Read our frequently asked questions for information about becoming a Pond5 Artist, formatting and submitting your work, project curation and review, licensing, payout, exciting artist programs and collections, and video exclusivity — it’s all right here.
How do I sign up?

If you do not already have a free Pond5 account, you can sign up in a few steps:

    • 1. Go to the Pond5 website
    • 2. On the top right of the page, click Join Now
    • 3. You can then fill out your email address, choose a new username, password, and confirm the password

    Once you sign up, you will automatically be signed in, and we will send you a welcome email.

How do I become a seller on Pond5?

To become a seller on Pond5, you will first need to create a free Pond5 account.

To Start Selling:

  • 1. Log in to your Pond5 account
  • 2. Hover your cursor over your account avatar, prompting the drop-down menu
  • 3. Click on Sell Your Media
  • 4. Click on Sign Up Now
  • 5. Click on Get Started
  • 6. Enter the required information
  • 7. Click Next when highlighted
  • 8. Select the options that apply to you
  • 9. Upload a copy of your ID for verification
  • 10. Read through and agree to the Pond5 Contributor Agreement
  • 11. If your ID upload is successful, a green check will appear and you will be able to click Submit
  • 12. Check your email to confirm your email address
  • 13. Open your verification email and click Verify Email
  • 14. When the email is confirmed successfully, click Get Started to open your Uploads page.
  • 15. Once your ID is verified, you will have access to submit your uploads for curator review


What is the ID verification process?

In order to completely verify Pond5 seller accounts, we do require our contributing artists to verify their identity for security. This is to protect all of our artists and their work. All information remains confidential and is kept internally.

Sellers must upload an image of their government-issued photo ID with a valid expiration date. Examples of accepted types of identification are a passport, driver license, or another government-issued ID card.

Here is the information we would like to see:

  • Full name
  • Photo
  • Date of Birth
  • Issue Date
  • Expiration date

Note: Uploaded IDs must be JPG or PNG and cannot exceed 2MB.

Please ensure that the image of your ID is legible and clear. The name on your ID should match the name listed on your account. 

Note: You will not be able to start submitting files to curators if your ID has not been verified.

Submitting Your ID

  • You can submit your ID while signing up to be a contributor


  • Log into your account > Hover cursor over account avatar  > Click on Uploads Identification > Drag and drop ID or click Upload

Why can’t I log in to my account?

If you have forgotten your login details, you can simply reset your password

    • 1. Please click on Sign In > Forgot Your Password > Send Reset Link
    • 2. From there, check your email inbox for the reset token

Please note that there is an 8-character minimum required for passwords.

How do I update my account information?

You can edit and update your account details at any time from your Dashboard page.

  • 1. Sign in to your account
  • 2. Hover your cursor over the account avatar > click on Dashboard > Account > Contact Info & Payout Preferences
  • 3. After entering your information, click Confirm.
How do I mark my clips as editorial?

Editorial content can be used to illustrate newsworthy and current events. It can also be used to illustrate subjects of human interest, including the arts, business, culture, health and fitness, lifestyle, social events, technology, travel, and more. Editorial content can not be used for commercial purposes like to advertise or promote a product or service.

To submit editorial content, follow these steps when preparing a submission for review:

  1. Ensure the title, description, and keywords are accurate.
  2. If your editorial content is newsworthy or of public interest, please add an editorial caption.
  3. An editorial caption is a notation in your title or description that includes:
    • CITY, COUNTRY (STATE) – YEAR/MONTH/DAY: Factual description of the image content (if content was shot before the year 2000, only the year/decade is required).
  4. Select the “Editorial” check mark under the “Usage” section in your Edit Item Detail page
  5. Alternatively, you can choose your editorial items in your Uploads section and mark them for editorial usage using the dropdown menu at the bottom of the Uploads section.


When content designated as “editorial” is approved, it is labeled as “Editorial” on the website and cannot be used to advertise or promote a product or service.

As long as our review team does not deem your content to be rejected from the marketplace outright, we’ll make our best effort to guide you through the upload process by notifying you of errors in your submission and sending the content back to you for revision and resubmission. If you have any questions about the editorial content submission process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

How do I upload and attach a model or property release?

Model and property releases are not uploaded the same way as your clips for sale. They get uploaded under the Releases tab on our on-site uploader, or into the Release folder via FTP.

You can find in-depth instructions here.


What are templates for metadata?

The templates option is a good alternative for editing and submitting a batch of similar clips at once. For example, if you have a large number of similar photos/clips from the same collection or photo/video shoot, you can create and apply the template to those files.

    • 1. Add all the information you want to apply: keywords, title, description
    • 2. Click Save
    • 3. Checkmark all relevant clips on your Uploads page
    • 4. Scroll down to Actions
    • 5. Select Apply Image Template

The Actions menu also allows you to select a batch of clips and apply other actions, like submitting your files for curation, batch editing, and applying releases.

How can I batch edit my media?

If you have a large number of clips, there are two different ways to batch edit metadata: Batch Edit and Apply CSV.

Batch Edit: 

    • 1. On your My Uploads page, once your files are uploaded, checkmark all clips you wish to batch edit.
    • 2. Scroll down to the Actions Menu. There, you will be able to Batch Edit.

Apply CSV function:

Apply CSV is a powerful option to insert metadata such as titles, keywords, and prices in bulk, to several hundreds or thousands of your uploads at once! You can find more information here.

How do I submit my files to curators?

Once all of the information is added to your file, you can send it to our curators for review.

  • 1. On your My Uploads page, select the files you want to submit for review.
  • 2. At the bottom of the page, select Submit, then hit Execute.
  • 3. You can also click Save and Submit for Review at the bottom of each Edit Item page.

The status of your upload will change to Pending for Review.

Please note that you need to have your ID verified before being able to submit your files for curation.

Your file is then added to our curator queue for review. Our review system sorts uploads by order of submission time and date. Please give our curators time to quickly and carefully review your uploads. Review times will vary depending on the type of file, and the number of submissions.

How do I upload content to your site?
    • 1. Upload your files – make sure to check out our Upload Specifications
    • 2. Tag and price your files.
    • 3. Submit for review – this is the screening process, where the curator will check your files for quality. If they are rejected for any reason, you will receive an email explaining why. Otherwise, you will receive an email explaining that they have been approved and will be online.

You can also upload your files through FTP.

We’d be happy to guide you through uploading if you have issues with the process.

What is the “Needs Edits” status and how do I submit my work to the curators?

When your items are in Needs Edits status, it simply means you have not yet submitted them to a curator.

Once you’ve added the information to your file, you can send it to our curators to review.

    • 1. On your My Uploads page, select the files you want to submit for review.
    • 2. At the bottom of the page, select Submit and then click on Execute.
    • 3. You can also click Save and Submit for Review at the bottom of each Edit Item page.
    • 4. The status of your upload will change to Pending for Review.

If you do not see the Submit to curator option, it means you have not yet verified your account. For more information on the Needs Edits status check out this article.

How do I delete my files from Pond5?

You can remove files individually from your Uploads page by clicking on the trash can icon next to it.

If you need to batch remove files, please contact us with the list of ID numbers and we can remove them for you on our side. This is to ensure files are not accidentally removed.

What are keywords and tagging?

Keywords are words that are used as an identifier or label for your media files. You can add up to 50 keywords to describe your uploaded file. These are extremely important, because they are the method by which buyers will find your content. So make sure they are as accurate and detailed as possible.

The better you tag your files with useful information, the easier it is for buyers to find and purchase them.

Tagging Your Files:

  1. Sign into your account.
  2. Hover cursor over account avatar and click on Uploads.
  3. Click Edit next to the file that needs keywords.
  4. Scroll down to Keywords.
  5. Type in a keyword.
  6. Click on the matching keyword in the list or hit Enter to add.
  7. After adding all information for file confirm and click Save and Submit for Review.
Why are my approved files not visible online (indexing)?

Please keep in mind that once files are approved, they still need to be completely loaded in the database and indexed, which is a behind-the-scenes process. This may take a few hours to happen and in some cases up to a week for all the counters to be updated. Rest assured, this is just how the indexing/re-indexing works with multiple servers. Your files will appear in the search results once this process is complete.

Why did my items get rejected by curators?

Pond5 adheres to a comprehensive set of guidelines established by our Legal and Compliance teams that govern what content can be accepted into our marketplace. If you have had items returned or rejected by our curators, then those items do not meet our criteria for acceptance.

Please review our Contributor Guidelines and ensure that all submitted media conforms to both quality and legal standards. You will have received a message from our curators specifying what the issue is. Once corrected, feel free to re-submit your content for review.

Do you accept AI-generated content?

Our Contributor Agreement states that you must be the owner of any content you upload to Pond5. As a result, we cannot accept content generated by AI to be uploaded and licensed by contributors in our marketplace. Learn more about our legal guidelines and read about the future of AI for Shutterstock and Pond5.

What is the current wait time or Pending reviews?

Wait times for curator review really depend on how many submissions we get, and since each file type has its own curation team, it can vary depending on what type of media you have submitted. 

To keep this process as fair as possible, files are always reviewed in the order they were received. We try to keep wait times down to a few business days.

Should I include audio with my video clips?

Most buyers prefer that video clips do not contain audio. This is for several reasons – most importantly, buyers will often want to use audio from their own production. Secondly, some audio will require additional releases (for instance, if footage of a concert crowd contains copyrighted music). Other times, audio just isn’t necessary to warrant licensing along with the video. Some exceptions are made in the case of very high quality audio which is essential for the context of the clip.

Why do I have low sales?

Sometimes sales can be slow to start. Our library is massive and if you have a small portfolio to start out with, you can sometimes get lost. This is why self-promotion and accurate tagging is very important to get more views on your content.

To help, we would like to provide you with some nuggets of knowledge to help raise your exposure and ultimately, your revenue:

  1. Buyers are always hungry for amazing content! If you have more high-quality content, absolutely continue uploading more of your files. Our customers seek high quality work, and the larger the collection, the more recognition you can have within our community.
  2. For your clips to be easily found, accurate rich info in titles, descriptions and keywords are essential. How you title and keyword your work is very important. If you spam your keywords or titles, it will only hurt your visibility. So doing this in more detail, but ACCURATELY has a significant 60% SEO weight on the search results.
  3. We always recommend that you promote your content, to up your exposure. You can create a Collection bin showcasing your work, and then simply copy the link, to add that to your website or social outlet. Here is a link to our Knowledge Base article explaining this: What are Collections?
  4. Another option is to perhaps post the links of your items and distribute all over the internet. You can even add some of your clips to our “Free clip promotion”, for this will also help get your name out there. You can do this on the Edit page by choosing Make this item available for free clip promotions.
How do I request a payout?

Rather than being paid upon request, our system will automatically pay out your balance on the 15th of every month, as long as your account balance is over the minimum of $25. To be sure this goes smoothly, visit your Payout PreferencesMake sure you have Enabled Payouts and that you have chosen a Payout Method.

Do I need to submit my tax information?

You do not need to submit any tax information unless you are a US resident who has made over $600USD in a year, in which case we will ask for a W9 and provide you with a 1099 form.

You can find more information here.

Why did I receive less than my expected revenue share from a sale?

Pond5 may extend discounts on content in our marketplace as part of targeted promotional campaigns or as volume discounts to high value customers. The purpose of these discounts is to increase the total revenue opportunity with existing customers and to attract new customers to the Pond5 community.

In accordance with our mission to be the most artist friendly media-marketplace in the world, we pledge to be judicious in offering any such discounts and, as always, Pond5 will share in the cost of any discounts. Our interests and those of our Contributors must always be aligned, and we will never waver from our commitment to do right by our contributors first and always.

What is my content being used for?

The licenses we offer your buyers is very broad when it comes to distribution, so please keep this in mind when pricing your items.

You can review the different licenses here and  the license in its entirety here.

When a customer upgrades a license, they receive extra indemnification from us. That extra fee we collect from the upgraded license gets shared with you, which is why you may occasionally see higher than usual payouts for certain sales.

Our creative partner team may also negotiate custom licenses for certain clients. When this happens, you will be contacted by them to agree to any terms outside of the license on our site.

What is Pond5 Music Publishing?

Pond5 Publishing is a free, optional administrative service that works with performing rights organizations (PROs) to collect performance royalties for music contributors whose work is featured in traditional public broadcasts (TV, film, broadcast commercials). Click here for more information and to sign up.

How do I get my content into the News & Archival collection?

The age of mobile devices with high-quality cameras has made it easier than ever for anyone to capture footage of events as they unfold. Pond5 has seen the demand for this kind of Citizen Journalist footage with its recently launched Editorial collection under the filter “News & Archival,” and is actively seeking to add to it.

To include your content in this collection, follow the steps below:

    1.  Include code CITIZENP5BRIEF in your keywords
    2. Don’t forget to add any applicable conceptual keywords to the clips
    3. Send your content to curation
    4. Once your content is live, our collection team will track down your content.


For additional guidance on what to shoot, check out our Citizen Journalism creative brief.

What is the Marquee collection?

The Pond5 Marquee collection includes premium quality footage available exclusively on Pond5. It is hand-curated by our creative team to appeal to the most high-end creative agencies, brands, and enterprise customers around the world.

Why should I become an exclusive video artist?

Many artists are struggling with industry dynamics that commoditize and severely undercut the value of their work through low-value pricing deals. As a Pond5 contributor, you protect that value by setting your own prices and deciding which programs you participate in. Plus, as an exclusive video contributor, you’ll earn an increased 60% royalty on all sales.

What content is considered exclusive?

We consider content exclusive if it is not uploaded to or available for sale on any other marketplace. You can still continue to use your Pond5 exclusive content for your own purposes and sell and promote it directly on your own personal sites and channels.

How will exclusive artists be promoted in marketing?
  • All exclusive content will be prominently branded on search results so buyers can easily identify it. As the program gets underway, we will also enable users to filter for exclusive content.
  • Our global sales organization will provide all buyers options to license both exclusive and non-exclusive content.
  • Pond5 buyers will receive regular emails promoting curated collections of new exclusive content. We will also promote the artist, their work and inspiration via social media, our blog, and emails to our customers.
  • Videos promoted on the home page, and in curated collections, social media and broader communications will be biased towards exclusive artists.
How can I take advantage of this program as an existing Pond5 artist?

Just click the “Get Started” button to begin the process of setting up your portfolio as an exclusive artist.

What if I have content on other marketplaces, but I want to join this program?

You can still join the program today. We’ve built in a two-week buffer period to allow you to remove your content from other marketplaces. Be sure to select the grace period option when you sign up if this is the case.

What if I do not want to be an exclusive artist?

Artists who choose to remain Non-Exclusive may continue to distribute on any other marketplace, while still controlling their prices on Pond5. You can also be assured that this will have no impact on your rank in the Pond5 search results.

Where can I find the updated Contributor Agreement?

All details relating to this program can be found in the updated Contributor Agreement here.

What happens if I no longer want to be exclusive with Pond5?

If you’re a participating artist, you can withdraw from the Pond5 Exclusivity Program by providing 6 months written notice for us to shift your account to a non-exclusive one. After that period, you can also opt back in at any time.

What happens if I have non-exclusive content in my exclusive account?

Misrepresentation of exclusive content is misleading and unfair to our buyers. This could lead to removal of your content and/or a return of your higher royalty payments.

Why do Exclusive Artists receive a different revenue share than Non-Exclusive Artists?

Buyers place a premium on media that can’t be widely found. When you sell your videos exclusively on Pond5, you maximize the value of your work. To encourage filmmakers and video artists to work exclusively with Pond5, we are paying exclusive artists a higher revenue share and providing them with additional marketing support.

What if I sell more than video on Pond5?

Only video contributors are eligible to join the Pond5 Exclusivity Program at this time. If you sell any other type of media through Pond5 (music, sound effects, AE templates, etc.), you will still receive the same payout for your sales.

Is the Video Artist Exclusivity Program Artist exclusive or content exclusive?

While the best way for you to preserve the value of your work and receive the most benefit is to become a Pond5 Exclusive Video Artist, if you wish to have only selected content (especially new content) listed exclusively with Pond5, you can do so by creating a new, separate account.

What are the steps for creating a new, separate account if I wish to have only selected content listed exclusively with Pond5?

1. Go to the Sell Your Media page and click the “Sign Up Now” button to create your new account. Please note that you will have to use a different email than the one associated with your existing Pond5 account.
2. Next, go to the Exclusivity Program Landing page to enroll the new account into the program.