Top 10 tips for new contributors

Congratulations on having your first images accepted at Dreamstime. Keep up the good work and many more to come!

To improve your future uploads and continue with a high approval rate, here are some tips based on our extensive experience in microstock imagery review. You will find below info on lighting, exposure, composition, legal documents and many more:

1. Composition has to always make your subject stand out in the image. Having the subject in the middle of your image will flatten it out as opposed to having the subject either in the first third or the last third of your photo. Have it like this and it will tell a story rather than just show a person or an object.

2. Say no to tilted horizons, make sure your image is straight before uploading it.

3. Expose your image so that you can tell what’s in the shadows as much as in the highlights; most modern cameras have pretty good evaluative metering. If lighting is harsh use your flash as a fill light but don’t use direct flash in a dark setting. It will create very defined shadows that usually don’t work well in stock photography.

4. Look at your image at 100% before you upload it. Check for anything that might be copyright: on shoes, on clothing, any logos, trademarks, company names.

5. Don’t go overboard with filters. They are tempting but they will mess with your image and you’ll end up with distorted pixels instead of cool colors.

6. Title and description as well as keywords must complement your image. Think of words that you’d use to search for this image and use them.

7. Use the most adequate ISO/exposure time/aperture value for your images. High ISO rating will lead to unwanted noise. Too wide apertures can lead to very shallow depth of fields, they are wanted in some images but not all of them.

* As a guideline keep your ISO rating between 100-400 (raise to more if needed, but for daylight photography or flash photography keep between the mentioned values).

* Aperture can start from 1.4 (or even lower) on high end lenses. Most lenses start between 2.8 and 4. An aperture of 5.6 is wide enough to get some depth of field and closed enough to get your subject in focus. Go to a higher, more closed number if needed. Just remember: the smaller the number the less of your image will be in focus, the higher the number the more of your image will be in the focus range.

* Time value is also very important. Go for a too long exposure and your image will turn into an unwanted motion blur. Stay over 1/125 whenever possible but go down to 1/60 if you have a steady hand and subjects that don’t move and even lower if your lens has stabilization. If you plan to shoot action then your exposure time needs to go down to 1/800 or so. This will ensure your subject is clear and in focus. Use AI Servo AF (Canon)/AF-C (Nikon), this is the continuous focus mode for action shots. It will track your subject when shooting action making sure the focus stays on the subject and doesn’t slip elsewhere in your composition. Remember, the higher the second number is the faster the shutter will close, the less the image will be exposed and the more chances to have your subject in focus. But use the right exposure setting for the kind of images you aim to shoot (no point using 1/800 if the subject is sitting on a chair)

8. Make sure you have a model release for all your people images (even if their back is at the camera or only part of the face is visible). You can download out template here or use a generic one but ensure all required fields are there: resources/utilities.

9. Always shoot RAW or at least maximum quality JPG and always save at maximum quality possible. Also, avoid upsampling of your images.

10 For illustrations, avoid aliased/jagged issues. Use an anti-alias filter before you export your vector/3D images to a raster format (jpeg) and also avoid blurry images by always saving them at maximum quality without upsizing or interpolation by software.

Hope you’ll find these helpful and we’re looking forward to your future submissions. Good luck!

Your article must be written in English

January 03, 2018


Cool tips!

December 08, 2017



November 22, 2017


thanks for the tip...

November 03, 2017


thank you for the great tip

November 01, 2017


Nice. Actually, most of the advice is just common sense, but when you're a newbie, well, sometimes it can feel like your common sense is still in Fiji :))))

October 29, 2017


Thank you for the great tips to follow!

October 23, 2017



October 20, 2017


Thank you - that is very helpful.

October 05, 2017


Thanks for the helpful advice. In fact, this is a short textbook on photography!

October 03, 2017


Merci pour tous ces conseils. toujours bien de savoir.

September 26, 2017


Thank you Dreamstime. Keep up the good work!

September 22, 2017


Thanks for the tips.

September 14, 2017


Great tips. Thank you so much.

September 10, 2017


Thanks for the tips

September 08, 2017



September 07, 2017


Succinct and solid advice! Thanks!

September 05, 2017


Nice tips.

August 30, 2017


Thank you so much for those tips!

August 16, 2017


Thanks alot

August 15, 2017



August 13, 2017


Thnx (:

August 03, 2017


Thanks you for all important tips!

August 03, 2017


Thanks for all the tips!

August 01, 2017


Thank you very much, for your trust, I will take into account all your clues, I'm happy!

July 31, 2017


Thanks for these but I agree, they are pretty basic knowledge tips. More Advanced would be cool.

July 31, 2017


Thanks for the tip I will keep them in mind for my next upload

July 31, 2017


thanks but need to more advanced tips.

July 29, 2017



July 28, 2017


Its right info, congrats

July 28, 2017


Thank you for the Tips and accepting my photographs I am still new and finding my way around.

Related image searches
Tips related image searches

Photo credits: Mariayunira.