Top 10 tips for new contributors

posted on 4th of november, 2016

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!


Comments (123)

Posted by Acurank on November 03, 2017
thank you for the great tip
Posted by Riankay on 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 :))))
Posted by Tpdwm2 on October 29, 2017
Thank you for the great tips to follow!
Posted by Gibelbas on October 23, 2017
Posted by Pauline118 on October 20, 2017
Thank you - that is very helpful.
Posted by Volovik3 on October 05, 2017
Thanks for the helpful advice. In fact, this is a short textbook on photography!
Posted by Bourlardandre on October 03, 2017
Merci pour tous ces conseils. toujours bien de savoir.
Posted by Michalis29 on September 26, 2017
Thank you Dreamstime. Keep up the good work!
Posted by Merabuford770 on September 22, 2017
Thanks for the tips.
Posted by Saryanto on September 17, 2017
Great tips, thank
Posted by Flowgics on September 14, 2017
Great tips. Thank you so much.
Posted by Banderber1954 on September 10, 2017
Thanks for the tips
Posted by Nileshghate5180 on September 08, 2017
Posted by Merisser on September 07, 2017
Succinct and solid advice! Thanks!
Posted by Seanlowe47 on September 05, 2017
Nice tips.
Posted by Joscousineau on August 30, 2017
Thank you so much for those tips!
Posted by Nadjim73 on August 16, 2017
Thanks alot
Posted by Sigit2121 on August 15, 2017
Posted by Puddipuddi on August 13, 2017
Thnx (:
Posted by Pshandilya5 on August 03, 2017
Thanks you for all important tips!
Posted by Eidsandro on August 03, 2017
Thanks for all the tips!
Posted by Serzh8591 on August 01, 2017
Thank you very much, for your trust, I will take into account all your clues, I'm happy!
Posted by Worldcitywonderlust on July 31, 2017
Thanks for these but I agree, they are pretty basic knowledge tips. More Advanced would be cool.
Posted by Banderber1954 on July 31, 2017
Thanks for the tip I will keep them in mind for my next upload
Posted by Mehdialigol on July 31, 2017
thanks but need to more advanced tips.
Posted by Jacostaphotography on July 29, 2017
Posted by Manuelroma333 on July 28, 2017
Its right info, congrats
Posted by Marycallum on July 28, 2017
Thank you for the Tips and accepting my photographs I am still new and finding my way around.
Posted by Kirichenkovm on July 27, 2017
Thank you very much for my work and advice on the rules of photography!
Posted by Contactekk on July 26, 2017
Thanks for the tips

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Comments (123)

This article has been read 32529 times. 51 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Mariayunira.

About me

Senior Editor, Remote Editors Coordinator, and Social Media Wizard at Dreamstime. I have enjoyed photography ever since my father first introduced me to the world of arts as a child. Although I have not chosen a career as a photographer I happened to come across a job here, at your favorite microstock site, in 2005. That is when things took a 180 degrees turn and photography took its well deserved place in my life. I have seen hundreds if not thousands of photographers grow and mature into their portfolios and that is an experience I would never trade. I would encourage anyone to follow th... [Read more]

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