Contributor Guides

Any images that you submit to the marketplace must meet our basic technical standards regarding image resolution and image quality. These are industry standards, created to make sure images can be purchased for as many different uses as possible and to reassure clients that they can use images they select in the way they want to.

What We Want

We want to make sure we get the very best content uploaded, so we can maximize the returns to our contributors. We are quite strict about what we will take, but don’t panic, once you get to know what our guidelines are it’s easy to get images accepted – promise :)

What we really, really want

It’s no secret that we specialize in offering for sale, though our vast distribution channel, model released images of people, because that's what's in demand most. This is by far our biggest requested area and by a long way the best selling category. This said, we also value any image that is great, has real commercial value and a solid concept behind it, whatever it’s of. Here is our full concept list, if your image doesn't fit at least one of these concepts really well, it will probably not sell, which means we are unlikely to accept it:

  • A
  • A Helping Hand
  • Absence
  • Abundance
  • Accessibility
  • Accuracy
  • Achievement
  • Addiction
  • Admiration
  • Adolescence
  • Adventure
  • Adversity
  • Advice
  • Aggression
  • Agility
  • Agreement
  • Alertness
  • Anticipation
  • Arrival
  • Aspirations
  • Assertiveness
  • Assistance
  • Athleticism
  • Attitude
  • Authority
  • Awe
  • B
  • Baby Boomer
  • Babyhood
  • Bad Habit
  • Bad News
  • Balance
  • Beginnings
  • Bizarre
  • Blame
  • Bonding
  • Brainstorming
  • C
  • Care
  • Carefree
  • Careless
  • Celebration
  • Challenge
  • Chance
  • Change
  • Chaos
  • Characters
  • Childhood
  • Choice
  • City Life
  • Clubbing
  • Cold Temperature
  • Comfortable
  • Community
  • Comparison
  • Competition
  • Complexity
  • Concentration
  • Concepts
  • Conflict
  • Conformity
  • Confrontation
  • Confusion
  • Connection
  • Conquering Adversity
  • Consoling
  • Contemplation
  • Continuity
  • Contrasts
  • Control
  • Convenience
  • Cool Attitude
  • Cooperation
  • Co-ordination
  • Courage
  • Creativity
  • Crisis
  • Cruel
  • D
  • Danger
  • Deadline
  • Death
  • Decisions
  • Dedication
  • Defeat
  • Dependency
  • Destruction
  • Determination
  • Development
  • Direction
  • Discovery
  • Dishonesty
  • Disrespect
  • Doing a Favour
  • Domination
  • Dreamlike
  • E
  • Ease
  • East
  • Eccentric
  • Efficiency
  • Effort
  • Elegance
  • Emergence
  • Encouragement
  • Endurance
  • Equality
  • Escapism
  • Escapism
  • Ethereal
  • Evil
  • Excess
  • Exclusion
  • Exhaustion
  • Expertise
  • Exploration
  • F
  • Failure
  • Fairytale
  • Falling in Love
  • Fame
  • Fantasy
  • Femininity
  • Finishing
  • Flexibility
  • Focus
  • Forbidden
  • Forecasting
  • Fragility
  • Freedom
  • Freshness
  • Friendship
  • Futuristic
  • G
  • Generosity
  • Glamour
  • Good News
  • Grace
  • Growth
  • Guidance
  • H
  • Harmony
  • Haunting
  • Health and Safety
  • Heat
  • Heroes
  • Home Ownership
  • Honesty
  • Honour
  • Hope
  • Hopelessness
  • Humour
  • Hygiene
  • I
  • Ideas
  • Identity
  • Idyllic
  • Illusion
  • Imagination
  • Imitation
  • Improvement
  • Incentive
  • Independence
  • Individuality
  • Indulgence
  • Innocence
  • Innovation
  • Inspiration
  • Intelligence
  • Intricacy
  • Introspection
  • J
  • Journey
  • Judgement
  • Justice
  • K
  • Kitsch
  • L
  • Laziness
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Leaving
  • Loss
  • Love At First Sight
  • Loyalty
  • Luck
  • Luxury
  • M
  • Macho
  • Majestic
  • Making Money
  • Male Friendship
  • Masculinity
  • Memories
  • Mischief
  • Misfortune
  • Morning
  • Motion
  • Motivation
  • Moving House
  • Mystery
  • N
  • New Life
  • Nightlife
  • Noise
  • North
  • O
  • Obedience
  • Oblivious
  • Obsolete
  • Ominous
  • On The Move
  • Opportunity
  • Order
  • Organisation
  • Out Of Context
  • P
  • Pain
  • Paperwork
  • Partnership
  • Patience
  • Perfection
  • Performance
  • Persistence
  • Persuasion
  • Physical Pressure
  • Planning
  • Portability
  • Preparation
  • Privacy
  • Problems
  • Progress
  • Prosperity
  • Protection
  • Purity
  • Pursuit
  • R
  • Real People
  • Rebellion
  • Recovery
  • Refreshment
  • Rejection
  • Relaxation
  • Reliability
  • Relocation
  • Repetition
  • Rescue
  • Responsibility
  • Retro Styled
  • Risk
  • Rivalry
  • Romance
  • Routine
  • S
  • Safety
  • Sayings
  • Scale
  • Scrutiny
  • Security
  • Seduction
  • Self Improvement
  • Sensory Perception
  • Sensuality
  • Separation
  • Serene People
  • Service
  • Sharing
  • Silence
  • Simplicity
  • Skill
  • Social Grace
  • Solitude
  • Solutions
  • Speed
  • Spending Money
  • Spirituality
  • Stability
  • Standing Out From The Crowd
  • Strategy
  • Strength
  • Struggle
  • Suave
  • Success
  • Superhero
  • Support
  • Surfing The Net
  • Surreal
  • Surveillance
  • Survival
  • Symmetry
  • T
  • Teamwork
  • Temptation
  • The Ageing Process
  • The End
  • The Past
  • The Way Forward
  • Threats
  • Time
  • Toddler
  • Togetherness
  • Toughness
  • Tradition
  • Tranquil Scene
  • Tranquility
  • Trapped
  • U
  • Ugliness
  • Uncertainty
  • Unhygienic
  • Unity
  • Urgency
  • V
  • Variation
  • Vitality
  • Vulnerability
  • W
  • Wasting Time
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom
  • Y
  • Young At Heart
  • Z
  • Zen-like
How do I know what kind of image to upload?

We curate (edit) all images, however we do expect you to take charge and make sure your image is top quality. Here are our 10 rules that will help ensure you upload only the right content:

  1. Idea – What are you trying to say in your image?
  2. Simplicity – Don’t over complicate the idea or the aesthetics.
  3. Light – Keep images bathed in natural light and avoid hard shadows.
  4. Focus – Images must be in focus. The subject should be sharp.
  5. Composition – Avoid awkward angles, poor crops and being too far away or too close that your idea becomes unclear.
  6. Color – Clients love colorful images. Make yours stand out above the rest.
  7. Don’t over treat – Filters, apps or enhancements done in Photoshop are great for making the best of your images, but don’t over do it. Only use filters and apps if they really enhance the subject.
  8. No logos or branding – For legal reasons any logos, branding, trademark and copyright items cannot be in shot.
  9. Balance – balance the color and adjust the contrast where necessary.
  10. Retouch – retouching including the removal of logos and branding must be done before uploading and make sure it’s done well. Also, don’t forget to Dust Bust and remove any sensor spots.

Please see our (as supplied by Getty) Intellectual Property Wiki document for a comprehensive guide to legal and intellectual property restrictions.

Digital Cameras are good for:
  • Image Quality – The larger image sensors allow for larger pixel sizes. DSLRs can be used at faster ISO (how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light) that will allow for faster shutter speeds and less grain.
  • ISO range – The wider ISO range allows for flexibility to shoot in different conditions. Digital cameras are good for shooting in situations of low light or high contrast.
  • Adaptability – For subjects that require zoom or a long lens such as shooting landscapes or wildlife. You can stay in one spot and let the camera get closer to your subject!
  • Speed – Digital cameras are generally very fast when it comes to focusing and shutter lag.
  • Depth of Field – Versatility in depth of field that allows you to put everything, from foreground to background in focus, to having a blurred background.
  • Manual Controls – Specifically with DSLR cameras, they are designed with the assumption that the photographer will want to control the settings, with the controls themselves easily accessible to the fingertips.
Image Format for Cameras

All images you upload to RooM must be JPEGs. We highly recommend that you upload the largest file size you have. If you are very familiar with your equipment we suggest you shoot raw files and convert them to JPEG. However, shooting with the user-friendlier JPEG format will suit less experienced photographers – but compress to a minimum. Below is an explanation of the different types of formats.

RAW – Uncompressed file that contains unprocessed data, such as sharpness and contrast. Shooting raw will give you greater control over how your image will show and allow you to make corrections like exposure or white balance. You can also enlarge the photo beyond the camera sensor’s resolution, resulting in your image containing high contrast. RAW format needs to be converted to JPEG, and the quality of the JPEG generated from a RAW file is much better than if directly shot as a JPEG.

JPEG – This is a commonly used file format. It is a processed and compressed file. It is easily opened on computers and is a convenient format. The advantage of shooting directly as JPEG is the files are much smaller, thus they take up less storage space and are quicker to transfer.

Sensor Spots

Sensor Spots refer to spots of dust that gather on the camera’s sensor or lens. These spots are visible in your captured images as grey dots and can ruin an otherwise great image. We will ask you to ‘dust bust’ any sensor spots in images you upload before they can be accepted. You can easily remove sensor spots in a captured image with simple re-touching, but it is better to avoid capturing them in the first place. By making sure your camera’s sensors and lens are clean. If you do need to retouch sensor spots, we recommend one of the following applications:

  • For computer-based editing - Photoshop (paid) or GIMP (free)
  • For editing on your phone - TouchRetouch (free) or Filterstorm (paid)
Phones are good for:
  • Having your smartphone in your pocket gives you immediate access to capture high quality images.
  • Phones are convenient, lightweight and you are always likely to have yours when you are out and about.
  • You can innovate with techniques and styles in a simple way using a variety of apps.
  • iPhone 5 is now the most popular device used by photography enthusiast communities like Instagram and Flickr, surpassing traditional DSLRs.
  • The range of subjects and styles that can now be achieved with a phone camera means photography can be diverse and inspiring.
  • Brands and advertisers for years have looked for more authentic, candid moments in people photography, and what art directors and photographers have strived to replicate is an easy win for mobile photographers like you.
Subject Matter ideal for Phones
  • Candid moments
  • Authentic body language and real emotion
  • Humor
  • Nostalgia
  • Relationships
  • Personal Perspective
  • Travel
  • Local culture
  • Family moments and kids!
Image Format for Phones

All images need to be uploaded as JPEGs


During content review, our cut off point for the minimum size is 3 Megapixels (MP). Images below this will not be accepted (Max: 35 Megabytes (MB).

Megapixel size is the most important factor; it gives the best indication of how large and image is. Very small images lose too much detail and quality when they are sized up. This is important to clients with strict requirements for usage. So if the image is too small, we can’t sell it.

The larger the image, the more ways it can be used, and for more prominent types of usage. See the possible usage examples below:

iPhone 3GS 3MP

  • Half a page image in a glossy magazine
  • Half a page image in a newspaper
  • 8.5-foot by 6.5-foot billboard poster

iPhone 4s and iPhone 5s

  • Full-page image in a glossy magazine
  • Full-page image in a newspaper
  • 13-feet by 10-feet billboard poster

Always capture images at the maximum resolution possible.

Important Information

It is important to understand the difference in the terms MegaPixels (MP) and MegaBytes (MB) to ensure you are uploading images that meet our minimum requirements.

MegaPixels - these measure the size of digital images, sensors and displays. The term is used as an indication of resolution capability. For digital cameras and camera phones, megapixels refer to the number of image sensor elements.

MegaBytes - these measure the size of digital files like photos or documents for example.

The more megapixels a digital image contains, the more megabyte capacity it will require on a memory card or hard drive.

In general the megabyte size is 3 times that of the megapixel size. So a 3 MegaPixel image will occupy 9 MegaBytes of space.

Use this calculator to check the resolution size of your image.


Adding borders to phone images is popular on Instagram and the effect can be aesthetically pleasing. However, you should only upload images with borders when the border supports or enhances the subject. Also, bear in mind that adding a border could very likely restrict the usage and therefore the salability.

You should also consider that the addition of a border could alter the file size of your image.

Legal Check for RM and RF images Model Releases and Property Releases

When you upload your image you need to make sure you indicate that you have the corresponding releases for your images at the time of upload.

You don’t need to add your releases when you upload, but you must indicate that you have them, because unless we know they are available, we will have to assume they are not and your image could be rejected for legal reasons.

Model Releases

As a general rule Model Releases are required for every person in an image. If a Model Release cannot be obtained for every image we consider it necessary, the images will be rejected. For more information on Model Releases and to download Model Releases or one of our approved Model Release apps go here.

Property Releases

Certain building exteriors and interiors may require a property release signed by the owner of the property.

Interiors: If we see an image featuring an interior location where there is no possibility that the photographer will have acquired a property release, for example the interior of a McDonalds or the Vatican, then we will reject the image on legal grounds.

Exteriors: For legal reasons many iconic, famous, corporate and historically important locations cannot be featured in images supplied for commercial purposes, even if they have been shot from public land.

For more information on Property Releases and to download Property Releases or one of our approved Property Release apps go here.

Branding and Logos

Images with branding visible will be rejected. This includes: logos, business names, product names, any visuals used in advertising and so on. Prominence is key here but even if it is very small, a logo that is clearly visible when the image is viewed at 100% will mean rejection. Often it is possible to remove small logos and branding quickly and easily. We recommend the following for retouching your images:

  • For computer-based editing - Photoshop (paid) or GIMP (free)
  • For editing on your phone - TouchRetouch (free) or Filterstorm (paid)

You must retouch like a Pro though, or your images will be rejected as below par quality – we only accept perfect images, so make sure your retouching is perfect too.


Images that prominently feature trademarked products, copyrighted designs and works of art are not suitable for sale.

Performance and Sport

If you had to buy a ticket for a sporting event or performance, you cannot shoot intended for commercial use there.

Olympics and sports events – We cannot accept images featuring the Olympics. This includes the name, logos and symbols. We can also not accept images featuring sports club crests, logos and branding.

Please see our (as supplied by Getty) Intellectual Property Wiki document for a comprehensive guide to legal and intellectual property restrictions.

Similar shots and series

When you agree to submit your images to RooM, they must be exclusive for stock. Similar images not accepted by us, or similar images you chose not to upload, cannot be submitted and sold as stock at any other agency or as private sales by yourself.

Images from a sequence are considered similar if when compared they are visually and conceptually the same. Potential customers don’t want to choose between 2 or 3 of the same shot with only slight differences. Consider the following to determine if images are similar:

  • What common elements such as people or objects link the images?
  • Composition – does it create a sequence?
  • Locations – does the location or the view of the location place an image as part of a sequence?
  • Lighting and technique – Does the lighting and technique offer something new?
  • Concepts and ideas – Are there a variety or the same ones running through each image?
  • Choosing the Best Shot from a Sequence - This can be subjective, but generally one of the shots in a series will always be the best.
  • Offer the potential customer something different every time!

Colorful images sell. Clients want eye-catching images that will promote their product of service. Thinking about the color palette in your images will give them an advantage and make them stand out from the crowd. Does the color support the subject? Is the color too distracting?

The Good

The Bad

A Reminder – Self-Editing Tips
  • What message does your image convey? Is there a clear concept?
  • Every shot should work as a stand-alone image with a clear message.
  • Which image is the most emotive? If it engages an image buyer, it will engage the consumer.
  • Keep the visual design simple with clean composition.
  • Do not select multiple images that convey the same idea or message.
  • Which shot has the best composition, lighting, body language and expression?
  • Cropping – only crop if it enhances the subject and/or removes unnecessary elements. In general customers do not want tight crops. Do not crop phone images unless it is to a minimum.
  • Copy space - can be advantageous. Use tidy or blurred backgrounds.
  • Retouching – must be complete before uploading your images. Remove logos and branding and any superfluous or distracting elements.
  • Don’t forget to ‘dust bust’ - Dust and other dirt can build up on the camera sensor. You may not notice these marks on your images until viewed at full size. The best way to check if your sensor needs to be cleaned is to take a shot of a white piece of paper at the largest depth of field possible. Any dirt should be clearly visible in the image when viewed at full size. Ideally, it’s best to have a clean sensor in the first place but it is a relatively simple job to remove dirt and dust spots in post-production. Either way, if an image has visible dirt or dust it will be rejected.
  • Balance color and adjust the contrast where necessary.
  • We do not accept images where a watermark or other text messages have been added. We have our own watermark and clients are not interested in buying images with messages across them, so avoid it.