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Dreamstime – this one pays out one of the highest royalties of all microstock agencies per image. This changes depending on the size of the photo that is downloaded. However I find many buyers in Dreamstime are not necessarily subscription buyers and I regularly recieve five dollars for a purchase. They are also the easiest to get accepted into and have a very friendly community amongst photographers.Dreamstime accepts JPG images in 3MP (million pixels) size or larger. They currently pay royalties via bank check, Paypal or Moneybookers. So far, Dreamstime is a personal favorite. I have a high photo acceptance rate and better royalties per sale than any other stock agency.
Shutterstock – the payout rate for Shutterstock is currently 25 cents per sale for subscription downloads. This is one of the lowest royalties, however they do have a huge following and small change can add up over a year. Shutterstock is one of the largest and well known microstock agencies, which also means more sales per image. Many photographers including myself will tell you that the majority of their stock photography profits come from Shutterstock. I receive a dozen daily sales per 150 images I upload.It could take a long time to be initially accepted by Shutterstock, as you need to submit 10 of your best photos. If 7 out of 10 are accepted then you’re in. If not, you need to wait a whole month before you try again. All I can say is, don’t give up! Shutterstock is worth persisting with. It took me three tries before I was accepted. I learned much along the way and now have a high submission acceptance of images with hundreds of sales per month. They accept JPG images at 4MP (million pixels) size or larger.
iStockphoto – I won’t go into many details here as they already have a fantastic training manual with photo requirements, cropping and composition tips etc. All I can say is that IStockphoto is definitely one to try. Like Shutterstock, they are also a very popular microstock agency that has a lot of website traffic.
BigStockPhoto – Is a part of Shutterstock family. As the photographer you’ll make 50 cents to three dollars per download. There is an online test you need to pass before being accepted into their program. However, you can do it as many times as needed. Once your in, you’ll get a high percentage of photos accepted. BigStockPhoto rejects very few images so is great for beginners.
Fotolia by Adobe – is Europe’s leading micro stock agency. It currently offers over 57 million high-res, royalty-free images and videos available to license (via subscription or credit purchase methods).On December 11, 2014, Adobe announced it was buying Fotolia for $800 million in cash, aiming at integrating the service to its Creative Cloud solution. The purchase was completed in January 2015.Fotolia by Adobe is run as a stand-alone website.As a non exclusive contributor you will receive from 20% up to 46% from credits sales, and you will get 33% on every sale on a Fotolia subscription or on Adobe Stock. Actual payout will depend on the price of the image paid by the buyer. applies to make sure contributors are always fairly compensated, whatever the price is.
I recommend starting with these five microstock agencies to begin with.