While Adobe has come to be nearly synonymous with digital photography, their customers are creatives of all types. With the creation of Adobe Stock, they recognized that creative people often need the work of other artists to complete their own projects. As Creative Cloud has rolled out, we have seen an even deeper integration of Adobe Stock with their library of software, building access into their products for an easy way to add stock images to projects.
Sell Your Videos & Photos
On the flip side, Adobe has also recognized that the people who use their products are the same ones who create the content they sell on Adobe Stock. So, they also made it easy for artists to submit their work to this ever-growing marketplace of imagery. Adobe Stock is a great way for image creators to market their work. It’s also a good resource to learn how to submit quality stock photography with a consistent workflow. This article covers the process for getting your contributor account set up, and ready for you to start uploading images.
Please keep in mind, as much as we would all love to get into a debate on stock photography pricing and how good things used to be, this article is not about that. Whatever you might think of micro-stock, royalty-free, or the photography business in general, let’s save the debates on that for another time and another place!
Great Big Important Point!
To dispel one of the most common myths you may have heard about Adobe Stock…
No, you do not have to be an Adobe customer to be an Adobe Stock contributor!
You can use any software you want to process or create your images, and you do not have to be a Creative Cloud paid subscriber. The only requirements are that you provide quality images which meet their established standards.
What You Will Need to Sign Up
- About 5 minutes of free time, tops.
- An internet connection.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Some form of Photo ID (government photo ID, passport, driver’s license, etc.).
- Be able to scan and upload your ID to Adobe. I use Google Drive’s free scan feature on my phone, works great!. (Editor’s note: The free app Adobe Scan is another option. It’s available in both Android and iOS versions.)
- Optional, but highly recommended, your tax information for completion of a W9.
- Get started by clicking this link to sign up.
- Click the “Sell” link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- If you are new to Adobe, in the middle of the screen, click the blue button that reads “Create an Adobe ID”. If you are already an Adobe subscriber, click the button “Continue with my Adobe ID”, where you will be prompted to log in with your Creative Cloud user ID and Password.
- Fill out the form with your information, and click the Sign up button. Make sure your information is correct as it needs to match the W-9 tax form you will complete later in the process. If you already have an Adobe ID associated with the email you entered, it will let you know and give you the option to recover your password for it, if necessary.
- Once you see the confirmation screen above, switch over to your email program, where you will receive a confirmation email. Follow the included link in the email to confirm your Adobe account. Strangely, some email programs do not recognize the link correctly and will not open the confirmation page when the link is clicked. In that case, copy the link from your email, and paste into your browser’s address bar.
- If you don’t receive your confirmation email, be sure to check your email’s SPAM and/or Trash folders. You can also have it resent by clicking on the “Resend confirmation email” link on the Adobe site after you submit your information.
- On the next screen, you will be asked if you have a Fotolia account. If you do, you will then be prompted to enter your login so it can be linked to your Adobe Stock account. If not, a Fotolia profile will be automatically created and linked to you. Once you have done that, your Adobe account has been created!
Setting Up Your Seller Profile
While you can immediately begin to upload your first images, you will be required to get some paperwork out of the way before they can be officially submitted. If you have not already loaded a photo ID to Adobe you will be prompted to do so before you can complete your first image submission.
Because you are selling via Adobe’s platform, Adobe is required to collect your tax information and will withhold the maximum amount of taxes (30%) from any sale if you do not submit this information. Until you do so, you will see a warning message on your Upload screen and in your Adobe profile.
This only takes a few moments to complete, just click the link to get started. Then follow the prompts for whether you are an individual or operate as a business entity.
- All US individuals and business entities are required to complete a W-9.
- Everyone outside the US will go to the W8-BEN form, which may specify additional forms you must fill out, depending on your specific circumstances.
- EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE US WHO SELLS THEIR WORK SHOULD BE ISSUING AND SUBMITTING W9’s!!! The all-caps is subtle, I know. But seriously, this is where many people run into problems.
- If you have any questions at all about the forms or your particular status, check with your tax advisor, accountant, and/or attorney. As much as I would like to help, I am not any of these! The internet is full of well-meaning people, who think they know the answer to your questions. You run a real risk of getting incorrect or incomplete information by not consulting with someone who is an expert who is licensed/certified/educated on your particular situation.
- In addition, Adobe provides a page on taxes with resources and FAQs at https://helpx.adobe.com/stock/contributor/help/Tax-basics-US-citizens.html
Complete Your Contributor Profile
Once your images start selling, you would like to get paid, right? Make sure you complete this information to have your address on file. The currency you will be paid in is determined according to the country your account was set up in, so you will want to make sure the right address is on file.
To complete your profile, click the “Contributor Account” link at the top of the screen, in the black navigation bar.
Fill out any fields that are still empty, choose your email preferences, and verify that your tax information has been submitted and accepted. If it has, the “Status” line will say “Validated”.
Adobe has a massive library of help articles and FAQs, as well as a community forum for contributors. Most questions about Adobe Stock can be answered in the “Contributor submission guide” link on the middle right of the upload screen, but there is also a search feature if your question is not covered there.
And with that, you are all set to start uploading and selling your images with Adobe Stock!