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How to Upload Submit Images at Dreamstime

Updated on December 15, 2013

A few easy steps to Uploading photos at ! is a stock photography website where you can earn money from your digital photos you already have on your computer! Read my lens Sell your Digital Photos for more info.

Uploading photos at may seem daunting at first,

but its easy as can be once you know how.

Even if you are already proficient at uploading photos, you still might want to check out the KEYWORDS section as it is so crucial to how many images you sell.

This guide will show you in pictures, step-by-step exactly how it is done... read on!

Step #1 : Login to Dreamstime

Or Register for Free

If you are not already a member of Dreamstime,

you can join here for free.

How to Login

Go to:

Enter your username and password.

(see photo -->)

Step #2 : Go to "Management Area"

Go to your "Management Area"

by clicking on the

"Management Area" button indicated

(see photo --->)

It is located under the "Categories" bar.

Step #3 : Click on "Upload Images"

In the "Contributors Area"

there are 16 green buttons.

In the second row there is a

button labelled

"Upload Images"

Click on this.

Step #4 : "Add" Images to your upload box

You will now see an upload box

(see photo -->)

Left Click on the "Add" button.


If you do not see the upload box it

will prompt you to install "Java",

follow the links to install Java,

refresh the page and you will

see the upload box.

Step #5 : Select Files to Upload

Select the file you wish to upload

and click "Open".

Make sure you have renamed the

files to an appropriate name.

eg Some cameras automatically name the

photos with the date or a random number

"23-06-2009-0008.jpg". make sure the photo is

renamed to something meaningful to the photo

such as "Sunrise over Newcastle Beach June 2009.jpg"

Repeat, until all the files you wish to upload are in the upload box

Repeat Steps 4+ 5

until all the files you wish to

upload are now listed in the upload box.

As a new user you can submit up to

300 images a day!

However if you consistently submit files that

are rejected your "user approval percentage"

will decrease and the number of images you

can submit daily will also decrease.

Click on the Upload Button.

(see photo -->)

Step #6 : Enter Password and press "Ok"

A box now pops up

labelled "Enter Login data".


of the information in

"Host" or "Username" field.

In the "Password" field enter

the password you use to login to with.

Once you have done this click "OK"

(see photo -->)

Waiting, waiting...

Wait while your photos

upload onto the

Dreamtime server...

Step #7 : Upload Complete! But your images are NOT submitted yet


You have uploaded your files!

Click "OK" ...

but you are not quite finished yet though...

Step #8: Go Back to your "Management Area" + click on "Unfinished Files"

Click on the "Management Area" button

(If you are unsure where this is,

see Step #2)

In the "Contributors Area"

there are 16 green buttons.

In the second row there is a

button labelled

"Unfinished Files"

Click on this.

Step #8 : Edit the "Unfinished files" information

If you do not see any files listed here,

don't panic, they haven't disappeared.

It sometimes takes up to 3-4 hours

for your images to appear here depending

on how many other people have uploaded files.

Once your photos have appeared here

you will see a list of photos that you have uploaded

We are now going to submit the see photos.

In the row that contains the photo you want to

submit, Go across to the column "Continue Upload"

and click on the button that says

"Commercial RF"

This will take you to the page that will

allow you to change the information

for the individual photo you are submitting.

NB You probably noticed that you can select from 'Commercial RF", "Commercial" or "Editorial".

*Commercial RF is the one you will use most of the time.

*Commercial is similar to Commercial RF except you don't have to enter in most of the information, you DO have to pay for this option though as they enter in the information for you. Unless you are submitting thousand of photos a week and can afford it, leave this option alone.

*Editorial is the option you select if you are submitting photos that are considered newsworthy, such as images of a plane crash that has happened in the last couple of hours, or of someone winning a marathon. These images are sold to news companies and they only want the photos if they are very clear and are VERY recent. As in the same day (at least) recent. No old photos of september 11 or the sydney olympics.

Step #9 : Enter "Image name" and "Description" for photo

The first field you want to file is

is the "Image Name" field.

Pick a name that is an exact description

of the image you are uploading.

For the example here I am submitting

a photo of a juvenile native bird,

An Australian Nightjar Owlet.

So the name I entered is:

Australian Nightjar Owlet - Juvenile

DO NOT include words such as:

great, fun, happy, wonderful, the best, etc.

They are entered in a different section.

Keep it short and succinct.


The next field is the "Description" field.

Again, use an exact description that

extend on the name of your image.

For the Example, the image is

Australian Nightjar Owlet - Juvenile

so for the description I have entered:

Portrait of a native Australian Bird,

the Australian Nightjar owlet. They are

nocturnal and are the smallest native owl.

They are fairly rare to be observed in the

wild as they are so small.

This one was 12.5cm (5") in height.

Again short, descriptive, with

no words that are subjective, such as:

gorgeous, wonderful, etc.

Step #9 (con't) : Enter "Categories"

The next field we edit

is the "Categories" field.

Choose a category from the drop down

menu that your image best fits into.

For the example I have chosen category:


Choose another two categories that your

image could fit into. Even if you think your image

is already in the best category, you want your

image to appear in as many searches as possible

so ALWAYS select three categories.

I also choose:

Animals > Wildlife

Tourism > Australia

The 3rd one (Tourism > Australia) may not seem like an obvious choice, but say someone was writing an article about touring Australia.

They might include an image like this one as an example of our variety of wildlife.

Sometimes it pays to think a little outside the box with these ones.

However, never choose an obscure category over an obvious one.

If there had been an option for, say, Animals > Owls I would have chosen that one over Tourism, as it is more likely to sell in the "Owl" category.

Step #9 (con't) : Enter "Keywords" for your photo

The next field is "Keywords".

Probably the MOST IMPORTANT section of all.

When someone enters words in a search,

these are the words that get sorted through

to see if your image is a match.

This is the field were you get to enter all those

juicy descriptive words that people love to see.

There is quite an art to it though, so I will walk you through it slowly.

Don't worry you will soon get the hang of it.

Ok, Dreamstime limits you to 80 keywords.

This means 80 single words, separated by a space, that describe your photo.

We'll use the example again:

Most Importantly

The first set of words you want to enter are the words you used for your image name

Australian Juvenile Nightjar Owlet

Expand a Little

You now want to enter any derivatives of those words, or other possible ways they could be spelt...

So for Australian you could now have:Aussie Australia

So for Juvenile you could now have:Young Baby

So for Nightjar you could now have:Night Jar

So for Owlet you could now have:Owl

Expand Again

Now enter any words that are a broader description of the image...Bird Birds

HINT: Always put the singular and plural of the word, if you only enter "Bird" and someone searches for "Birds" your image wont show up.

Broader Description

Now enter words that describe the colours and set up of your image.

Colour words Brown Fawn White

Setup words Portrait Closeup Close Up Zoom

Special Case

If your image is of something on a white background it is called an ISOLATED image. So include this word too. Isolate Isolated

Our list now has 23 words and looks like this

Australian Aussie Australia Juvenile Young Baby NightJar Night Jar Owlet Owl Bird Birds Brown Fawn White Portrait Closeup Close Up Zoom Isolate Isolated

Go Crazy!

Now you can have fun, pick some words that are a bit out of the box.

For this image we could add words like:

Wise Lovely Halloween Woods Forest

Even the word Hedwig which was the name of Harry Potters owl.

See what I mean? :)

Words to the Wise

If you think of another fantastic way to do this, go for it.

Just make sure your words are honest. Don't include words like sexy or lovely if your image is of a headstone. People will stop trusting your reputation and wont even look at images if they see they were uploaded by you - now matter how good they are.


If you are really keen, open a separate window and do a search on for an image similar to your own. Sort the images by "Downloads - Descending".

This will now show you the most downloaded images that are similar to your own. When I searched for the word "Owl" and sorted them the most popular image was called Owl Eye (111 d. / 708 v.) This means it was downloaded 111 times out of being viewed 708 times. Open the most popular image and look at their keywords.

If they have any that you hadn't thought of, go ahead and add those extra words into your own. In this example they had the words Wild and Wildlife

which suits us perfectly, so we will add those in too.


Now put a check mark in the Box and scroll down the page...

If you need to read the terms and conditions, do it on a separate

page otherwise you will lose all your wonderful keyword work so far!

Step #9 (con't) : Submitting your photo

So, you have scrolled down the page.

A few things to look out for.

Model/property release document

Unless you have people in your photos

you don't need to worry about this section.

Property release document

You only need to fill in this section if you have photos

of a private property in your photo. As in areas

that are not visible from a public area, such as

the bathroom of a friends house.

Rights Management Area


- Tick the first checkbox ONLY IF you are exclusively submitting the photo

to . In other words you have not published the photo anywhere else (such as your own personal website, flickr, or another stock photography website)

- Tick the second checkbox

This says you are allowing the photo to be purchased and used by people who wish use it electronically, such as on a web page. You still keep the copyright.

- Tick the third checkbox

This says you are allowing the photo to be purchased and used by people who wish use it in print, such as on a flyer or billboard. You still keep the copyright.

- Tick the fourth checkbox ONLY IF you want to Sell the Exclusive Copyright of this image to the buyer. This means you no longer own the image and you can not use it yourself any more in any way without explicit permission from the buyer. You CAN NOT check this box if it is already being used on another site.


You will now see a page saying "Upload Confirmed"

Yay You did it!!!!

How to Check if your photo has been submitted.

You worry wart... :)

Go back to the "Management Area"

(If you are unsure where this is, see step #2)

In the "Contributors Area"

there are 16 green buttons.

In the second row there is a

button labelled

"Pending Images"

Click on this.

Yay! You totally submitted it! Woohoo!


Yay! Your photo is submitted!

The Coloumn titled ETR is the

Estimated Time until Review.

In other words how long until you will know

whether your photo was accepted of not.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Go and finish uploading the rest of those pictures! :)

Legal Stuff.

Screenshots are from the website

What do you think? - Like it, Love it? Want Changes? Tell us all about it here!

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    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks buddy. Very helpful

    • zirtoc profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens! I just submitted my first photo to Dreamstime. I suspected I should check only the 2nd and 3rd box for my rights management, and you confirmed this for me. Great work on this lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That was a great help! I have done it! Many thanks!

    • Virtue Creations profile imageAUTHOR

      Virtue Creations 

      8 years ago

      Hi aka_sakabato. It sounds like an error, I would email the dreamstime team. Good luck!

    • aka sakabato profile image

      aka sakabato 

      9 years ago

      hi. I uploaded some images, but the thumbnails in unfinished file is totally different from my uploaded image. Is it some kind of error or something? None of the thumbnails are correct, those thumbnails photo are totally not mine, and I have waited for 10 hours, it still the same.

    • vernessataylor lm profile image

      vernessataylor lm 

      9 years ago

      Lovely lens, very informative ... but where is your referral ID or badge? It's always nice to attempt to give credit for a referral (especially when the vendor or service has a customer referral program). Perhaps you can add your's to this lens? :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      thanks very much. I had no idea how to upload before reading this!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Really well done and wish I had read it before I signed into DT, would have saved me a lot of time and posts about when and how!

    • Virtue Creations profile imageAUTHOR

      Virtue Creations 

      10 years ago

      Thanks Art Phaneuf :) Though I must admit to rather enjoying keywording.

      Do you still do stock photography now?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I had many 35mm slides on file at two stock photo agencies in the '80s. Wish I had this keyword tutorial back then! What a labor it was to come up with them back then. Thank you!


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