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Frequently asked questions about Fotolia


How do I become a Fotolia contributor?

You can contribute to Fotolia if you have great images (JPEG, AI or EPS). Simply create an account and submit your images by going to the "My files" page and clicking on one of the upload options (Simple Upload, Upload via Flash, or FTP).

After the images are uploaded, you will be prompted to enter important information, including keywords and titles. The images are then reviewed, and we will notify you if they have been accepted. Our image inspectors endeavor to review files within 48 hours of submission.

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What kind of images does Fotolia need?

Fotolia's customers look for high quality images in all subject areas. Some subjects and categories are well populated within our database, so we encourage you to review the portfolios of top selling artists on the website, and pay close attention to current advertising trends for ideas.

You may submit images of people and property if you attach the appropriately signed model or property release with your image. You must also submit a signed model release for self-portraits.

File Formats supported by Fotolia:

  • Vectors in AI or EPS format
  • Images and illustrations in JPEG format (at least 1600 x 2400 pixels)
  • Videos must be in asf, avi, flv, h264, mov, mpeg, mpegts, or mpeg video format
  • Supported codecs are: flv, dvvideo, h264, mjpeg, mpeg1video, mpeg2video, mpeg4, rpza, svq1, vp6f, wmv2 and wmv3

Panoramic files must have a ratio between 0.26 and 0.5 (height/width).

Files must be smaller than 30 MB.

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Is there a fee to upload and sell photos?

Uploading and selling images is completely free. A commission is retained on images when they are sold.

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How long does it take for my approved images to appear online?

Please allow up to 48 hours for approved images to be added to the index.

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How will I be paid?

Every time one of your images is sold, commissions are added to your account. Once you accumulate a minimum of 50 earned credits, you can cash out via Paypal or Moneybookers. Your commission may vary, depending on factors such as image exclusivity and whether the image is downloaded as part of a subscription. Further payment details may be found on the links below.

To request a payment, you will require a Paypal or Moneybookers account. To convert credits into cash, go to the “My Credits" page of your Fotolia account and click on the convert credits into cash button. (You may only cash out whole credits). Please ensure you enter the correct email address for your Paypal or Moneybookers account and submit your request.

Please note: Fotolia enters into legal contracts with our customers and contributing artists. In an effort to protect Fotolia and its members from fraudulent sales, we require anyone who cashes out credits to upload a valid government-issued photo ID for our records. If a valid ID is not uploaded, members may not cash out their credits.

Our goal is to pay contributors within 7 business days of their payment request.

More information about commissions

More information about Moneybookers

More information about PayPal

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My country does not support PayPal or Moneybookers. How will I be paid?

If your country does not support PayPal or Moneybookers payments, we can send payment through a wire transfer. Wire transfers are very expensive and time consuming - thus, we require a minimum of 500 earned credits for wire transfers. Wire transfers cost 50 credits per transfer.

Please note - wire transfers are offered only to members in countries where PayPal and Moneybookers are not supported.

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Can I delete my images?

Yes, you may delete your images from your account on the Fotolia website by clicking on the remove button in the “My files" section.

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May I use a different name or alias on Fotolia?

Personal information provided on Fotolia must be accurate, otherwise, you may be subject to account termination and legal action. However, you may enter any alias on the “My Profile" page of your Fotolia account. The alias will be used instead of your legal name for public display.

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Which language should I keyword my images in?

The Fotolia search engine automatically translates all your keywords. It allows buyers to search for all images, regardless of the language they use during their search and the language you use for keywording. It is important to only add keywords in English in order to optimize your images' search results. Keywords should be single words.

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How do I edit my prices?

Depending on the number of images you have sold and your exclusivity level, you may have the option to charge more for your images.

Learn more about commissions and prices

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How are my images being used?

It is impossible for us to know exactly how your images are being used by customers, but they are required to use the images within the license guidelines. Please note - it is strictly forbidden for you to contact customers directly.

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Why is my Social Security Number required?

As required by US tax law, Fotolia is required to report earnings of US based members to the IRS. If you are US citizen or US based member, you will need to provide either your SSN or EIN number before you cash out your earnings from Fotolia.

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Why is the website only allowing me to set the XS License price at the time of upload?

During the indexing process, a contributor answers a series of questions regarding image exclusivity and licensing. Depending on the contributor's answers to these questions, Fotolia provides a range of pricing recommendations to the contributor and allows them to enter the price for the Extra Small License (XS); based on this number and the information provided, our website calculates the prices for the remaining of the sizes and licenses.

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How do I FTP?

To access the FTP server, your login name will be your MEMBER ID number (You can find it in “My Files>Upload FTP" section) and your password will be your normal FOTOLIA USER NAME + your Fotolia PASSWORD (All one word, no spaces). Keep in mind that for FTP uploads, your login name and password should be lower case (no caps).


Fotolia Login name: spot

Fotolia Password: 2222

FTP Login name: 8888 (Member ID)

FTP Login Password: spot2222 (Fotolia login name + password)

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How do I organize my files on Fotolia?

Go to the My Files section, click "Create a folder", enter a new folder name, and click "Add". You can now organize your files by selecting the images (with the checkboxes) and clicking on the "link selection to:" menu located at the bottom of the list. Using the folders option in the My files section is a great way to organize your images.

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Instant: What is the Instant Collection?

Fotolia's Instant Collection is a collection of photos taken with mobile phones and dedicated to spontaneous and creative imagery. Images can only be submitted to the Instant Collection with Instant App, an application for Smartphones.

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Instant: Where can I download the Instant App?

For iPhone: at the Appstore. Find it here

For Android: At the Google Play Store. Find it here

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Instant: What do I need to run the Instant App?

To run the iOS Instant App, you need an iPhone 4 or higher with IOS version 5.1 and above.

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Instant: What are the minimum requirements for submitting an image to the Instant Collection?

In order to be accepted into the Instant Collection, pictures must meet the following requirements as well as the terms and conditions:

  • Resolution of 4 megapixels or more
  • Be shot with good lighting conditions to avoid high noise and grain levels
  • Have commercial value
  • Adhere to the specific artistic the Instant Collection guidelines: spontaneity and creativity
  • Be uploaded with signed model releases for all recognizable people in the picture
  • Be uploaded with property releases for all recognizable private property in the picture
  • Not contain any nudity of any kind
  • Not contain any offensive or illegal material

For iPhone users: If you would like to upload an image from your computer to your iPhone for the Instant Collection, DO NOT use iPhoto or iTunes. Such software compresses your image in order to transfer it to your iPhone, making it unusable for customers. Instead, use email, Dropbox or any other non-destructive method to transfer an image from your computer to your iPhone.

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Instant: Do I have to tag my images with keywords?

Using accurate and precise keywords is essential and mandatory! Accurate keywords are the only way for customers to find your image. Customers search by keywords, if they match yours, then - and only then - can they see your image. Please be as accurate as possible and avoid overly-generic descriptions. Please use between 4 and 20 keywords to tag your image.

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Instant: How can I upload/submit my photos?

You must submit your image using Fotolia’s Instant App. If you do not have it, you can download it here.

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Instant: What happens to my submitted photo?

All submitted images are reviewed by our selection team. If your image meets the artistic, technical and other criteria, it will be accepted and made searchable and licensable on Fotolia.com within 24 to 48 hours. If your image does not meet these requirements, you will be notified via email that your image has been rejected.

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Instant: What happens to declined photos?

Nothing. Rejected images will not be made available online, and you will be notified via email that your image has been rejected. If the reason for rejection is related to technical requirements and can be fixed, you may be asked to resubmit it again at a later time.

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Instant: My photos shown as pending, please help.

If you have signed up recently, please know that it takes about 72 hours for your account to be validated and have your first images enter the moderation queue.

If it takes longer, please double check your profile to ensure that all our information is correct.

For example, have you uploaded a valid picture ID?

Once in the moderation queue, images take about 48 hours to be accepted/rejected, depending on the volume of images under review.

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Instant: Why does Fotolia need a copy of my ID?

For legal reasons, we have to be sure that you are at least 18 years of age.

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Instant: Where can my photos be sold?

Fotolia exists worldwide. Your images can be sold and purchased in any country or territory where Fotolia has partners, resellers, members or clients, reaching several million potential buyers.

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Instant: At what price are the images sold?

Credit system: between 1 and 6 Credits according to the size (XS to XXL) for a Standard License, 30 Credits for an Extended license.

Subscription: see pricing conditions

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