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Top 5 Microstock Agencies

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Top 5 Microstock photography agencies






ShutterStock is probably the most popular Microstock web site and the one that provides the best returns. The reason is quite simple: ShutterStock is subscription based; For a monthly fee of $249, buyers are entitled to download 25 royalty free image a day. If on a given day, a subscriber only needs 5 photos for his immediate needs, he will probably rush and download another 20 photos that he will save on his hard disk for future use. ShutterStock subscribers therefore tend to download more photos than they really need and this probably explains why sales are comparatively fast on ShutterStock


Commission: $0.25 per download

Picture Size: 4 Mpixel or larger

Approval process: You should submit your 10 best photos and 7 need to be accepted.

Payments: Paypal, Moneybookers, check

Languages: English, German, Spanish, French








iStockPhoto was historically the first Microstock web site to be launched and is considered by contributors to be among the most lucrative. Some photographers even find iStockPhoto more lucrative than ShutterStock.


Submitting photos on iStockPhoto is a bit more complex and tedious than with other Microstock web site; however given the high returns you can expect, it could well be worth the extra work.


Commission: 20%

Picture Size: 1600 x 1200 pixels or larger

Approval process: Pass a quiz and submit 3 photos

Payments: Paypal, Moneybookers, check, Payoneer MasterCard, Direct Deposit (US bank accounts only)

Languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Russian








Fotolia is a relatively new comer on the royalty free micro stock photography arena and represents a substantial source of revenue for many microstock photographers.



Commission: between 33 and 47% depending of the contributor's ranking

Picture Size: 2400 x 1600

Approval process: Pass a test

Payments: Paypal, Moneybookers. Wire transfer in the case neither Paypal nor Moneybooker is supported in your country of residence.

Languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Japanese.







DreamsTime is among the best microstock agencies and offers generous commissions of up to 80% to contributors. Might not be easy to be approved but if you fail on your first attempt don't get discouraged and try again later.


Commission: 50 to 80%

Picture Size: minimum size of 3 MP and a maximum of 70 MP

Approval process: You should upload 10 photos

Payments: Paypal, Moneybookers, check

Languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese








Part of JupiterImages group is a fast growing microstock agencies that puts emphasis on quality. Here again, getting approved might not be easy but it's worth the effort.



Picture Size: at least 4 Million pixels/Megapixels (2200 x 1700) in JPG format

Approval process: Upload 5 photos

Payments: Paypal, Moneybookers, check

Languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Japanese





Other Microstock Agencies


Once you successfully uploaded your royalty free photos to the Top 5 Microstock agencies, you should consider spending some time and upload your photos to other agencies. Even if they individually return significantly less than Shutterstock, they might collectively represent a worthwhile additional source of income. Click here to access our Microstock photography directory.





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