stands out:

  • Ensure that your images are unique in terms of both the subject matter and the way of capturing.
  • Provide content that is artistic and has a certain appeal
  • Use lighting and composition to tell a story with your image.
  • Focus on intriguing themes
  • If submitting illustrations, make them complex to ensure that they stand out.
  • Go beyond limits. Submit something new which breaks perimeter and is outstanding
  • Use unusual patterns but execute them well.
  • Don’t be cliché.
  • Take photos at the optimal time with everything right: the subject, the lighting, the composition, and the equipment.
  • Question your abilities by asking yourself whether your image is frame-worthy. Become your critique.
  • Illustrate your vision. Don’t shoot for earning money; shoot for your passion, and money will come by itself.

The things I like about Dreamstime:

Excellent staff

The first thing that made me a Dreamstime fan was its friendly support staff, which made the whole process of starting so much easier for me.

I haven’t faced a single issue to date. It is their top priority to make user experience worthwhile, and boy, they have succeeded in it. I am highly impressed by their service.

Fair treatment

The second thing that surprised me was how they held us, contributors, in high regard. Unlike other agencies, they do not treat us like a means to an end and ensure that each photographer receives fair treatment and good value for their content.

They are not just here to make money. They are here to support us as well and help us realize our earning potential. They value us and help us to grow.


It has a broad global network, making it possible for anyone worldwide with an internet connection to become a part of it. It treats everyone in a just manner and doesn’t differentiate based on nationality.

There are no geographical boundaries, and everyone is only judged based on their content. The site can be navigated in different languages, making it easy for a foreigner to use.


It pays on time and ensures that no one is defrauded. The chances of scams are negligible, and each contributor receives the amount it deserves.

The management is true to their word and ensures that contributors never face any hassle regarding getting a return on their contribution. This has made it one of the most reliable sites to earn money as it is 100% legit.

Becoming a Dreamstime contributing photographer

To become a Dreamstime contributor is easy. You begin by registering an account. You don’t need a portfolio to apply. Just submit some good images of yours for approval as the competition is fierce. See a screenshot with my portfolio:

My Dreamstime portfolio overview

So the reviewers want quality, and they will reject those accounts that fail to meet the requirements. So it is best to upload only those images you feel the most confident about, as Dreamtime’s management is pretty particular when it comes to approving images.

The smart thing to do is to generally upload those generic files and reflect well-defined commercial concepts, marketable compositions, and creative insight.

To become a contributing photographer, you have to ensure that you meet the high technical levels of color, lighting, and definition. The files should be in acceptable formats, like JPGs in RGB or sRGB, with a minimum of 3 MP and a maximum of 70 MP.

The files shouldn’t have copyrighted material such as logos and watermarks attached to them, and any necessary model releases should be provided with them. The number of images you can upload depends on your approval rating, so it is better to upload only the best images so that your approval rate doesn’t decrease and you can sell more.

Moreover, exclusive contributors can upload 50% more images than standard contributors, and those contributors who have an approval ratio of over 85% and have crossed 500 approved images also get particular uploading limits.

Lastly, don’t get disheartened if your image gets rejected. You can resubmit, but before doing so, try to understand why it was not approved.

Maybe it lacked the commercial potential of the image or failed to meet the site’s quality guidelines. So it is better to improve than blame the reviewers and develop better content that fulfills the customers’ needs both aesthetically and technically.

Valuable Tips for Keyword

Dreamtime offers you the use of Keymasters to help you directly with labeling and categorizing your images. They are specialists and can significantly help increase sales.

Remember, keywords are essential for marketing, and they need to be unique as Dreamstime doesn’t tolerate keyword spamming. So your files can even be flagged or reported if you use the wrong keywords. So ensure that you use effective keywords.

Final Thoughts on Dreamstime

As far as my opinion goes, this is by far one of the best microstock sites I have come across. Indeed, more experienced players like Shutterstock rule the market, but Dreamtime is no less. It is a reliable service that genuinely values and watches out for its contributors.

The commission it pays and its ease have allowed it to make a place in this industry. From its blogs, contests, a referral program to its hefty commission, staff, and user-friendliness, everything is top-notch. So if you want a helpful site that is not complicated and gives you a steady income source, this is the right place for you.

Dreamstime is perfect for both starters and professionals who wish to expand their exposure. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now <- Affiliate Link 🙂 to begin the ride towards better returns!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

2 thoughts on “What is Dreamstime?”

  1. Avatar of Daniel Barley

    Thanks for the review. Very enlightening and informative. Never thought about stock photography was such a market for.
    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: