Dreamstime enlists photographers and artists to upload stock art and clips for sale

Expected pay: 30 cents to about $3 per sale

Husl$core: $$$$$

Commissions & fees: 40% to 75% of the sale goes to the site; 25% – 60% goes to the artist

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Art, video or audio that you have all rights to; over 18

What is Dreamstime?

Dreamstime is a stock photo site that enlists freelance artists, photographers, videographers and musicians to upload images and clips for sale.

(This story may contain affiliate links. You can read our full affiliate policy here.)

How it works

Contributors can sign up here and upload art, photos, videos or audio. If your files are accepted — they’re reviewed for quality and appropriateness — they will be listed for sale on the site.

When one of your images or files is purchased, the artist receives a royalty ranging from 25% to 60% of the purchase amount. The percentage depends on the popularity of the media — i.e. how frequently it’s purchased — and whether you’re offering it exclusively through Dreamstime, or also sell this image elsewhere.


Once a contributor builds up a balance of at least $100, the balance can be cashed out via check, PayPal, Payoneer or Skrill.

Dreamstime review

Like most stock image sites, Dreamstime enlists artists to upload content that the site makes available for purchase. Purchasers include media organizations, websites, advertising firms and other individuals, who need relatively generic photos or clips to illustrate a story or ad.

Stock art generally sells for a relative pittance — anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars. So, unless you sell thousands of photos or clips, this site will not make you rich.

One popular photo of blooming lavender, for instance, sold 14 times in a two week period on Dreamstime. For that, the photographer earned $8.76 — between 38 cents and $1.98 per purchase.

Indeed, some reviewers said it took them years to reach the $100 threshold that allows them to cash out their earnings.

Volume business

That said, stock images can sell a nearly limitless number of times. So, if you manage to draw a popular illustration or take an iconic photograph, that one image can generate semi-passive income for years. If you upload many photos that all prove popular, you can make decent side hustle income with stock photos.

It’s just rare to make more than a few hundred dollars in any given month.


Dreamstime offers a 10% royalty boost to artists who are willing to give them an exclusive right to sell their images. Other stock photo sites, such as Getty Images, offer a similar promise. If you’ll give up your right to list photos widely, you get a little more on each sale.

Is it worth it? We don’t see the added royalty as a sufficient incentive to give up rights to sell elsewhere. In our view, making money selling stock photos is all about volume. The more widely you list, the more likely you are to find buyers.

One concern

Dreamstime doesn’t accept all images. But, if your images are accepted and loaded onto the site, Dreamstime expects you to keep at least 70% of them there for a minimum of 6 months. If you choose to leave the site, Dreamstime has the right to maintain your images for that six month holding period.  However, it will still pay royalties to the contributor during this period.


There are a lot of stock photo sites. And, unless you agree to an exclusive deal, you can list your photos with all of them. Outside of the right to maintain your images after you’ve left, we think Dreamstime is competitive with the other stock photo sites.

Our advice: Sign up with all of them and don’t give exclusive rights to anyone.

If you want to list with Dreamstime, you can do so here.

We also recommend Alamy, Foap, Getty, Adobe and Shutterstock. You can sign up with Shutterstock here. Or  sign up with Alamy here.

Learn more about Foap here. Our review of Getty is here. You can find more information about Adobe here. Our review of Shutterstock here.

What their users say (from Trust Pilot)

Dreamstime offers photographers a number of advantages, including the possibility to repost and compare their shots with other photographers, to be stimulated to take pictures and to reach a wider audience.
However, it is important to be aware of the limitations of this platform, in particular the low revenue per photo. Ultimately, Dreamstime may be an opportunity to be carefully evaluated, but it is important to have realistic expectations.

I am using dreamstime as a contributor. Also I am using some other platforms as a contributor but in this platform I don’t know why my photos are not selling. In other platforms I am satisfied from sales.


As a contributor, you’d like your images to be processed quickly, answers to queries answered quickly and to be paid out quickly. Dreamstime does exactly that.

I used Dreamstime since 2008. The service is always perfect! The payment to my Payoneer card was made quickly.

I am a feature photographer in Dreamstime. And really satisfied with my relationship with the company.
But I am disappointed lately because my sales are very poor, probably due to the AI creations by other designers.


Dreamstime has been a valuable site for uploading and been able to sell my images. Once reached the amount allowed to receive it is a smooth transaction. It is easy to upload on the site and easy to review and adjust any mistakes. I am satisfied with the service.

I have been always satisfied with dreamstime since I joined it as an exclusive photographer for more than 9 years now..

Working on Dreamstime since 2016, mainly in the field of horticultural photography. Extremely pleased with the attention to professional topics and the easy, friendly handling of the portfolio content.

Not a lot of $$$

As contributor, I’m very disappointed. About 6000 videos online and 2 years to earn 100€. Sorry…I stop my collaboration.

I wanted to sell my photos on the platform, but my photos were rejected and they put a copy-and-paste text with 15 reasons why. One of them was “There is a logo in the photo” It was a photo of fish. Tried to get my account closed. Got told they would keep my photos for 6 months and take all the profit.

I have been a dreamstime contributor since 2004. Initially I had high rejection rates, their standards were high, but i learnt from their feedback what went wrong and improved on that. After a while of uploading photos to different stock photo sites, the site that gave me the most earnings was dreamstime. So I settled down with dreamstime as exclusive contributor. It was a great journey, earning passive income and getting paid for approved images because of my exclusivity for up to 10k images.

Very inconsistent! Sometimes all my pictures are accepted, the next day all are refused. This create a confusion about the criteria used! I’m disapointed!


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