You don't have to be a professional photographer to be an Adobe Stock Contributor. Discover how to create high-caliber images that appeal to Stock customers.

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

Picking a subject

Adobe Stock customers are always looking for modern, diverse, and inclusive content that depicts the lives and experiences of people of all races, ethnicities, ages, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, religions, body and skin types, and more. When depicting people from underrepresented communities, be sure that your content accurately and positively portrays them and their cultures. Also, when considering subjects for your content, keep in mind that some are already 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.

Collage of 3 photographs of cats, looking at the camera from different angles.

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.

Collage of photographs of novice monks wearing red robes.

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. Check out our "Crop and straighten your photos"  tutorial to deftly crop, trim, and straighten images.

Two photos of a castle on a lake with mountains in the background, explaining sloping and level horizon lines.

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.

A collage of three photographs of lions, comparing warm, cool, and balanced color temperature.

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

A collage of three photographs of a church, showing overexposed, underexposed, and properly exposed cloudy sky.

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.

A collage of two photographs taken under a row of arches, comparing low and balanced contrast.

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

A collage of two photographs of an urban office space, comparing undersaturated and properly saturated editing.

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 our "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: Adobe Stock customers have high standards, so you should ideally submit photos that need little or no post-production work.

A photograph of an old seaside building at sunset, comparing ISO grain and noise before and after corrections.

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.

A photograph of a museum with a zoom-in loupe on a vase, showing green fringing before and after using lens correction tools.

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 our "Sharpen your photos" to learn how to apply sharpening at different points in your creative workflow.

A collage of two photographs of a leopard, comparing the subject being out of focus and in focus.

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.)

A collage of three photographs showing examples of intellectual property, copyrighted artwork, and a recognizable building.

Use accurate titles and keywords in your submissions

Accurate keywords and titles are essential for helping customers find your content. When your content depicts people, it’s critical to describe them in ways that accurately and authentically represent their identities, particularly when they’re from diverse backgrounds and communities. Please refer to your model releases as points of reference when creating your metadata.

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


Get help faster and easier

New user?

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online