Depositphotos Contributor Review

Our Depositphotos Contributor Review contains everything you need to know about selling stock media with Depositphotos.

Make informed choices about where to sell your stock images. Is Depositphotos right for you as a contributor? Read on to find out.

Part 1: Depositphotos Contributor Royalties

Depositphotos are clearly following in the tracks of big agencies like Shutterstock.

They push the high volume subscription plans as their mainstay. For the most part, you would have to say that it is working for them. They sell lots of images and are effective at gaining new contributors all the time.

Their royalty tier structure is a bit unreasonable, with the higher levels being near impossible. Each subscription download only counts as 1/3 of an actual download. Fotolia used to be similar, but got rid of this when bought out by Adobe Stock. Depositphotos should follow suit.

So you need a LOT of sales to reach the top. It seems to be only the big studios with teams of photographers or illustrators that reach the top levels. Or quality video producers, as video can't be purchased via subscription. So each video download counts as 1 download, not a third of one. The best bet is to start early and get those sales ticking over. Eventually you will gain a rank or two.

If you are an established stock contributor (a former exclusive at iStock for instance) then get in touch with them after opening your account. They may be willing to help you with getting your images online or maybe even pushing you up a rank or two.

All that said, the base royalty of 34% or 30 cents per subscription download is by no means the low end of the industry. So while you may not reach the top tiers any time soon, at least you are starting at a reasonable rate. This goes a long way toward us giving them a high score in our Depositphotos Contributor Review.


34 - 42%


Stock photos
Editorial photos
Vector illustrations
Footage (including 4k)


Credit packs
High-volume corporate rates

Part 2: Depositphotos Contributor Website & Apps

The contributor website for Depositphotos is well integrated with the customer-facing site. As with most of the more successful agencies, the website sees constant tweaks and improvements over time. Most of these focus on the customer experience, but it doesn't feel like the Depositphotos contributors get forgotten.

Uploading and submitting images is an easy process. They don't have some of the fancy extras like automatic keyword or category suggestions. But the user interface is simple and clean. Features include:

  • FTP upload (some have reported issues with this in the last few months)
  • Simple model release attachment
  • Real-time (or close to it) sales reporting
  • One of the most comprehensive image, sales & referrals reports

The website is very reliable in terms of up-time, which some of the bigger players sometimes struggle with.

They haven't jumped on the mobile app bandwagon as much as some of the other agencies. But in saying that, they do provide an app for buyers to use – it just doesn't help contributors much.

However, they do have another app and company called “Clashot” which is linked with Depositphotos. But it is a rather confusing concept, seemingly based more on a social-networking type arrangement with the possibility of earnings a few bucks on the side. A better option would be a dedicated contributor app with all the tools a professional stock contributor needs. Maybe this will eventuate in the coming year or two.

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Part 3: Depositphotos Contributor Earnings Experience

As mentioned earlier, Depositphotos must have one of the most aggressive marketing plans of any agency. They have constant advertising and special deals on offer. It seems to be working, as the amount of downloads continues to rise despite garnering more and more contributors all the time.

You will find that the large majority of sales are subscription sales. But this is the case at almost all of the agencies these days.

Depending on the size and quality of your portfolio, you will probably find Depositphotos to be a reliable and consistent earner for you.

If you have a good selection of stock footage that will certainly help, as these won't be sold under a subscription plan. Footage sales earn a good amount per sale, and the frequency of footage sales is increasing.

Depositphotos Contributor Review Highlights


Regular daily sales but mostly subscription


Between 34% and 42%


Modern website with detailed reporting


Photographers, illustrators & film-makers

Part 4: Depositphotos Contributor Recommendations

Depositphotos reputation in the industry has been vastly improved over the years. After a rocky start they now have a large, loyal contributor & customer base. They also continue to attract many new buyers.

For many contributors Depositphotos accounts for a considerable part of their income each month. That's thanks to regular sales and that nice commission rate. Plus they have vastly improved their communication with their contributors.

My experience with Depositphotos has been a positive one, and they continue to improve. They have demonstrated some solid sales potential and a well run organisation that is determined to be a key player in the industry. If they maintain their marketing and keep growing at the rapid pace seen so far, they will remain serious competition for the other big agencies.

Lately I am seeing more credit sales as well, which is encouraging considering they promote subscriptions so much. Credit sales not only earn you more, but show that customers are sticking around well past their initial free subscription has expired.

Whether you are just starting out or if you're an established microstock player, Depositphotos is a good place to join. You will see sales and you will be pleasantly surprised at your commission rate from them.

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