Section 4.

Sharing images

Upload rules and methods


Before you do anything, please make sure that you're familiar with our upload rules explained below. That way you can save a lot of time and frustration for yourself and the site administrators.

Web uploads
  • Go to My photos / Upload images.

  • Select up to 5 images from your computer.

  • Add information - Type the title of the images and a brief description, select up to 3 image categories and add up to 20 keywords, separated by commas -- or tick "Read IPTC data instead" if your images have embedded metadata. Categories will still have to be added.

  • Select a folder for the images and select a model release if necessary.

  • For series, tick the "Same subject" checkbox. If you'd like numbered titles, turn on Numbering.

  • Please be patient after submitting the form. The upload process may take several minutes.

FTP uploads
  • Enable FTP uploads at My account / Bulk upload.

  • Connect to (NOT!) with your freeimages username and password, and copy your files. Do not create folders on the server, because they (and their contents) will be ignored.

  • After uploading, go to My account / Bulk upload. You should see all the uploaded files.

  • Press the Transfer button to make the files accessible in your gallery. IPTC metadata is read automatically.

  • Edit image details with the Bulk editor if necessary.

Before your images go live, they are checked by a group of administrators whose job is to maintain our quality standards. This may take a few hours / few days depending on how many images there are in the queue. The administrators are volunteers and checking images in their free time.

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When selecting some of your pictures to upload to freeimages, you should keep in mind that this is a stock site, not a personal gallery, thus we look at your work a bit differently. We are looking for images that are creative, interesting and useful at the same time. Photos should should be large, sharp and properly lit. Good composition and good quality is a must. Graphics and illustrations should be original works made with original elements.

Minimum requirements
  • file format: JPEG (RGB)
  • maximum file size: 8 megabytes
  • minimum dimensions: 640*480 pixels
To-do list before uploading photos

At freeimages our main focus is on quality, and to ensure the highest possible image quality please take the time to adjust your photos along the following guidelines. We reserve the right to reject pictures we don't find suitable for the site.

  • Remove noise

    Some compact digital cameras produce heavy image noise, especially at high ISO settings. Make sure you take noise free photos or remove noise with software like Neat Image or Noise Ninja. Be careful with them though, they can also do a lot of damage.

  • Adjust brightness and levels

    Please make sure your photos are properly lit, and that they are not over- or underexposed.

  • Rotate the photo if necessary

    We will reject it if they are upside down or rotated in the wrong direction. Seriously.

  • Adjust the compostion

    Get rid of distracting elements and unnecessary parts. Fix tilted horizontals and bad centering. Remove frames, texts, dates and watermarks.

  • Remove copyrighted content

    Freeimages does not allow photos that contain logos and trademarks (apart from a few images where it can't be avoided). Before uploading please edit these out from your photos.

Do not upload
  • photos with any text, timestamp or watermark
  • photos with frames
  • photos containing copyrighted material (paintings, sculptures, graffities, posters, advertisements, cd / book / dvd covers, logos)
  • adult / violent content
  • photos with excessive blur, noise or bad JPEG quality
  • photos that are too dark or badly lit
  • photos rotated into the wrong direction
  • photos where the subject is too small or barely visible
  • graphics made with brushes / vectors / objects that weren't created by you or you don't have permission to use

Topics we are always looking for

People, business, contemporary life scenes, isolated objects, seasonal images... We want a LOT of these! Keep 'em coming! :) For more ideas, take a look at our top downloads!

Topics we are not so keen on

Sunsets, landscapes, flowers, pets... If you think you can provide better shots than the ones we have online, upload them, but remember: we're very picky about these. Also, please do not upload personal photos of your home, your last vacation and other similar topics. Thank you!

Rejections explained

Your pics got rejected and you are just about to send hate mail to us? Read this article, maybe we have an explanation! :)

Are you ready?

» Upload some pics right now!

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Taking a wonderful photo is one thing, making sure people will find it is a whole different story. To gain maximum exposure for your work and to maintain site standards at the same time, here are some guidelines on describing images.


Titles are very short descriptions of what's actually visible on the image. They should be as short and as accurate as possible. Try avoiding artistic titles as they often include words that are unrelated to the real subject of the image.


You can go into more detail about the subject here. Ideally the description should be one or two sentences long but we leave this up to you.


Proper keywording is the most important part of describing your images. Since most people use the search function to find images and search engines rely on keywords you really have to put some effort into this.

Freeimages requires you to provide at least 5 but no more than 20 keywords that accurately represent your image. Keywords can consist of either one word (eg. London) or multiple words (eg. Tower Bridge). Keywords have to be separated by commas (eg. London,Tower Bridge).

Let's get started. First of all, try to think a little bit with the head of a potential customer. If you wanted to find your own image, what would YOU be looking for? Also, are there similar words or expressions that describe the same thing? Try using a thesaurus to find out what people might also be looking for.

Make sure you only describe items that are related to the main focus of the image. If there's an object in the corner that's not really related to the main subject, do not include it. For example if there's a photo of a sandy beach with a barely visible boat somewhere, you can use the words sea, waves and sand, but you shouldn't add boat because those who are looking for pictures of boats won't be too happy with this one.

Beside making a list of things you can see on the picture you have other options as well. You can also describe colors, moods, concepts (peace, quality, danger, power etc.), actions (smiling, flying). Depending on the image, you can add seasonal information (spring, Easter, Christmas) or mention where it was taken if that's the main focus of the image. Also, if the subject of the image is in front of a white background add "isolated" and if there's a lot of space available for text on a certain part of the image you may add "copyspace" to your keywords.

Of course there's a lot more to tell about keywording, but these basics are enough to get you started. If you want to learn more, do a search for "keywording photos" or "keywording guidelines" on Google and you will find plenty of articles on the subject.


Categories are similar to keywords, they help users find what they are looking for. You can select up to 3 categories per image from a few dozen predefined choices. Make sure you read through all the available options before you make a decision to ensure that you select the most relevant categories. Selecting categories is not mandatory, but without them less people will find your images.

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Want to learn more?

Sharing images | Managing images | FAQ

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