What is Dreamstime?

dreamstime sell photos

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 truly 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.

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

A brief introduction

Dreamstime is one of the oldest site 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 a name of its known and has gained a faithful following due to its solid reputation and reliability.

The number of both its suppliers and customers have consistently increased over time as they found it fair and dependable. There are many things that make it famous, but the things I like about it the most are its strong support staff, efficient systems, and fair 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?

It 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 easily sell their content at rates which 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 contributing 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 is made up of 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 content is high.


Dreamstime is famous all around the world because its users trust it and have spread the world. 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 which 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 spreading 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 make 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 than 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 earn money through your own contributions, but if you bring in other contributors, you can earn 10% of their amount as well.


This is done by becoming an affiliate partner. Another way is by completing assignments which Dreamstime announces on a monthly basis. 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 constantly upload files. Now Dreamtime has also announced a monthly blog contest which offers cash prizes of $300, $200, and $100 to its respective winners. Thus, you can earn some extra income and also improve your skills if you keep your eyes open and participate in these competitions

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 which is updated in your Dreamstime account as soon as you make the sale.

But to actually 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 to my account:

My Dreamstime account overview

Other Features

Dreamstime also manages an active blog to enhance the knowledge of its users. Articles are constantly published on how to become a better contributor which are really helpful. There is also a forum and message boards which 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 which 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 in nature 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 pattern 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 own critique.

• Illustrate your own 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 it friendly support staff which made the whole process of starting out so much easier for me.

I haven’t faced a single issue to date. Basically, 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 took me by surprise was the way they held us contributors in high regard. Unlike other agencies, they do not treat us like 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 really value us and help us to grow.


It has a wide global network which makes it possible for anyone from around the world with an internet connection to become a part of it. It treats everyone in a just manner and doesn’t differentiate on the basis of nationality.

There are no geographical boundaries and everyone is only judged on the basis of their content. The site can be navigated in different language thus making it easy for a foreigner to use as well.


It pays on time and ensures that no one is defrauded. The chances of scam 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 when it comes to 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 tough. See a screen shoot with my portfolio:


My Dreamstime portfolio overview

So the reviewers want quality and they will reject those account who fail to meet the requirements. So it is best to upload only those images which 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 files that are generic and reflect well defined commercial concepts along with marketable compositions and creative insight.

So to become a contributing photographer you just have to ensure that you meet the high technical levels of color, lighting, and definition and the files should be in the acceptable formats, like JPGs in RGB or sRGB which have resolution of minimum 3 MP and maximum 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 are able to 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 special 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 commercial potential of the image or failed to meet the site’s quality guidelines. So it is better to improve than to blame the reviewers and come up with better content which 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 a Dreamstime is doesn’t tolerate keyword spamming. So your files can even be flagged or reported if you use bad 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. Certainly, there are more experienced players like Shutterstock which the market rule but Dreamtime is no less. It is really a reliable service which truly values and watches out for its contributors.

The commission it pays and the ease it offers has allowed it to make a place in this industry. From its blogs, contests, referral program to its hefty commission, staff, and user-friendliness, everything is top-notch. So if you want a helpful site which is not complicated and gives you a steady source of income, then 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 to begin the ride towards better returns!


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Author: condruzmf

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