Michael Jay Fotograf Berlin

Selling photos across agencies

Lightroom 6.7 allows publishing to Adobe Stock/Fotolia

Exciting news: Today’s newest update to Adobe Lightroom – version 6.7 or if you are subscribed to the Creative Cloud version 2015.7 – fully (almost) integrates submission to Adobe Stock and Fotolia now!

The update screen for Lightroom 6.7 / CC 2015.7

The update screen for Lightroom 6.7 / CC 2015.7

As you can see from the screen above, the news is exciting for Adobe as well: Lightroom now allows direct publishing of images to Adobe Stock and – desptite not being mentioned here – Fotolia. For contributors, both selling platforms are connected and integrated in the background, so it is easy to use for both, existing and new suppliers.

Here is what you get from Adobe Stock in short:

  • Direct submission from Lightroom without FTP software or website uploads
  • (almost) Full integration with the Fotolia website and existing submissions
  • Automatic images recognition and keywording

Settings up Adobe Stock/Fotolia as publishing service

Adobe Stock publishing service in Lightroom

Adobe Stock publishing service in Lightroom

As usual within Lightroom, Adobe Stock is integrated as a “publish service”. Proficient Lightroom users might know this feature within the Library module that allows direct publishing of images to sites like Flickr, Facebook or – with the help of an external plug-in – to Instagram already.

The Adobe Stock Publishing service leads to a page on a (to my knowledge) newly created Adobe Stock contributor site. From this point on, we are true Adobe Stock contributors and not just uploading to Fotolia which is another step forward in the integration of the stock platform into Adobe’s overall offer. The content on both sites is identical, so you can register with either of them and your images are being represented on both. If you sign up for Adobe Stock, you have to create or use an existing Creative Cloud account. No worries, you don’t have to buy any subscription to upload images, it just is your overall Adobe user account for whatever you are going to use it.

Connecting to an existing Fotolia account

Connecting to an existing Fotolia account

In my case, the email address used for the Adobe Creative is the same I also used signing up to Fotolia many years ago. The Adobe Stock contributor website recognized my email address and asked me to connect to the existing Fotolia account instantly. (Note: At this point I can not re-create how this screen looks if you are using different email addresses, any hint by my readers would be welcome – I’d expect the option to connect the two account and would use that)

Once set up, there is nothing else you need to do within Lightroom. As you should be signed in to your Adobe account using Lightroom already, the Publish Service now is ready to upload. To upload images, just drag them from existing folders into the Publish Service, or right-click the Submit collection within the Adobe Stock publish service to make it your target collection. Images can be added to one target collection at a time from anywhere in the Library module using the B short cut key.

Publishing images to Adobe Stock is a right click away

Publishing images to Adobe Stock is a right click away

When you feel ready for uploading, all it takes is a right click to the Adobe Stock Publish Service and choose the “Publish Now” option. Now the images will be uploaded to Adobe Stock in the background. The uploading process feels slightly slower than uploading through FTP but this is probably due to the need to render the RAW images into JPG files. And the process runs in the background, so no need to wait for it to finish.

Finishing images on the Adobe Stock contributor site

Adobe Stock contributor site

Adobe Stock contributor site

The new Adobe Stock contributor site shows the newly uploaded images instantly. The images are not submitted automatically, though. Just as with all stock agencies, the images need some additional work that hardly can be done within Lightroom’s interface such as adding model releases but also the keyword order and categories.

The Fotolia submission site is fully integrated as well

The Fotolia submission site is fully integrated as well

If you are an existing Fotolia contributor, you might prefer to stick with the site you know? No problem at all, the two sites are fully integrated, the images published to Adobe Stock also instantly showed up in my Fotolia account. There actually would be one good reason to still use the Fotolia site: While the Adobe Stock contributor site looks more modern and easy to use (in my personal opinion), it misses one bit that I would rather not miss – the option to change the price for images. This is a feature only used on Fotolia as all images cost the same (and are being paid the same) on Adobe Stock, on Fotolia I can manually change the price at least for the Extended Licenses. And I’d rather think the standard of 30 credits isn’t enough for a resale or multi-user license. I’d be happy to see Fotolia change the standard here for new images as well.

Also, if you are submitting your images exclusively to Fotolia (on an image-by-image basis or in general), you still have to use the Fotolia site as Adobe Stock doesn’t know the exclusivity settings. During the submission on the Adobe Stock contributor site, there is a hint mentioning those options might be integrated here “soon” as well.

Finishing your submission on the Adobe Stock contributor site

Changing the keyword order is a manual step

Changing the keyword order is a manual step

One of the steps neeeded to finish on the contributor site is the ordering of keywords: Use the keyword section and click on the upwards arrow next to any of the keywords to nominate the five most important keywords for your images. The keyword order was already of some importance on the Fotolia site and had to be done manually in the keywords box. Personally, I like the new graphic user interface with mouse clicks much better and easier than the text based solution on Fotolia.

Unfortunately, Lightroom still sorts keywords alphabetically by default, so there is no way to define the most important keywords in there. However, there is a little trick that can be used: When a keywords is written with a capital letter at the start, it will show on top of the keyword list on Adobe Stock and Fotolia, so “amount, background, Boy, cash, Child” will be reordered as “boy, child, amount, background, cash” on the sites.

Adding releases to images also shows existing Fotolia releases

Adding releases to images also shows existing Fotolia releases

Below the keywords, you have to select a Category for images. On the Adobe Stock site, the category system is simplified to only one level of categories – on Fotolia, there are up to three levels of sub categories but it was already changed to allow submissions only selecting the top level some time ago.

The last section is the addition of releases when required. If you have recognizable people in your images, you have to submit model releases for those to sell the images on stock sites. For existing Fotolia contributors, again this part is fully integrated, so existing releases are already showing here and can be searched by name.

Also note that all these changes can be made for multiple images at once by selecting images ony by one holding down the CMD key (on Windows probably CTRL), or by selecting a whole range of images clicking the first and the last of them holding down the SHIFT key.

Sending in your submission

Once you are ready with the images uploaded, you will note a green message on the top right asking you to submit your images.

Final submission of images on the Adobe Stock contributor site

Final submission of images on the Adobe Stock contributor site

If you do so, the finished images are shown once again and you can submit them to the review team of Adobe Stock and Fotolia. The whole process is really smooth, I am deeply impressed by it.

What else is in there? Automatic keywording anyone?

Here is another bonus: The Adobe Stock submission process contains the option for automatic keywording of your images with an image recognition software. You can test it yourself by pressing the “Erase all keywords” button on the site for one of your images.

Quite frankly: Image recognition techniques is a hot feature right now, and there is more than one place to come up with a solution – EyeEm has published their separate app The Roll for mobile devices (see How It Works) using the same technique they are also integrating into their EyeEm Market submission process.

For those users who are uploading the snap shots to make an extra dollar every now and then, these features might be time savers as they don’t want to spend time doing more manual work than necessary. However, if you are slightly more ambitious and want to optimize your sales, I’d rather stay away from them for the time being. While I have high hopes that the (near) future will improve the tools, none of them was able to really impress me yet. Yes, they do recognize some of the visible features, and they actually come up with keywords that mostly fit many images. But they are off far to often for my taste and especially are limiting the keywords to very standard ones. I prefer to have keywords in my images that aren’t all that broad but more specific, and I prefer to have at least 20-30 keywords and not just 5 or 10. So I guess this part of the process will stay a manual one for the time being.

And one more thing: Uploading to Adobe Stock is supposed to also work from within their mobile applications Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Mix. This is most likely the replacement of the Fotolia Instant app which has been said to be missing from the app stores recently.

My first impression overall: Excellent!

I was really surprised this morning when I downloaded the newest version of Lightroom. I am usually not an early adopter of new versions but since there was some reports about problems with Lightroom 6.6/CC 2015.6 on the next version of MacOS 10.12 Sierra (see these warning notes by Laura Shoe and Victoria Bampton) and the new update for Lightroom was also due to support the Canon 5D Mark IV, I kept my ears and eyes opened. And once I learned that direct submission to Adobe Stock was part of it, I had to download, update and try.

And I am impressed. The integration is really well done and easy to use. For non-exclusive microstock contributors, we might not have as much to win as we still have to export files from Lightroom and upload them through FTP to other sites. But it is another very big step of Adobe Stock integrating the whole Fotolia site and service into a newer, modern, easier to use and nicer to look at website. I love it and plan to use it often.

Read more about using the Adobe Stock in their FAQ:

Upload and Manage your content

Submission Guidelines

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3 Comments

  1. This is pretty awesome! Going to get the update today. I wish some of the others could integrate as well. Thanks for another great article!

  2. I think it is a step in the right direction, but will probably continue my existing workflow for now. Most images I submit to Fotolia are also going up on Shutterstock and iStock. So, it is easier to just export to an upload folder and then submit to each of the agencies via ftp or Deepmeta for iStock.

    On the other side I am sure the inclusion of features that allow imagery to be licensed from with inAdobe CC products is responsible for the large increase I have seen in sales through Adobe Stock/Fotolia.

  3. Great article, Michael!