Shutterstock Review: Does This Big-Name Site Deliver?

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Screenshot of Shutterstock homepage (caption: Shutterstock Stock Photo Review)Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock photography sites, but what do you get from this service other than big-name recognition? Can Shutterstock satisfy all of your stock media needs? And how do we rate their service?

Visit Shutterstock’s Website

Article Overview

Shutterstock

4.5 / 5
Shutterstock
Customer Service & Reputation 4.0
Variety of Images 5.0
Pricing 4.3
Easy To Use Site 4.8

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

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

Shutterstock screenshot

Pricing

Prepaid Image Packs

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

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 MonthPrice Per MonthAnnual 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 users: $479/month
  • 4+ users: starting at $579/month

Enterprise

Must contact Shutterstock for pricing.

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Shutterstock.

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.

Our Final Verdict

Visit Shutterstock’s Website

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.

A word of caution to users, 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.

Not sold on Shutterstock? Find out how they compare to similar sites in our reviews of the Best Stock Photo Sites, which include search features, pros and cons, pricing and more.

What buzz have you heard from colleagues about Shutterstock?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations in the late 1990s, Sally began a long career researching and writing about business, technical and scientific topics. Her decades of experience as well as a passion to stay on top of the latest online tools and resources combine to help small businesses (and freelancers like herself) flourish.

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