Pexels Photo and Video Upload Guidelines: How to Contribute

Hello and welcome to Pexels! We’re so happy you’re here.

Pexels is a free, open community for photographers and videographers to share their work with the world. Millions of users from all over the world use Pexels to source unique content for their creative projects.

You can upload almost anything you want to Pexels (with a few exceptions we’ll cover here). This guide will answer all your questions about uploading requirements and explain what it takes for images to get included in Pexels search results. We can't wait to see your photos!

Photo Upload Guidelines

Our curation team selects the best uploads to be included in Pexels search results, meaning that more people will be able to find and make use of that content. These are some reasons your upload may not be selected to be shown in search results:

Basic Reasons

  • Copyright issue (you uploaded photos or videos that you do not own the copyright to or that you did not create yourself)
  • Insufficient permission (depicted people or owners of depicted property did not give you the permission to publish the photos or videos)
  • Graphic violence, gore, or nudity
  • Offensive content
  • Duplicates (you uploaded copies of photos you previously uploaded to Pexels; all duplicate photos will be removed)

Technical Reasons

  • Unclear photo (blurry, unfocused, or ambiguous)
  • Low resolution (4 megapixel minimum)
  • Overexposed or underexposed (too dark or too bright)
  • Orientation (image is sideways or mis-aligned)

Usage Reasons

  • Over-edited (HDR, extreme saturation or vignetting, etc.)
  • Added border
  • Added graphic or text overlay
  • Watermarks
  • Non-photos (flyers, banners, computer renderings, 3D models, etc.)

Video Upload Guidelines

Along with the Basic Reasons mentioned above, videos submitted to Pexels have some additional guidelines:

Video DOs:

  • Resolution should be 1920 x 1080 or higher
  • Upload cinemagraphs, vertical videos, stop motion, and analog video as well as digital
  • Obtain model releases for any people depicted in the video

Video DONTs:

  • No added graphics, borders, watermarks, or branding
  • Avoid shaky or over- or underexposed videos
  • Low resolution videos will not be accepted


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Cover photo by Alex Andrews.

Written by the Pexels Team · Jan 10

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