Shutterstock Review
Shutterstock Review
April 10, 2020 / Sarah Pritzker
Shutterstock Review
April 10, 2020 / Sarah Pritzker
Wide range of stock images, footage, vector and illustrations
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Shutterstock is a familiar name around the stock photo industry. It’s where you can find everything from stock photos to music files and more with literally millions of options. Shutterstock has a lot of great features to enhance your images as well, like a useful editor and plugins, so you can work directly with your current project or work application. Add to that reasonable pricing, and it’s not hard to see why so many people use Shutterstock for their stock photo needs.

What Makes Shutterstock Unique

Shutterstock is a popular option, no doubt, and we can see why. The site is clean, easy to use, has great quality, and offers affordable plans. Plus, you can't beat the variety. In fact, the first thing that you notice when you log onto Shutterstock is the amount of options you have available. In the beginning, the numbers might be a little daunting. You're talking about 311 million images to browse through!

Fortunately, Shutterstock has good search functionality, or else you might be there for the rest of the year browsing through the photos available. But beyond the dizzying number of images and videos available on Shutterstock, the service stands out for a few other reasons, including:

Data-based photos

Shutterstock also makes it easy to find the best images and content for your purposes. That's because it invests a lot of time and resources into learning what is what. Shutterstock has a team of researchers analyzing data to glean valuable information about photo downloads. For example, Shutterstock published a Color Trends white paper for the hottest colors that will be trending in 2020. Not only does this make interesting reading material, but it helps business owners and marketers maximize their efforts by choosing the most appealing images for the season. Information like that is golden, so Shutterstock definitely provides added value to the stock photo service norm.

Exclusive content

This isn’t entirely unique to Shutterstock, but it definitely gives this site an edge. Some of the other more professional stock photo services like iStock also have exclusive content (i.e., content that you can’t get on other stock photo sites - good for making your brand stand out from the crowd), but not all of them do. Plus, Shutterstock offers a wider range of professional, exclusive content like 4K video clips and curated music.


This is a really neat tool, aside from being a unique feature that is quite useful for businesses and consumers. The Shutterstock Editor lets you add everything from your company logo to text and more. What's really cool about this feature is how easily and quickly you can make things like banner ads, templates for social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, or even PowerPoint presentations that look really professional. Needless to say, we had lots of fun with this feature.

Mobile app

Shutterstock also has a terrific mobile app. While most people will be doing the bulk of their image selection in front of their computer, it's always handy to have a mobile app for a quick project tweak or last-minute switch-outs on the go. The Shutterstock app is really well-designed with a smooth user interface and intuitive structure.

What’s Available on Shutterstock

Shutterstock has roughly 311 million items in its royalty-free library (yes, you read that correctly), and the content covers the spectrum. You can find stock photos, vector images, editorial pieces, music files, video footage, and more.

On top of that, Shutterstock adds thousands (194,000 to be exact) of new images to the library every week. Variety is the spice of life, but even more importantly, this kind of constant regeneration of fresh content ensures that you’re not just putting up an image that thousands of other websites like you have already used.

You can also enjoy free images from Shutterstock. Every week, the site publishes free vector and photos for subscribers to download. The options aren’t as extensive as other stock photo sites that use this same feature. But when you’re getting a freebie, it’s best not to be too picky.

How Shutterstock Works

Shutterstock is an easy service to use, and it really gets props for creating a smooth and user-friendly experience. Images, footage, and music are neatly categorized and easy to find. The search functionality is also really powerful on Shutterstock.

Once you choose the content you want, you can subscribe, pick a payment plan, and download the items. All images are royalty-free, and plans come with unlimited downloads.

Then, you can start to have some real fun with your images using some of the cool tools Shutterstock makes available. Things like the image editor we spoke about already help give you a more personalized look. But there's a lot more to play around with. You can use an image resizer, file converter, or collage maker to create an even more unique end product. This is really good for marketers but will be handy even for non-professionals who want to create a personal image for something.

Shutterstock Pricing & Plans

You can either get on-demand photos (buy as you need them) or subscribe to a plan. Obviously, the plans are more cost-efficient, but only if you are going to be using stock photos frequently. If you only need one here and there, the on-demand option is your best bet. You can get five images for $49 ($9.80 per image) or 25 images for $229 ($9.16 per image).

Shutterstock also has monthly and annual subscription plans that let you buy image credits in bulk, significantly reducing the price per image. For example, with an annual subscription, you can get 10 images for $2.90 per image. But if you opt for the 350 image package, you’ll only pay $0.48 per image. That’s a tremendous savings. Here’s the breakdown of Shutterstock pricing plans:

Plan 10 Images 50 Images 350 Images 750 Images
Monthly $49 $125 $199 $249
Annually (per month) $29 $99 $169 $199

If you're going to use stock photos a lot and can afford it, the annual plans are the most cost-effective, cutting your spending in half. There are also enterprise and team plans with two users, 3-10 users, or 11+ users that Shutterstock will customize the pricing for.

Shutterstock has a free trial that lets you get a month subscription of 10 images for free. This is a good way to test out the service and see if you like it without any financial commitment. Shutterstock also offers promotions frequently. At the time of this writing, for example, you could get a free trial of the 10 images for one month plan using a coupon code straight from the website.

Customer Service

Shutterstock has customer service available over the phone or via email. It’s a very customer-centric company, so the help center is courteous. There’s also an FAQ section on the site you can browse if you prefer to troubleshoot on your own.

Customer Support Line:



Shutterstock has been around for more than fifteen years, and it shows. The service excels at delivering a quality experience both in terms of the products and the experience it offers. You can really see it in the details like making an API available, providing millions of high-quality content items, and using data-driven information to help subscribers get the best results. Consumers and businesses alike will find a lot of value in this unique stock photo and video service.

Get started now, visit Shutterstock
By Sarah Pritzker
Sarah Pritzker is a professional writer who loves scouring the web looking for the coolest products and services at the best prices. Sarah writes for Sarah has lived and traveled all over the world, but has finally settled down with her family in the Middle East - and yes, she misses winter!