Sell Photos on Shutterstock

It’s no wonder Shutterstock is one of the largest stock photography site to sell photos. But what makes Shutterstock great to sell your photos?

Well to sell a photo, one of the main objectives is to get downloads and here Shutterstock comes. I have tried several other platforms and uploaded the same photos on them however the downloads from Shutterstock was far greater than all the others combined together. Even some of my friends are struggling too on other platforms other than Shutterstock

3 Best Sites to Sell Photos Online (even Phone Photography)

Headquartered in New York, Shutterstock is an American provider of stock photography, stock footage, stock music. Shutterstock, founded in 2003 by programmer and photographer Jon Oringer, maintains a library of about 200 million royalty-free stock images, vector graphics, and illustrations, with approximately 10 million video clips and music tracks for licensing. Originally a subscription platform only, in 2008, Shutterstock expanded into a la carte pricing outside subscriptions. Since 2012, it has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Make Professional Online Portfolio- Photos, Designs, Illustration, Videos

Steps to Sell Photos on Shutterstock

  1. Signup & Login to your Contributor account. Register here
  2. Go to ‘Upload images’
Upload image

3. After clicking on Upload image, click on ‘Select multiple files’ or Drag & drop your files…If it is a Vector, you can upload its EPS file. Shutterstock previously asked both eps and jpg extension files to upload. The minimum file should be 4 megapixels.

Select files to upload

4. Let the image upload

5. Click ‘next’

Select multiple files to upload

6. In the next step, fill out all the details i.e.,

6. a) Photo or Illustration

6. b) Select the license type of the photo

  • Editorial photos- News-related story and not to sell or promote a product

For journalists and news outlets, editorial images are the most common. These images are typically taken in public locations, and typically include identifiable individuals and locations without the release of models or property. Description of Editorial photos should

  • Commercial Photos– sell or promote a product

6. c) Write a description of the image

6.d) Choose Category of the photo (one primary and another optional)

6.e) Add keywords (max.50). 25 suggestive keywords are usually provided by Shutterstock.

Provide tags to photos

7. Click Submit

You are done!!!

Your photo is submitted for review. You will receive a mail within 2 days about the confirmation (acceptance/ rejection) of your photo.

Shutterstock Rejection Reasons

Your photo might be rejected if it does not follow the quality standards by Shutterstock. You might receive a popup before submitting your next photo if your previous photo got rejected.

Rejection reasons

The common reasons for rejections on Shutterstock are:

  1. Focus: The main subject is out of focus or is not in focus due to camera shake, motion blur, overuse of noise reduction, or technical limitations of the equipment used (e.g. autofocus searching, camera sensor quality, etc)
  2. Noise / Artifacts: Content contains noise, film grain, compression artifacts, pixelation, and/or posterization that detracts from the main subject.
  3. Noise / Film Grain: Content contains chrominance noise, luminance noise, sharpening noise, or film grain that detracts from the main subject.

How much shutterstock pays to photographers?

Shutterstock pays a certain percentage on each Photo, Illustration and Graphics sold. The percent varies according to the different levels of Image. The level of Image is decided by no. of times it got licensed. It means your earning rate increases as no. of times your content gets licensed

Earnings breakdown for photos, illustrations, and vectors

Earnings breakdown for photos, illustrations, and vectors
Earnings breakdown for photos, illustrations, and vectors on Shutterstock

Earnings breakdown for videos

Earnings breakdown for videos on shutterstock
Earnings breakdown for videos on Shutterstock

SIGN UP as a Shutterstock contributor (if you haven’t already):

How does Shutterstock work?

It acts as a medium that helps to meet buyers with Sellers and vice-versa. The mediums are Website and App where Sellers(Contributors) uploads their contents such as Images & Videos along with their keywords. Buyers search by those keywords in Shutterstock’s search bar. All the relevant contents appear which are associated with those keywords.

What photos sell best on shutterstock?

A simple answer could be, the photos that are rare gets sold easily and multiple time. Let’s understand it with examples:

You clicked a beautiful photo of the Taj Mahal. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world. Millions of tourists go to the Taj Mahal every year and hundreds of photos would be available on Shutterstock. Does that mean that your photo should be the most beautiful among them to be sold?

NO. What matters is a special thing in your photo that makes it rare and stand out? It could be, for example

  • Clicked at night when tourists are not allowed (maybe full moon visible at back)
  • Any protest going in front of the Taj Mahal
  • Surrounding images of Taj Mahal
  • Monument surrounded by fog
  • Back of the monument
  • Frozen Yamuna river (present at back of monument) along with Taj Mahal.
  • Bird or any other animal along with the monument
  • Any repairing work going on on your day of visit, etc

These were some of the photos that will make your photo unique.

which photos sell best on Shutterstock

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