Shutterstock review

Shutterstock Review (2022): Pros, Cons & Price

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Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ease of Use

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.
Photos407 million
Videos26 million
Free TrialYes (10 free images)

In this article, we give a quick review of Shutterstock looking at stock media quality, pricing and website features.

By this time, it’s no secret that Shutterstock is one of the most popular sources for stock images and footage. And it’s easy to see why when you consider that it offers a massive media library.

But is it the right option for you?

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What is Shutterstock?

Simply put, when you need stock media, Shutterstock should be one of your go-to resources. Founded way back in 2003, it has grown into one of the largest and most popular stock agencies in the world.

As such, it now offers 370 million images, videos, and music tracks at affordable prices. As a bonus, you can also browse the library for free before you sign up. So, you can decide if it’s the right platform for you before you shell out any cash.

Who Can Use Shutterstock?

We’ve already seen that Shutterstock has a massive library of images, videos, and music tracks. It doesn’t stop there, though, and it also offers:

  • illustrations
  • vector images
  • editorial content
  • templates
  • 3D models
  • and more

Basically, it offers everything any creator could ever need. So, no matter if you’re an artist, filmmaker, or marketing company, Shutterstock is worth a look.

How it Works

Shutterstock categories

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of content on Shutterstock. Fortunately, the platform has made it easy to find the content you’re looking for. For example, you can browse the media on the platform by category, media type, or collection. This is perfect for those cases where you’re searching for something but not exactly sure what it is.

By far the easiest way to find stock media is using Shutterstock’s search feature. Here, it’s as easy as choosing the type of media you’re looking for, entering your keywords, and hitting the search button. You can even search the library on the go with one of Shutterstock’s mobile apps.

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Shutterstock Features

Once you go to the Shutterstock website, you’ll see that its interface is intuitive and easy to use. As such, it’s simple to find what you’re looking for using either the menu bar or the search feature.

Menu Bar

Menu bar

If you want to explore the latest media on Shutterstock, the navigation menu comes in handy. It’s also helpful if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.

With it, every media type from images to footage and editorial content has a dropdown menu. Using these dropdown menus, you can go to the homepage for the media type or browse by category, collection, and the like.

Depending on the option you select, you’ll go to a results page or a subpage. On the subpage, you’ll be able to choose more categories.

Search bar

You’ll likely find what you’re looking for using the menu bar, but the search bar makes it a lot easier. And let’s face it, easier means you save a lot of time and effort.

Also, the search bar is easy to find. So, when you open the Shutterstock website, the search bar takes centre stage. This is a good thing as you’re going to use it a lot to find the media you’re looking for.

With that in mind, let’s look at how it works. On the left side of the search bar, there’s a dropdown menu where you can pick the media type you’re looking for. Here, you can pick anything from images to video, photos, editorial content and more.

Once you’ve made your choice, you can enter the keywords for what you’re looking for and hit the search button. You also have the option to search by image. This means you can easily upload a reference image and search for similar images and videos. Keep in mind, though, you’re only able to upload JPG and PNG images up to 5 MB.

No matter if you’re searching by keyword or image, you’ll go to a results page with all the matching media. Here, you’ll also be able to filter your results further to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Other Tools

Shutterstock tools

In the navigation bar, you’ll also find several other tools you can use to edit media on the platform. You can, for example, use:

  • Shutterstock Editor. This design tool lets you create and edit social media posts, ads, presentations, and more. You can also use templates to create these and edit your own uploaded images.
  • Image Resizer. This tool lets you resize your images into various sizes. It’s as easy as uploading your file, choosing a size, and letting the tool work its magic.
  • File Converter. Like the Image Resizer, this tool lets you upload your images and converts them to JPEG, PNG, or TIFF.
  • Collage Maker. Here, you can use templates to create photo collages. You can also add filters, effects and position your images any way you like.
  • Colour Schemes. This tool helps you pick a colour palette for any project you’re working on.

In addition to these, the navigation menu also gives you access to other tools like:

  • Shutterstock’s mobile apps
  • PicMonkey
  • Various plugins

How Much Does Shutterstock Cost?

Shutterstock pricing

Shutterstock’s variety doesn’t end with the media it offers. It also gives you several pricing options you can use to buy the media you need. For individual users, these pricing options are:

  • On-demand pricing. With on-demand pricing, you get access to the media you need without subscribing.
  • Subscription. With a subscription, you’ll pay a monthly or yearly amount to download a specific number of assets every month.
  • Mixed-asset subscription. With this subscription, you’ll get credits that you can use to download different media types.

Keep in mind, though, the different pricing options depend on the specific type of media.

On-DemandSubscriptionMixed-Asset Subscription

Let’s now look at on-demand pricing a bit closer.

On-Demand Pricing

FootageFrom $299From $549From $1,299
Music$49 for a Standard License and $419 for an Enhanced License

When it comes to subscriptions, you also have quite a few options.

Subscription Pricing


10 Images50 Images350 Images750 Images


5 Clips10 Clips20 Clips


UnlimitedFlex 25 Mixed Subscription
$16.60/month$49/month for 25 credits

Another thing we should look at when it comes to pricing is the licences Shutterstock offers. Here, you can choose between the Standard licence and the Enhanced licence. But what is the difference between the two?

Well, the Standard Licence gives you everything you need for any project. The Enhanced licence takes what you can do with the media you buy a step further. As such, it allows you the following usage:

  • Unlimited web use
  • Unlimited print copies
  • Merchandising
  • Web templates
  • Video production

Also, using the Enhanced licence gives you greater protection. Here, it includes $250k legal indemnification, while the Standard licence only includes $10k. Keep in mind, though, the Enhanced licence is only available for on-demand media.

Shutterstock Review: Worth it or Not?

In short, Yes! There’s a good reason why Shutterstock is so popular. Simply put, with its massive library of content, it gives creators everything they need to do any project. The sheer amount of content aside, it has various other standout features. Some of these are its editorial content, templates, and the range of tools it offers. 

Ultimately, if you’re looking for stock media, Shutterstock should be at the top of your list. Do you want to learn more about Shutterstock? Then why not head over to their website to see what it has to offer.

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