You know the old saying “each to their own”? Fotolia is a bit like that – some will rave about its performance for them, while for the rest of us Fotolia can be somewhat of a white elephant. That being said, they have a large client base (particularly in Europe it seems), are usually in the top 4 or 5 libraries for most people and are worth uploading to if you are going to contribute to as many stock agencies as you can.
Just be aware that their royalties are low and are unlikely to improve based on their track record.
To elaborate on that last point, many have been turned off Fotolia lately due to their cuts to contributor commissions. Currently Fotolia’s rate stands at just 20% commission for new independent photographers. This raises to 23% after 100 credit sales (subscription sales equal only 1/4 of a credit sale). Then the scale continues to climb, but for most photographers (unless you have a huge, proven stock portfolio) you will most likely stay in the measly 23% – 25% royalty range for some years.
For many this is a deal-breaker, and understandably so. But then again, Fotolia do sell a lot of images and if you are in it to make some dollars and have decided to be independent, then why turn down some extra income when the alternative is none. If you are choosing to be represented by as many reputable libraries as possible (as I have), then I would recommend joining Fotolia as soon as possible so you can start the long journey up the royalty scale as quickly as possible.
On the upside, recently they have done a major overhaul of their website (which was very much needed) and it seems to be very stable and pretty easy to use.
Fotolia Review - Microstock Agency,