1. Before putting your first 10 images together, it is highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the Shutterstock website from the point of view of a customer. Do some random searches for images and see how keywording and image descriptions help to find what our customers are looking for.

2. Consider how your subject matter will be presented to the reviewer.
a. Composition – make sure the subject is well framed and is clearly defined within the borders of the image
b. Focus – Is your subject in focus? Use a tripod when necessary or appropriate. Do not always rely on auto over-ride it manually when necessary to ensure a sharp well defined subject
c. Lighting – Your subject should be well lit. Use exposure compensation to make sure your image is not under or over exposed.
d. Inspect all of your images at 100% before submitting them. Our reviewers look at all imagery at this magnification to search for technical problems – noise, critical focus, dust, sensor issues, chromatic aberrations, etc…

3. Image description – Descriptions/titles should be concise and be nothing more then a title or a few words which describe the image. Think of best SEO practices when writing your description.

4. Keywords – These are extremely important. Keywords should be nothing more then individual words, and possible a common phrase, that describe and are relevant for someone searching for a specific subject or concept.

5. Categories – You can choose up to two. These should describe the image as well and are pertinent for image searches.

Shutterstock submitted photo Female traveling photographer | Warren Goldswain
Female traveling photographer | Warren Goldswain

6. Model/Property Releases – Releases, where applicable, must be provided and attached to each image at the time of your initial submission for review. They must be in English and have a witness signature as well. Each individual image that requires a release must have a release attached, even if the model(s) is in more than one image.

7. Credentials – Submitted images or footage, which are taken at private events like a concert or sporting event, are great for editorial use but require proof of credentials before they are reviewed. Credentials are proof that you are authorized to shoot the event. https://www.shutterstock.com/buzz/legal/credentials

8. As a contributor you may only upload work that is owned and/or controlled by you. For an initial review you must submit a batch of exactly 10 of your best photos. If at least 7 of the 10 submitted photos are accepted, you will be notified of acceptance and can start submitting as many photos as you wish. If less than 7 images are accepted, a waiting period is required before the next 10 images can be uploaded for review. Please keep in mind that the initial review process for new contributors can take up to 10 business days.

9. File Sizes – Photos that are entered into the Shutterstock submit system must be of professional quality and may not be taken with a “point and shoot” camera. All images must be at least 4MP (4 Megapixels) or larger and set at highest quality settings to produce at minimum a 4MP image (read more about our image size requirements here.)

10. Helpful Links:

Before you start uploading, watch our tutorial at: http://submit.shutterstock.com/tutorial/
You will also find an extensive library of information on our blog : https://www.shutterstock.com/buzz/
We published Contributor Success Guides in Five Languages: English, Portuguese, French, German, Russian
Chat with other contributors on our forum: http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/
See our top photos and keywords at: http://submit.shutterstock.com/top50.mhtml
Contributor Terms of Service: http://submit.shutterstock.com/tostos.mhtml
Editorial Captions: https://www.shutterstock.com/buzz/announcing-shutterstocks-new-editorial-guidelines

Keith Goldstein and Alex Rodrigues contributed to this article.

Get even more information on becoming a contributor and entering submissions here.