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Make Money Selling Images on Dreamstime

Last updated on: 21st Apr 2023
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Selling images on Dreamstime, or stock photo sites in general is a great way to earn extra cash and start a passive income flow.
For some, it can become a full-time job; others see it as a nice side hustle or paid hobby. Nevertheless, making money with something you love to do is always worth exploring.

In this post, I’ll take a closer look at Dreamstime, one of the major stock photography players that help contributors worldwide to make money selling their photography.

What are Stock Photo Sites

Let’s start with the fact that it is not only about photos. Although most are called stock photo sites, almost all of them sell illustrations, vector illustrations, and videos.

This doesn’t change what a stock photo site does. It handles most of the administration and sales for the artist that has uploaded the material.

There is a difference between macrostock and microstock. For now, it is enough to know that most stock photo sites we talk about are microstock agencies, and the most common user rights model is Royalty-Free.

Stock image sites sell the rights to use an image (not the image itself), and the photographer gets a percentage of that earnings, called a fee.

Who is Dreamstime

Dreamstime has been around the block for over 20 years now. They have a lot of experience with stock photography from both the customer as the contributor perspective. At the moment, they have over 30 million users, making them the worlds’ largest community for royalty-free photos and illustrations.

This is important because it means that your images will get a lot of exposure as clients from all over the globe will use your images.

Dreamstime offers their clients a choice between a credits-based plan and a subscription-based plan. With a credit package, you pay per download, and with the subscription-based version, you can download a maximum number of images a month.

They have almost 750K contributors and 136M images online. Dreamstime’s headquarter is located in Brentwood, Tennessee, USA, but their staff is also located around the globe, including Romania, Russia, Italy, The Netherlands, Australia, and the UK.

If you find yourself looking for free images frequently, then creating a free account might be smart.
They have a set of free images for subscribers and a free image of the week.

How to Make Money Selling Images on Dreamstime

Registering for a free account is always the first step. There are no separate accounts for clients or contributors as Dreamstime positions itself as a community.

The next thing you need to do is carefully study the criteria and requirements Dreamstime has written in their guidelines.
Make sure that your first uploads meet those requirements and that they are of great quality.
You will need to provide a title, description, and keywords to the images you upload.

Your uploads will go through a review process. After getting accepted, these files will be the first files that go into your portfolio.
If your images get rejected, and some of them will, you should make sure that you understand the rejection reason. Make adjustments, create other images. Don’t argue; become better.

Dreamstime will pay you, per request, as soon as your balance reaches the minimum payout threshold of $100. The money can be sent as bank checks or via PayPal, Payoneer, or Skrill.

Please do yourself a favor and use the tools they provide to analyze the needs of their customers. This will increase your chances of selling images on Dreamstime and make money with it.
It is also a good idea to keep a sort of seasonal calendar to make sure that you create seasonal images in advance.

Can you Really Make Money Selling Stock Photos

The demand for original, high-quality visuals keeps increasing. In the early days of stock photography, a couple of photographers have made millions this way.

Although those days are over, there are still artists that made a full-time income out of it.
If you are new to this gig, treat it as a gig. See if you like it and what it brings you.

You can definitely make money with it. The question of how much is impossible for me to answer.
Also, keep in mind that this is a passive income stream. Pictures that I uploaded years ago are still making money for me.

Is Dreamstime Legit?

Absolutly. Dreamstime is considered to be one of the major players on the stock photo market.

The reviews on TrustPilot are mixed. I noticed some complaints about the free trial not being what they expected.

Sharing my Experiences

I had an account when I first started with stock photography.
At first I joined as many sites as possible, later I went exclusive with one of them.

I tried this

Years ago, I sold images on a couple of stock photography platforms, and I have made money with it. After joining many websites, I also found myself selling images on Dreamstime.
The experience was more like a discovery to me, learning to do photography and edit my photos. Keeping this hobby from costing me money was an extra requirement.

All stock image sites together, including Dreamstime, generated a nice extra cash flow.
I invested all that income in professional equipment and software (like Adobe products) to speed up my workflow.

It even paid for some trips to nice photo locations in other countries. 

I Like It

For the most.

It was pretty easy to upload and manage my portfolio. The only thing that I didn’t like was that it was pretty hard to leave. Going exclusive with another website required me to remove all images from Dreamstime. It took a lot of emails before I finally got them all offline.


Selling images on Dreamstime is a fine way to make money online with your photos, illustrations, vector illustrations, and videos.

The fact that they have a massive community will get you and your images exposure all over the world.

Make sure your read the Terms and Conditions, as well as the guidelines before joining.

What’s Next

Do you have experience with Dreamstime? Would you mind sharing it in the comments?

As always: Sharing is caring and thanks for reading! You are awesome!

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Hi there!

My name is Jip, and I created the Side Gig Longlist to learn all I can about blogging and making money online.
Having decades of experience in information technology, I decided to explore all the non-technical aspects of blogging, marketing, and promoting.
I also happen to like sharing the things I know and learn with others.
This blog is my platform to experiment, learn, and share.

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