For fastest editing and upload to our website, please submit your images in finished form, fully captioned (see Captioning and Keywording below), on CD, DVD or flash drive.

ONLY JPEG format (quality level 10-11) will be accepted.

If your editor has approved an initial edit of low resolution images, please submit JPEG files, quality 6 or higher, 72 dpi, ~720x480 pixels to be edited for content and composition. You should supply brief caption information, preferably imbedded in the image metadata IPTC fields. Low res images may be submitted on disk, via a web link, or zipped together and sent via email.

Final selects must have full caption information (again, preferably imbedded) and be ready for uploading.

The requirements for photography and illustration submissions are:
File Format: JPEG, quality level 10-11;
Color Space: sRGB;
Minimum Uncompressed Size: 26 MB;
Metadata: embedded title, captions and keywords
Releases: Model & Property (where applicable)
File Names: Assign a unique file name to every image

File Format

High resolution files should be sent as JPEGS of quality level 10-11. NO OTHER FORMATS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Color space should be sRGB.


Media Format

Submit your files on CD, DVD, external HD or Flash (thumb, USB) drives. They must be formatted for both PC and MAC use.


File Names

We highly recommended you give your images unique file names. Most digital cameras do this automatically or you may use your own coding system. The image names do not need to be globally unique, only that no two of your images (over your entire body of work) have the same number. The file name will be used as the "photographer's own number". File names must be less than 15 characters and CANNOT contain any spaces - because our system cannot accept them.


Image Size

For digital originals and scanned images, our minimum acceptable size is 8.5'' x 11'' at 300 ppi, or 2550 x 3300 pixels, for an uncompressed file size of 26 MB. Larger images are always more marketable, however, and file sizes of approximately 50 MB are preferred. Minimum 26MB or 2550 x 3300 in pixels or 8.5'' x11'' inches (if possible - some medical/science equipment can't achieve this), maximum 100-120MB (especially if it is a large submission). If a client requires a larger file size we will contact you. Bit Depth 8.



Video clips can be HD (strongly preferred) or SD resolution, and should be from 10-30 seconds in length (longer clips may be accepted, but keep in mind that the vast majority of stock video sales are under 30 seconds in length, with many much shorter.)  We recommend submitting footage with the highest resolution and least compression possible (but preferably not uncompressed video).

Clips should be submitted in Quicktime format (.MOV) if possible. Footage MUST be accompanied by an Excel® file or other database file (.tab, .csv) that gives your video number, filename, credit,  title, extended caption, keywords, model release status, resolution, aspect ratio, and codec. A sample Excel® template can be found here (right-click on link and select "save link as"):Video_metadata_template.xls, and an empty tab-delimited file with column headings can be downloaded here:

For a full list of video submission specs, please visit:


Preferred: HD (1920x1080 or 1440x1080), 4K, 2K
Accepted: HD (1280x720) , SD NTSC (720x486 or 480) SD PAL (720x576)
It will be at the editor's discretion to accept any other resolutions, and will be based on the quality/uniqueness of the video. Please do not up-res any clips.


Frame Rate

Preferred: 29.92, 30 or 24 FPS
Accepted: 25, 23.96, 50, 60
Note: We have had some difficulty processing/transcoding 59.94fps files, so we recommend against submitting at that frame rate for the time being.

It will be at the editor's discretion to accept any other frame rates, and will be based on the quality/uniqueness of the video.



Preferred: Apple Photo-Jpeg (best quality) or Motion-Jpeg, Apple Animation Codec
Accepted: HDV, Apple Intermediate Codec, DV-DVCPRO, H.264, MP4 (H.264 and MP4 video should always be shot using the highest quality settings)

The transcoder we are using does NOT support the following codecs: Apple ProRes 422, AVID, and M2TS. You can easily transcode into one of the accepted formats above before submitting; a free program available for batch transcoding is MPEG Streamclip, available at


Video Cameras

Nearly all professional still cameras now offer HD video capture and some offer 2k and 4K resolutions as well. Professional and "prosumer" video cameras produce extremely high quality video. GoPro video of HD quality and higher is generally acceptable if the highest video quality is selected. Cell phone video is generally not acceptable, but depending on the rarity of the subject matter and quality, may be usable, especially as cell cameras continue to improve. All video should be shot at the highest quality setting with the least compression. A steady camera, proper focus, exposure, and white balance are all critical to footage being accepted. Use of a video tripod is highly recommended. Audio should be properly synchronized, seamless, and devoid of extraneous sounds; wind guards and external microphones can provide higher quality sound.


Metadata: Captioning and Keywording


Proper captioning and keywording are critical to making sales. While our staff goes over the data for every image and makes corrections, additions, and deletions to keywords and captions, accurate information in the proper form present at the start will result in the images being uploaded more quickly. Having complete information will increase sales. This cannot be overemphasized—the clients for whom caption information is critical will NOT purchase an image if they cannot confirm what is important to them, most often a species or location or magnification.

In order for your caption information to be uploaded with your images, it must be provided in a way that we can use. Imbedded IPTC data is the preferred method for captioning your images. This can be done in Photoshop, Lightroom or other professional image management software. The following sections describe what should be included in each IPTC field.

This should be a brief caption of under 45 characters. It will run under the thumbnail when an image comes up in a search on our website, and should be simple & concise. Ex: “New York Skyline,” “Northern Cardinal,” “SEM of Human Skin,” etc.

This is the field that will contain the complete caption for your image, including information entered under “Title”. It will appear when a client clicks on a thumbnail to enlarge it. It is also imbedded in the high res scan that the client will ultimately receive.

The field should include as much information as possible about the image. For natural history images, for example, it should include the common and scientific names of any organisms pictured, as well as location information, and additional information about what is going on in the image.

Other relevant information should also be included. For micrographs, magnification is critical: please express it as a magnification AT A SPECIFIC SIZE, for example, 500X at 5”x7”. If you are using a digital camera, please take into account the actual sensor size when calculating the magnification.

Please do NOT place your location information in the “Location” fields – it will NOT be imported, and will most likely be lost; simply include it in the caption.

Keywords and phrases must be separated by commas or semicolons.

Keywords are probably the most critical element in making sure our clients see your images. We do not expect you to understand exactly how our search engine works, but it is important to bear in mind that currently, queries search ONLY the keyword field, not the caption or title fields. Therefore it is very helpful to us if you enter the basic information found in the caption as keywords as well.

For Natural History images, for example, the critical information would be the common and scientific names of the animal or plant pictured, as well as broader search terms such as mammal, bird, tree, etc. Your editor can give you further guidance on what to include. Try to consider the end user when you are keywording—a researcher looking for a photo of a horse would not want to get a bunch of horse chestnut images; don’t use “horse” as a keyword, just “horse chestnut.”

Don’t worry too much —we go over the keywords very carefully and make any necessary additions and deletions.

Enter the credit that should appear for this image (without the ©). In most cases this will be your name as you would like it to appear. If additional people or institutions need to be included in the credit, or you wish to use a credit different from your name, enter it here. You may use the "Author" field instead, if you prefer, but be consistent.


As of January 2012, digital copies of releases must be submitted for each image indicated as "MODEL RELEASED" or "PROPERTY RELEASED." Each release must have a unique file name and be cited in the image metadata.

Please use the field "Instructions" or "Special Instructions" to indicate the status with one of the following options:


MODEL RELEASED: (release file name)

PROPERTY RELEASED: (release file name)

A copy of our preferred model release form can be found here.


Please use any unused field to let us know if there are restrictions on your collection or on individual images (i.e time, industry, territory.)