Several Microstock startup agencies have offered a compensation for submitting pictures. I have tried several of them and while I have a nice $20-$50 in my “account” I have never actually earned enough to get sent my first payment yesterday. seems to be a rather solid microstock startup. Competing with popular stock agencies likeDreamstimeiStockPhoto and Fotolia will not be easy. Their marketing people tell me this is a “large and serious project”. I am not sure what that means, but I am impressed with the site.

Impressive web design is not enough to sell images. It takes a lot of marketing and hard work (trust me, I tried and failed). Deposit Photos has done two things which has quickly brought their image total up to near 1 million images:

  1. Contributor Program – DepositPhotos will pay you $0.20 for every single original photo you upload for sale to our library, up to 500 photos. They will pay you when earnings have reach $50 or 250 accepted photos.
  2. Referral Program – DepositPhotos will pay you $0.05 for each approved photo your referral uploads for sale in our library – for up to 1000 photos!

You can make a good amount of money before the agency actually starts selling images. Now this kind of earning can’t last forever and eventually they have to start selling images, but it makes the hours required to upload images a little more palletable if you know there is some compensation involved. I have uploaded images to probably 5-8 agencies that I still haven’t got a first payment from. Its all a guessing games as to which will survive.  I was wrong about Lucky Oliver, I was sure they would

On the compensation side, Deposit Photos offers a Fotolia like compensation scale:

Take a look at the reviews for DepositPhotos, write a review if you are working with them. For a more casual look, check out the dedicated DepositPhotos forum topic. Or, if you are in a hurry you can jump straight to their website.