You don't have to be a professional photographer to be an Adobe Stock Contributor. Discover how to create high-caliber images that are accepted and sell successfully.

It’s easy to upload images to the Adobe Stock Contributor program. But before you agonize over which images to choose, learn what defines an image that is likely to be approved upon submission. It comes down to a few  factors: evocative subject matter, flawless appearance, and some unique qualities.

The following are some things to look out for.

Pick the right subject

Some subjects are heavily represented, such as flowers, pets, sunsets, and famous monuments. If you submit photos in these categories, make sure they’re unique and stand out in a crowd. 

Submit exceptional, unique content

Select only the best images from a shoot and ensure that each offers something different. Don’t submit multiple copies of the same image with different postproduction effects applied — users will apply their own creative effects to suit their projects.

Think like a buyer. Visualize how your photo might be used and try to provide some variety. Frame your shots differently, and provide vertical as well as horizontal shots to give the user more options.

Don’t crop your images too tightly in-camera — leave some room to add a caption, quote, or headline.

Check the overall composition

Fix basic compositional elements — make sure the horizon is level and remove distracting elements like an awkwardly-placed tree limb or a telephone pole with wires.

Watch Crop and straighten your photos to deftly crop, trim, and straighten images.

Make your images look their best

Remove any color cast from your images so they show good color balance. Make your photos appear neutral without an excessively warm or cool tone.

Tip: Try shooting in raw format for greater flexibility to fix color issues in Lightroom.

Set the overall brightness of your image so it isn’t overexposed (too bright and washed out) or underexposed (too dark).

Set image contrast to a reasonable level — a high-contrast image shows extreme levels of light and dark tones, while a low-contrast image can look muted.

Likewise, make your colors look pleasing. Oversaturated colors can look unnatural, while an undersaturated image may appear drab and lifeless. Both Photoshop and Lightroom have professional tools to make your colors pop in some areas, or to tone down colors elsewhere.

Watch Adjust clarity, vibrance, and saturation to learn how to restore your image to a pleasing brightness and color quality.

Eliminate imperfections

Always view your images at 100% magnification or higher to inspect them for dust specks, scratches, and other flaws. Zoom further to fix any artifacts so your images are clean and unblemished. View Remove dust and scratches in a photo to learn how.

Be wary of digital noise, which looks similar to grain found in film photographs. This is often caused by shooting in low light conditions or by using a high ISO setting on your camera.

Tip: Customers have high standards, so you should ideally submit photos that need little or no post-production work.

Look out for unexpected halos or color fringing along edges. This can occur if your camera optics are unable to synchronize colors under certain light conditions. Use tools in Lightroom and Photoshop to correct lens flaws.


Improve focus and sharpen the image

Make sure your subject is in sharp focus — even if other parts of the image are not. And even in-focus images can benefit from a little sharpening to bring important details to life. View Sharpen your photos to learn how to apply sharpening at different points in your creative workflow.

Be aware of intellectual property laws, trademarks, and releases

We require a model or Property Release for any photos that depict recognizable persons, buildings or intellectual property such as  objects, artwork, sculptures, or designs. See our Legal Guidelines
for details. Check Known image restrictions for a list of subjects that cannot be accepted. (This
list is updated periodically.)

That’s it. We hope you find our guidelines helpful as you prepare to submit your photos to the Adobe Stock Contributor program.

Search for Stock photos at Adobe Stock.

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