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Upload Guidelines for Becoming a Great Contributor

Technical requirements

File format: JPG files only (RGB)
File size: up to 10 mb
Minimum size for free share: 700 x 500 pixels
Minimum for sale: 2500 x 2500 pixels
Technical standards should be addressed: Focus, light, no-granulation, composition, etc. You photographers know more about this than us, but make sure to check your photo at 100% size before uploading.

Uploading Photos

First thing in order to upload photos is to register as a user on our site. To do so, go to “Sign up” at the top right. It’s fast, easy and free. You can also use your Facebook or Google account to register even faster. Then click on the share link placed on the main menu. You’ll be redirected to the upload page.You can also upload by Ftp and then fill the title, description and tags in your account! So easy!! (In case of photos with models, ftp won't work because you have to upload model release, so do it the usual way). To activate this option you will have to write us a message through the site and we will create your FTP account for you. Uploading is pretty easy but requires attention to some details:

General Considerations

The following is a brief explanation for the purpose of explaining how the site works. For more extended information about uploading, please check the Uploading guidelines.

  • Make sure that the photo you are uploading does not infringe on any copyright, property right, trademark or any other applicable right. Make sure to read the Upload guidelines
  • Upload only your own work.
  • For photos that include models you must upload the Model Release contract. Otherwise, photo won’t be accepted.
  • You can upload a photo only for free share, meaning your image won’t be for sale. Doing this from time to time will lead traffic to your profile and will help maximize your sales.

Image type: Upload only RGB JPG photos. PNGs, RAWs, TIFs, and PSDs will be rejected. CMYK images won’t be approved.

Image size: if you are going just for a free share, a minimum of a 700 x 500 pixels is needed. But images uploaded to be sold have to be at least of 2500 x 2500 pixels. Take into account, that the bigger the image dimension, the better, so do not downsize your files when uploading and always try to upload your best quality.

Image quality: Please, save us and yourself time. Do not upload photos that are out of focus, blury, noisy, in bad lighting or poorly executed. Make your best efforts while shooting and if required make the necessary corrections on your preferred photo editing software.

Image series: A series is a bunch of images that are mainly the same scene, object, landscape, model, situation or composition but shot from a different angle, changing position of objects, changing model position or any other modification to the shot that perhaps make it suitable for different purposes. Image series will share same information between them and it’ll automatically add to the title, a number to distinguish them. They will also be marked with an S icon so users can differentiate them.

Introducing image details

Title: Make sure to use a descriptive and short title. The more precise your title is, the more likely it is to drive interested users to your image, and convert it into sells.

Good ideas for naming:
  • Mention the main object/thing/person in the picture (eg. 'musician','smoothie','beach')
  • Be descriptive (eg. 'Kid playing football with his father in the park')

Bad ideas for naming that won’t be accepted
  • Word repetition
  • Names that are by default in the camera like 'IMG_3534.jpg'
  • Personal name’s (eg. 'Alicia playing cards')
  • Foreign language characters


Description should add more information to what is written in the title and the keywords. You may include the location, time and details of how image was shot. Think as if you were describing the image to someone who hasn’t seen it. Do not include model’s name or links to other sites. You can use the additional credit in case you want to credit someone else in the photo.


You can pick more than one category. Be sure to pick categories that really match your photo. Some users use categories to do their search, so it’s important that you look for the best fitting category.

Additional Credit

This field is optional and is aimed to recognize collaborators in in the photo. It may apply for location providers, people that have helped you take the picture or any other people/organization you want to credit for the creative process.


We have to make 2 distinctions concerning the licenses. When you choose a license here, you are making a selection of the license for Free Download. As for the purchased images, they will fall under the Photo Open Stock license. More details about the license can be checked here.


Tags are maybe the most relevant information you will include along with your photo, so try to be as accurate and descriptive as possible. Also, the order of your tags matters. So make sure to first introduce the tags that you consider more relevant to the subject matter. A minimum of 4 keywords will be required per picture. Some ideas to tagging are:

  • name all the elements that are on the scene
  • use some synonyms, people might search the same subject with different words
  • also introduce feelings, emotions and moods that the photo conveys
  • don’t write your name or other personal information

Model Release contract

For those images that include models (adults or kids), you have to upload a Model Release Contract. The contract templates can be downloaded here. This is mandatory for all pictures that have an identifiable face on them and we will automatically reject photos that do not fulfill this requirement.

Editing Photo details

To edit the information you previously introduced to a photo you should go to your account and click on the “My Photos” tab. There, you can access all the photos you uploaded. By going over any of them an “Edit” will appear. Click and an editing window will pop up where you’ll be able to make the changes to your photo data.

Photos that contain Models (people)

Any picture where people appear needs a “Model Release”. No exceptions for this rule. You have to think if the person on the photo can be recognized. If so, then it needs a Model Release. There are cases where, even if the face is not shown or recognizable, they need a Model Release. For example, if model has a tattoo, a scar or something that makes him/her unique.

  • All the cases where the main subject of the photo is a person, will require a Model Release.
  • If you upload several files of the same model, you will need to upload the Model Release with each of your files. You can use the same Model Release if the photo session was done the same day. If not, then you have to sign a new Model Release, as Model Release includes date of the photo session.
  • A witness should sign the Model Release, it must be someone other than the Photographer and the Model.
  • For photos containing minors (under 18 child/teenager), the Model Release must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Model release is not required when the image is under “Editorial Use Only”.


Model release template can be downloaded here. The model release must be genuinely signed by the model. The only exception to this might be the new Model Release Apps for iOS and Android, in which the model can sign on the screen of the device. This is a valid option for Photo Open Stock.

Property Releases

Property Releases apply for those photos where the property is the main subject of the photo. The cases that fall under this requirement are not so clear cut as when a model is in the photo. Reasons may vary. For example: when the property and the owner are connected, so that, the owner might feel affected by the publishing of his property for any commercial use. Also, the owner might get annoyed if you are using his property to get a revenue without his/her consent (and eventual participation on revenues).
As a hint we will name some cases: houses, work of arts, custom designs, sculptures, paintings, etc.

The main idea behind this requirement is that when the property is easily recognizable and directly connected to the owner, you need a 'Property Release' signed. Download Property Release here

Editorial Use Only License

Later in this document we talk about copyrights and intellectual property. However, this is an exception to the rule for allowed material on Photos.
Editorial content is that content which is to be used for magazines, newspaper, blogs or non-commercial presentations.
These images are to be used as a descriptive visual reference for NON-COMMERCIAL purposes. That means that they can’t be used for advertising for example.
Under this license you can find photos of anything from Sportsmen to politicians, famous buildings to smartphones, etc.
Therefore, Editorial Use Only images must never be used for commercial purposes and whenever a trademark, logo, copyrighted design, building, public person appears, you must stick to this license.
This kind of license does not require a Model or Property Release.

Intellectual property, copyrights and legal requirements

Since the images are usually used for all types of commercial and advertising purposes, there are certain items, things, buildings, etc. that don’t apply for royalty-free images. Specially where there is any kind of copyright or trademark protection, this will be an issue.
In this section  we will summarize and build a criteria, so you have some clues on how to manage when dealing with subjects that may have copyrights protection. However, you  should take into account that this section is not exhaustive and does not contain all the possible cases in which you may infringe upon any intellectual property. Ultimately, you are responsible for doing the appropriate research in the case that applies to you and be sure you are not infringing on any copyright when uploading material to Photo Open Stock.

Logos, brands & trademarks

Company names, logos, trademarks, products names and other names subjects to copyright are not acceptable and should be removed from the image.
Universal symbols are acceptable.

Computers, smartphones, etc.

In all cases you should remove the user interface as their are copyrighted.

Architecture, monuments and Landmarks

We will mention here some general rules as a guideline. However, you are responsible of investigating your special case and making sure that you do not infringe on any copyright when uploading something. Do the required research. Most monuments & landmarks have restrictions on commercial photography.

Recognizable buildings, monuments, bridges and structures may not be accepted as a main subject of the photo. You can always prepare the paperwork and get a signed property release.

Cityscapes, skylines and close ups for generic looking buildings are usually ok.


Paintings, statues, sculptures and any other artwork cannot appear in a photo unless you are the creator of the artwork or you have a property release from the author. Same goes for statues or artworks in public environments.


Some specific criteria apply for cars and vehicles.


  1. When the car is not the main focus of the image and the model and brand is not recognizable.
  2. Cars older than 1985 are ok.
  3. Cars that are not the main object of the photo and which occupy an insignificant part of the image are ok.
  4. 3D renders of cars you have come up with.

Not acceptable:

  1. Cars where the brand or model name is visible.
  2. Main focus on cars manufactured after 1985.
  3. Exotic or luxury cars of any age.
  4. 3D renders of real cars.

Stadiums, Sports places and Olympic facilities

Most of the sports installations hold their rights for images and commercial use as restricted. As a general rule we suggest that all photos should have a generic look and try to avoid recognizable structures. You can for example shoot the court, a close up of a ball or a particular item that is on the place but not a landscape photo of the whole place.

In most of the cases you can find out the limitations by checking the backside of the ticket.

Zoos and Amusement Parks

Do not upload photos where there are recognizable structures/places/items. As long as you keep generic look, closeups to animals are ok.
As a general rule, try to avoid copyrighted subjects, items that have intellectual property, public monuments or sculptures where you are not sure if commercial use of photos taken is allowed. Take into account that places where you pay tickets or entrance fees usually reserve copyrights and you might have to get a Property Release signed in order to be allowed to take photos and use them commercially.