What: Photographers can upload their stock photos for resale

Expected pay: $0.25+/image

Commissions & fees: 70% to 90%

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: 18 or older; have legal rights of the content you upload



  • Royalties range from $0.25/photo to $120
    • The $120 payment is for “enhanced” license: the license gives the buyer rights to use your image often and into perpetuity


  • You have to opt out if you want to restrict the site from giving a buyer “enhanced rights”
  • You have to opt out if you want to stop the site from selling your image for “sensitive use” as well
    • “Sensitive Uses are those uses that depict a person in a manner that a reasonable person might consider offensive, controversial, or unflattering.”
  • You have to accumulate at least $35 before the site will pay you
  • You have to accumulate $500 if you want to be paid by check
  • Any accumulated earnings in your account can be seized by Shutterstock if you are kicked off the site

Adobe Stock, Snapped4U and print on demand sites Society6 and RedBubble are other sites to consider.

What Contributors Say: (From forums.shutterstock)

Contributor since 2011, level 4, nearing level 5 (taking forever with current sales volume) so will share my last 10 sales again when that next level is reached.

Last 10 sales at SS: 0.12 / 0.12 / 0.10 / 0.10 / 0.10 / 0.10 / 0.18 / 0.17 / 0.14 / 0.14 = $1.71

Last 10 sales at AS: 0.43 / 0.43 / 0.43 / 0.43 / 0.43 / 0.43 / 0.43 / 1.13 / 0.43 / 1.13 = $5.70

My video portfolio was already disabled before June 2020 since I will not accept less then 30%. Image portfolio stays online only until Jan 2021 unless some drastic changes happen which I highly doubt.

No new uploads though and I’ve noticed that the people I have been following since day one are doing the same. These are previously featured and successful contributors that hav been here since the beginning so not your average Joe.

I’m getting tired of all those $0.10 photo sales and $1.00 video sales on Shutterstock these days.  I think I’ll have to turn off my portfolio if this low sales continue here.  I can’t undercut myself on other sites like Pond5 and AdobeStock that pay decent money for sales.  Shutterstock is becoming iStock/Getty.  Big mistake for Shutterstock.  We’ll see a massive exodus of contributors soon if Shutterstock doesn’t stop those cheap disrespectful sales/commission.

I’m new to stock so please forgive me if this is a very beginner question, in the week that I’ve been on Shutterstock, I’ve sold 8 images and 1 video (which is more than I was expecting to have sold this early on).

However, each image is only making me $0.10 profit. Is this really the rate I should be getting? On Getty I get between $0.37 and $1.05 per image sale as my starting rate.

If this is normal then I apologise but it seems surprisingly low. Thanks everyone and I hope you’re managing to stay safe.

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