Benefits of Becoming Exclusive with Dreamstime

© Cynthi
After researching many agencies, I joined Dreamstime on December 31st, 2007. I started with Dreamstime because of the ease of navigation and the attention and support they seem to give to their contributors. My intention, at the time, was to get to know Dreamstime and then submit to other agencies when I learned the ropes. I thought that by contributing to a number of them, I would make the most of my efforts. I would be able to put the same image on many sites. By giving my image more exposure, my sales would increase and I would have income coming in from several places. But would I really make more money? Would this help me to become a better, more consistant photographer? The answer, for me, was "no". I would be spreading my efforts among many and probably doing a mediocre job for myself and the agencies. As soon as I reached my required 50 images for exclusivity consideration, I requested to become exclusive.

While similar in many ways, the agencies have different features and requirements for submission on their sites. These are the things that I considered when I decided to become exclusive with Dreamstime.

1. Some sites seem to accept anything, which to me, gives their sites a substandard look.

2. Others seem to want a photographer that is a "jack of all trades". They don't take into consideration a photographer's particular or specialty, which could actually be a benefit to an agency.

3. Some, while quite good, seem to prefer a particular look for all their images, which does not give the designer many options.

4. I found some sites difficult and confusing to navigate which, if frustrating for a submitter, must also be frustrating for a purchaser.

5. Some sites depend only on the quantity of sales for their contributors and provide little incentive to produce quality work.

6. All of the agencies represent many of the same contributors and images. Does an image lose it's impact when seen over and over again on many different sites? I think yes.

I felt that I would rather put my efforts into doing the best job possible with one agency. I chose Dreamstime. In the first month, I concentrated on becoming familiar with their expectations and requirements. By paying close attention to which images were accepted and regected, I was able to raise my acceptance percentage to 81%. By taking care to improve the appearance of my images in Photoshop and by uploading 139 images so far, I now have 90 downloads in my first two and a half months. By taking advantage of the marketing programs and becoming involved in the community, I hope to develop name recognition. By continuing to increase the uploads to this site, I can see a good income in my future. I am convinced that these things could not be accomplished if I were contributing to many agencies.

I am happy to be exclusive with Dreamstime. My images seem to do well here. For me, it was the best choice. I think by attracting exclusive contributors, with quality portfolios, Dreamstime would have more of an edge over other agencies. Perhaps as suggested and discussed in the Dreamstime Message Board > Day dreaming > Make Dreamstime number one - by Lorna (great suggestions and comments), we could come up with "an exclusive deal that can't be beaten" - benefiting Dreamstime and providing incentives for more contributors to become exclusive.

Photo credits: Cynthi Kovach, Linqong, Wong Chee Yen, Paul Hakimata.

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April 15, 2008


thanks, i have just recently become active on dreamstime and like you, i had the idea that i would join a lot of online websites and submit my work to a good few, but so far i'm happy with Dreamstime and it makes sense to me to concentrate my efforts all in one place!
thanks again for this article!!


April 11, 2008


I always thought I was mainly exclusive because I was lazy.... Your take is much more more valid. Thanks for putting words in my mouth.

March 30, 2008


If you are interested in this subject, there is a discussion on the message board began by martinapplegate with some interesting views. This is the path you will follow to find it. Home > Dreamstime Message Board > Suggestions and policies > Exclusive

March 29, 2008


I am very glad to see my works in your article.
Your article attracts me very much,From your article, I have got very great harvest.

March 26, 2008


Thank you all for your comments. I feel strongly about this subject. It seems that there will soon be a button that buyers will be able to click on for "exclusive photographers only". I say, the more benefits we have for exclusive photographers, the better. Any more ideas?

March 26, 2008


Thanks for the great article, Cynthi! I completely concur with your thinking and logic. I am happy to concentrate all of my efforts on Dreamstime and appreciate the added benefits that come with exclusivity. There have been interesting stories in the news about several large and sometimes competitive corporations developing marketing programs containing the same image. Exclusivity doesn't insure that won't happen but I would think it makes it less likely.

March 20, 2008


Great article and well said! I have just joined Dreamstime as an exclusive contributor as well. I was also thinking of joining other agencies but I just prefer the ease of use of this site and there are some great images on here. I'm looking forward to increasing my portfolio and hopefully sales!

March 19, 2008


If you do a high amount of buying and are using company accounts, sometimes it's a tradeoff between a few cents and your time - which is more valuable? In the case of an independent or freelance, things can be a little different where prices must be watched more closely. But in general, someone will gravitate more towards a service that provides easy search, fair pricing, and most of all, with the kind of content they want/need.

I used to do image buying for a few companies. What was most tiring for me was substandard work with regards to some more narrow sector subjects, and moreso keyword spamming. For instance if I was looking for a photo of a wallet, I didn't want an image of a man front view with the wallet in his back pocket! Also tiring was just seeing the same stuff over and over again when I had to look in a few places to get what I needed. I only used 2 sites with an occasional third when I was buying. More would have made me crazy.

March 19, 2008


I think it's true that flooding the market with the same images on several sites must be perplexing for the buyer as you mentioned, Niagragirl. And what about those that have already purchased an image on one site, just to find it for less on another site? Not that we're talking about that much money for an image. But don't you think they would look on the cheaper site first, in the future?

March 18, 2008


Good thoughts here. Although I am not exclusive photog with DT, many of my images can only be found here. The mass microdumping by many does not benefit the industry as a whole, and sometimes only perplexes the buyers. Keep an agency flavor fresh and unique, and it will attract even more transactions.

March 18, 2008


Thanks for commenting, Denise. I know we're not the only ones that have thought about this. I think it's an important subject. Those interested, please let us know what your thoughts are.

March 18, 2008


good article... i have just finished a major reworking of my agency submissions. I have closed accounts at 4 agencies and now will be working only with 3. while that may seem no different than submitting images everywhere... i have made certain that very soon not one image will be seen on any other agency. each will have a unique portfolio and all will have exclusive images.

Dreamstime - my first agency- will always get the first choice in a submission and they will always be exclusive here. only those images Dreamstime does not accept will be offered to the next one. i will soon have over 170 exclusive images here and i can't wait.

i too worried and have seen that having my images at several agencies, especially one that gives us that familar US coin per download, has really really hurt my sales ..... no more!!!!

it will be good for me and for the agencies so i am very excited with the changes i am making. best of luck to you - you are off to a great start

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