best stock photo sites for photographers

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Stock Photo Sites

 While reading a bit of photo related news the other day I came across a recent [December, 2014] Review of the Best Stock Photo Sites. Why did that review catch my attention? Because right there on the first page of this review were the three sites that I currently have portfolios with! Dreamstime, Fotolia, and 123RF

It’s always nice to find that someone else seems to think you’ve made a good choice or two.

DTforblogpostIn addition to finding my three sites on the list I also noticed they included Depositphoto as one of their favorite sites. I was glad to see that as well; it’s one I have been wanting to learn more about,  maybe even submit a photo or two before the year is out.

That review got me to wondering what other stock photographers and photo buyers think about Dreamstime, Fotolia, and 123RF. So I looked a little more [Yep; put old Google to work again.] and here’s just a few of the comments I found…

  • MyStockPhoto.Org – “Dreamstime is one of my favorite sites. It’s one of the top 4 (or 5) microstock agencies.”
  • StockPhotoAdvisor.Com – “Most microstockers report Dreamstime in their top 5…  it is a must for photographers who want to sell their photos online.”
  • StevesDigiCams.Com – “Dreamstime is one of the most searched stock photo websites around.  Reputable and respectful, they are members of the Picture Archive Council of America and Centre of the Picture Industry.”
  • StockPhotoAdvisor.Com – “Fotolia is a great opportunity for stock photo contributors as they have huge and what is important high quality stock photography collection tempting all professional designers and photo buyers.”
  •  TheNextWeb.Com – “Fotolia is one of the top microstock photography agencies…  Fotolia offers its users over 13 million images and videos… Fotolia prides itself on protecting a photographer’s intellectual rights, while also providing quality images at an affordable price.”
  • StockPhotoAdvisor.Com – “123RF is in our top 5 due to great progress they have recently made… We believe that 123RF has serious potential for stock photo authors and it is worth spending some time submitting your work there. “Fotoforblogpost
  • BigInMicroStock.Com – “123RF is one of the microstock photography agencies I really like…  it is an agency that makes selling images online very easy… acceptance rates are high and most important they are able to generate good earnings.”

Nice! But what are my thoughts
on the good, the bad, and
the ugly of these three sites?

Dreamstime – The good: Very helpful when an image is rejected -they tell you exactly why and even give you the opportunity to resubmit if you can correct the errors.  Very busy with many many many buyers searching through the images everyday. They even tell you what keyword the buyer used to find your image; very helpful when uploading new images of a similar topic! Plenty of sales! It’s a well known site. The bad: You must wait until your sales have reached at least $100 before you can request a payout. The Ugly: Slow review times.

Fotolia – The good: Quick review times. You can request a payout when your sales have reached only $50. Also a very busy site with many buyers searching through the images every day. The bad: They seem to have gotten extra selective lately; bad for me but good for the buyers giving them the best of the best to choose from. The Ugly: Incredibly unhelpful when an image is rejected -you’ll get a canned response with a list of possible reasons some of which may or may not apply.

123RF – The good: They automatically payout when you reach $50 in sales; you don’t even have to request it! More and more buyers are finding the site all the time. They have made many improvements lately and are quickly moving up the ranks. It’s fairly quick to finish your titles and keywords once the images have uploaded. The bad: Not as many buyers yet. Uploading has been slow. The ugly: Uploading has been very very slow lately.

123forblogpostOverall I have been very happy with these three sites and am looking forward to possibly adding another one or two to my list in the coming year.




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