Microstock Overview > Microstock Sites > Dreamstime (Shutterstock, iStock, Bigstock, Fotolio, 123RF, Deposit Photos)


August 2008, updated March 2010 and March 2012

Over 3,5 million images online. Photographs, vectors and video footage. Dreamstime is a stable, well run site with excellent features.


Four Oaks Online recommends this site to the microstock beginner.

Becoming a contributor

There is no pre-joining process for contributors on Dreamstime. You simply sign up and start uploading. Images are reviewed and added to the database if approved. Both the quality and quantity of your images will make a big difference to how much you earn.

Using Dreamstime

Submitted photographs must be technically sound and free of digital noise. The minimum image size accepted is 3 mega-pixel.

Uploading your photos is quick and easy, and categories are simple and easy to choose from. Dreamstime can check on spelling of keywords and make spelling suggestions. Image details can be auto-populated from previous images. This is a handy tool and can save you a lot of time when uploading a series of similar images.


Earnings are slow to start with, but gradually pick up even if new images aren’t uploaded on a regular basis.

All photos are offered at various sizes and earnings vary accordingly. The average royalty per photo is $1,00. Photos which are sold with an Extended License can fetch as much as $30,00 each.

My best month thus far was $80,15 in April 2008 with 650 images in our portfolio.

Four Oaks Online site rating



March 2010: My best month so far was July 2009, with a portfolio of about 2000 images giving $159.00 in earnings for the month. Dreamstime have added the option of a subscription plan for buyers, in addition to their existing pay-per-download structure.

March 2012: September 2011 became my new best month at Dreamstime, with earnings of $212 from approximately 3600 images. Dreamstime are now offering over 13 million images online.