The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have impacted everyone, including photographers. Many photographers have lost revenue due to canceled jobs, fewer events to photograph and potential clients, including commercial clients, not having the revenue to spend on photography. Stock photography website Dreamstime has launched multiple initiatives to help photographers and others impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a newly announced increase in royalties.

As of June 1st, Dreamstime is rewarding contributing photographers with a 10% increase in the royalties value for all downloads, including those with exclusive or non-exclusive status. As Dreasmstime points out, this means that a download that previously would have awarded 50% royalties will now award the photographer 55%. Dreamstime itself has been impacted by the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, so while they aim to offer the increased royalties for as long as possible, they are unable to make any guarantees about the eventual timeframe.

'This means that financial aid will be now employed for a more community-centered strategy. For you, this means that all purchases beginning with June 1st will reward an extra 10% increase in the royalties value for all downloads, regardless of the exclusive or non-exclusive status.' - Dreamstime CEO, Serban Enache

In addition to offering photographers increased royalties, Dreamstime has also worked on creating new tutorials and guidelines for photographers trying to stay financially secure during these trying times. Clients have also been offered relief in the form of a free two-month pause on subscriptions.

Further, Dreamstime has been contributing 5% of its sales to the World Health Organization's Solidarity Response Fund since March. Additionally, active non-government organizations in need of visual content can contact Dreamstime for a free subscription.

As PetaPixel pointed out, the timing of the royalties increase is interesting. In late May, competing stock photo company Shutterstock announced a new earnings structure for its contributors and the response was very negative.

For comparison, Dreamstime's new structure has been met with a very positive response. In the comment section on the company's announcement blog post, many users have not only expressed gratitude, but some have even mentioned specifically that they have either shut down their Shutterstock accounts in response to its change in royalty structure.