Adobe makes selling stock simpler with contributor site and Lightroom plugin

Adobe makes selling stock simpler with contributor site and Lightroom plugin

As the economics of selling stock continue to deteriorate, the time required to process, keyword, and submit images can easily cost you more than you’ll earn in royalties. Adobe has made itself a major player in selling stock images and videos since its acquisition of Fotolia, but now it has finally provided some love for photographers who are looking to license their images. It’s new contributor website allows you to easily upload suitable images, will suggest keywords for you, and let you submit them with a few clicks. Better yet, for Lightroom users, there is now an integrated Adobe Stock Publishing Service. The process isn’t perfect, but we’ll take you through how it works in case you want to give it a try:

Submitting images for sale on Adobe Stock: Step-by-step

First: Sign-up to sell through Adobe Stock

Adobe has made this fairly painless, assuming you already have a Creative Cloud account. You can start by clicking the SELL button the . You’ll need to give it some information, and upload a scan of a photo ID (not a bad idea to have one of those stashed on your phone anyway). Eventually you’ll want to fill out your tax information, but you don’t need to do that right away.

Second: Publish some images to your Stock Portfolio

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be directed to your very own contributor website, where you’ll be able to see your published images, images under review, any rejected images, and where you can upload new images. Uploading can be as simple as dragging images directly onto the Upload page, or you can use the new Adobe Stock Contributor publishing service plug-in for Lightroom (which should automatically be installed when you update Lightroom to the most recent version).

Keep in mind the image specs: JPEG only (although amazingly, the Lightroom plug-in seems to automatically convert other file formats where possible), with at least 4MP resolution (up to 100MP), and a maximum file size of 45MB. Frankly, the biggest advantage for me of the Lightroom plug-in was simply that it did the image Export and conversion for me. Otherwise it is about the same amount of work as dragging the image to the Upload screen.

Third: Submit your images for review

Unfortunately, your work isn’t quite done yet. You’ll need to go to your Contributor site and individually tweak the metadata for each image. You need to provide a title (unless one was automatically created from the image caption), at least 5 keywords (unless the image was already keyworded), assign it a category, and say whether it needs a model or property release.

Adobe offers a potentially cool feature to help with keywording. Uploaded images are fed into an object recognition engine, and potential keywords are suggested. This may help accelerate the workflow of those with a lot of non-keyworded images to submit. Here you can see that it does an okay job of suggesting simple keywords based on image content:

Adobe noticed that this photo of Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat was a house,
and suggested it was related to architecture. Not sure I’d call it a palace, though.

After you have added the needed metadata for any of your images you want to submit, you can review them one last time, and then press Submit. After that they should show up under “In Review.”

Once your images are submitted you’ll see them appear in your “In Review” section.

Once your images meet the technical specs, and you submit them, you’ll still need to wait for Adobe personnel to review them before they are live an available for purchase.

Adobe Stock is not a replacement for your existing stock agency

If you already work with an existing stock agency – particularly a well-regarded one – Adobe Stock is unlikely to replace it, or I suspect to offer you anything close to the same revenue stream. For starters, except for a tiny, specially-curated, collection, its images are royalty-free and volume-priced. A few folks I’m sure get lucky if their images go viral and are licensed by thousands, but each license fee is not only tiny, but because it is royalty-free it doesn’t include a recurring revenue stream. However, Adobe has made it easy for anyone to contribute, so if you don’t have a stock agency, you don’t need to go through the qualification process. And, as of today, Adobe has certainly made it fairly easy to submit images.