Home Reviews Shutterstock Review: Make Money Online Selling Quality Images on Shutterstock

Shutterstock Review: Make Money Online Selling Quality Images on Shutterstock

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What is Shutterstock?

Shutterstock is an American provider of stock photography, stock footage, stock music, and editing tools; it is headquartered in New York City

Shutterstock was Founded in 2003 by programmer and photographer Jon Oringer, Shutterstock maintains a library of around 125 million royalty-free stock photos, vector graphics, and illustrations, with around 4 million video clips and music tracks available for licensing. Originally a subscription site only, Shutterstock expanded beyond subscriptions into a la carte pricing in 2008, and has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012. Since its founding Shutterstock has acquired a handful of other companies, starting with Bigstock in 2009 and followed by digital asset management software provider WebDAM in 2014. After acquiring Rex Features and PremiumBeat in 2015, Shutterstock recently announced a partnership with the Associated Press. It also has licensing deals with companies such as Penske Media Corporation. The company had over 100,000 contributors as of March 2016, with an “active customer base of 1.4 million people in 150 countries.”


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Is Shutterstock safe and legit to use?

Yes, shutterstock is safe to use as Shutterstock is one of the biggest platforms for royalty-free images, stock video clips, and music tracks.

What Does Shutterstock really offer?

Shutterstock platform has been around for a while, and by now it offers several options. It is available worldwide in more than 20 different languages, and it has more than 1.8 million users in 150 different countries.

So let’s look into what Shutterstock is offering now:

Royalty Free images and visuals

Shutterstock is first of all known for its stock images and visuals. This was also the main offer the platform had in the beginning, and it is still a big part of what it offers.

It offers more than 200 million stock images so more or less no matter what kind of images you are looking for, you will be able to find it here. And usually more than 1 million new images are added every week. From all the stock image platforms I have tested and used, this is by far the biggest selection.

It is of course great to have such a big selection, but I also know from experience that it almost can become overwhelming:-) You can end up spending a lot of time to browse through the selection to find the perfect image. But on the other hand I prefer having a big selection to go through than to have to settle with a poor image because the selection is small:-)

Luckily Shutterstock has a good search function that makes it easy to find relevant images, and it also has many categories, you can browse through to get images within certain topics.


Shuttestock has many image categories that makes it easy to find the right images.

In addition to the big amount of images, Shutterstock also has a lot of vector graphics you can download. This is for example icons, banners, logos, infographics, cliparts, and web templates. Vectors are great for visual projects, and I personal often use vectors instead of images for my websites, as this is sometimes better to use as illustrations – but that of course depends on the topic. But Shutterstock definitely has a very good selection of vectors.

Stock video clips

Shutterstock has also become a big platform for video stock clips. It has a lot of clips, you can use for your own video projects.

Currently there are more than 10 million clips and more than 70,000 clips are added every week. As with the images on Shutterstock, there is a search function that makes it easy to find the clips you are looking for, and you can also browse through the categories to get inspiration.


You can use the many video categories to find inspiration within certain topics.

There are many categories like for example football, sports, weddings, children, technology, business, nature, and many more.

The clips are usually from a few seconds up to 1 minute.

Music tracks

You can also find many music tracks on Shutterstock. These are great, if you need some music tracks for your own projects – for example if you need some music for videos you are editing.

You can find tracks within many categories. The main categories you can browse through are genre, mood, and tempo.


The main music categories have many subcategories.

Within each of these categories there are many more subcategories. Some examples for subcategories for “genre” are dub step, games, hip-hop, dance, children, blues, corporate, jazz, and many more.

Before downloading the tracks, you can hear them, so you know for sure, if it is what you are looking for.

Editorial images

Editorial images are especially great for news websites, or if you in general need high-quality and news related images.

Shutterstock has a very big selection of these editorial images, as you can find more than 40 million editorial images here, and 10,000 new are added every day, so there are always new relevant images.

There are 4 main categories of editorial images on Shutterstock.


Shutterstock offers editorial images within sport, news, entertainment, and royalty.

These categories are entertainment, sport, news, and royalty. So if you need good images within these areas, but do not have the option to take the pictures yourself or do not have the budget to hire a photographer, this can be a good option to get access to high-quality images.

App for mobile devices

Shutterstock has a mobile app, you can download on App Store and Google Play.

In the app you can browse the library on the go, download images, and edit images through the Shutterstock editor (see more about this below).

So if you like to be able to work with your images on the go, the app can be an easy way to get access to this.

Edit images and create visuals

Shutterstock has its own editor/design application, you can use to create social media posts, promotions, and other visual products. There are of course other great ways to create graphics for free, but if you are a member of Shutterstock, it can be an easy way to use the images directly from the platform to create graphics.

Below you can see a little presentation video about how the editor works:

Become a contributor

If you are looking to make some extra money, you can become a Shutterstock contributor.

This means that you can produce images and videos and then get paid for uploading them on Shutterstock. There are of course some requirements for the quality, so you just need to make sure to live up to these.

But it is definitely a legit way to make some extra money, if you like taking photos or producing videos, as Shutterstock has paid out more than $500 million to contributors since it started it 2003.

Other Shutterstock tools

Shutterstock has a few other options and tools. There are regularly new tools added, but a tool I think is very useful is the option to import Shutterstock images directly into PowerPoint.

Another really great tool is a Chrome extension you can install in your browser. When you then surf online, the extension makes it possible to pick any image you find online, and then it will be matched with one from the Shutterstock library – this makes it very easy to find photos and inspiration while you are surfing.

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How to make money on Shutterstock?

At Shutterstock, consumers have the option to purchase a monthly or yearly subscription, which gives them access to image library and up to 750 image downloads per month. … For example, new Shutterstock contributors earn $1.88 for every On Demand Image download, but once they make $500, that rate goes up to $2.48.

How do I sell my photos on Shutterstock?

  1. Open account at Sell photos, footage clips, illustrations & vectors | Shutterstock.
  2. fill up detail,upload document.
  3. then upload 10 best photos you taken.
  4. wait and watch till shutterstock review your portfolio.
  5. selling of photo depends on uniqueness anf vastness of your image portfolio.


  • Extremely high-resolution images
  • One of the leading stock photo companies with editorial, celebrity photos and more
  • A variety of subscription plans are available for users
  • Images, videos, illustrations, vector images, video and music
  • Accepts user submissions
  • iPhone, iPad and Android app to search and download on the go
  • Phone and email support


  • Compared to many other similar stock photo services, their fees are unusually high
  • Many customer complaints about poor customer service
  • Doesn’t send auto-renewal notices for subscriptions

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Key Features

  • Royalty-free images, vectors, illustrations, icons, stock footage clips and music tracks
  • Millions of editorial images: news, sports, entertainment and archival photos
  • Ability to browse by category, such as food and drink, nature, medical/healthcare, abstract, vintage and more
  • Free basic photo editor, file converter and collage maker
  • Free editing tools like grunge brushes, neon animated typeface, film grain overlays and more
  • Strong international presence with sites in 9 languages


Prepaid Image Packs

  • $29 for 2 images
  • $49 for 5 images
  • $229 for 25 images

Shuttlestock Annaul and Monthly Subscription Plans For Individuals

All subscription plans include Shutterstock Editor Pro, which gives you advanced design tools, including access to all of their professionally designed templates, unlimited custom sizes, gradients, advanced icons and more. Annual plans save you up to 40% and are billed monthly — but you’ll incur a cancellation fee if you cancel before the year is up.

Number Of Images Per Month Price Per Month Annual Price
10 $49 $348
50 $125 $1,188
350 $199 $2,028
750 $249 $2,388

Team Pricing

Teams can access 750 images each month and get collaboration tools.

  • 2 users: $379/month
  • 3-10 users: $479/month
  • 11+ users: contact Shutterstock

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What Do People Think Of Shutterstock?

Positive Reviews

If you are looking for an easy to use and cost-efficient graphics tool, I highly recommend Shutterstock. More so, because it has a broad array of readymade content like images and videos along with some really smart plugins that will cut-off your costs for the graphics designer at least for the initial stages. – Nidhi B., G2 Crowd 2/7/2019

I’ve used Shutterstock for years and have made great use of it.
I recently canceled because I’ve left the website I was using the service for. I called customer service into the fifth month of my yearly 350 plan (auto-renew) to cancel and they did so with no hassles and no future payments. Heard a lot of horror stories here, but maybe they’ve changed their service re canceling. Would recommend. – Johnny O., Sitejabber 8/3/2018

Negative Reviews

I signed up intending to use this service for a month or 2 but somehow got converted to an annual subscription which I cannot for some reason cancel. They are charging 140 just to cancel the service. And if I wait the fee jumps by $20 for every month that I have the service. I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and never ever sign up to shutterstock every again. – Gavin M., Sitejabber 3/22/2019

Its customer service is somewhat terrible. I had some billing problems recently, but with continuous follow-ups, I was able to resolve my payment issues. However, the company’s billing policies are rigid so one needs to be careful before selecting the plan. I recommend choosing the minimalistic plan to avoid such problems. – Mayur S., G2 Crowd 2/8/2019

How To Modernize Your Images

One of the things we love about Shutterstock is all of their free online videos, tutorials and tools to make your images and videos pop with the latest, eye-catching looks. Here’s just one example of what you can find on their website.

10 tips for photographers in order to get accepted by…

  1. Check the noise. …
  2. Check the sharpness. …
  3. Submit photos with various subjects. …
  4. Use Post processing. …
  5. Description and Keywords. …
  6. Beware of logos or faces without model release. …
  7. Try illustrations. …
  8. Buy DSLR Camera.

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How to register on Shutterstock

To sign up for a Shutterstock contributor account register at submit.shutterstock.com. This is the site made specifically for our contributors, our customers use shutterstock.com. To register, you’ll need to provide some basic personal information and verify your email.


Shutterstock is a good resource for high-resolution images, especially for large-format designs (billboards and other print media). They offer a variety of subscription plans to meet various users’ needs, making its pricing model more flexible than some other high-res photo options. With Shutterstock’s huge library of 300 million images and files, you won’t be disappointed in the selection, their content looks professional, and it will save you time and ensure you always have an image that matches your needs. I have no hesitation in recommending them.

However. If you sign up for their subscription plans to pay month-to-month, Shutterstock auto-renews without notifying you. This is stated in on their website by saying you can cancel anytime, but they’re not entirely transparent about this policy. So be aware of this before you sign up.


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