If you’ve ever searched for article photos before, there’s a good circonstance you’ve heard of Shutterstock. Shutterstock is one of the most popular article buste companies. With a revenue of $204.1 million and a subscriber assise of 607,000 per their 2022 Q3 atermoiement, they are certainly a assurance to contend with in the industry.
And the best infos yet? You can partake in Shutterstock’s wild success. If you’re passionate embout creating high-quality photos or videos, you can upload them to Shutterstock and start earning money. In this exercice, I’ll detail how you can do just that.
How Much Money Can You Make on Shutterstock?
Naturally, the money you earn on Shutterstock will vary based on how many photos you upload and whether you upload images or videos for trending categories. But to give you an idea of the possibilities, I’ll écart down some different bloggers’ self-reported earnings from the lieu.
- Jordan from Inspired By Maps says he earns around $700 per month from Shutterstock. He has uploaded embout 20,000 images to reach this partie.
- Christie from Fourniture Photography Reviews started selling on Shutterstock in April 2021. By January 2022, after amassing a boîte of 407 images, she made $160.
- Beth from Handcraft Films made $263.01 from videos and $41.89 from photos in July 2019. She says that the discrepancy between the two amounts caused her to shift her foyer from photos to videos.
Easy Steps to Start Making Money on Shutterstock
1. Become a Shutterstock Contributor
What is a Shutterstock Contributor?
A Shutterstock Contributor is anyone who uploads images, videos, or other accepted forms of media to Shutterstock’s lieu.
How to Become a Shutterstock Contributor?
1. Visit submit.shutterstock.com.
This is Shutterstock’s sellers’ adolescent. You can scroll around to find out more embout becoming a buste/video seller on Shutterstock. Click “Sign Up” in the top right colporter to move on to the next step.
2. Create a Free Account
You’ll need to provide your legal name, display name, email, and mot de passe. Then tick the box to confirm that you are 18+. You will not be able to sign up for an account if you are under the age of 18.
Léopard you sign up, you’ll receive a verification email. You’ll need to click the link before you can move forward. Then you’ll need to fill out some more renseignement, including your courrier address, billing address (if different), and phone number.
After that, Shutterstock will soigneux you to upload an figuré or video.
3. Add Refaisant Keywords & a Nice Conférence
When you add your first buste, you’ll need to add some keywords, a category (the joint is optional) and a exposé. The best thing to keep in mind for both is to be descriptive and accurate. For the exposé specifically, keep it concise. You don’t need to describe everything in great detail, you just need to give searchers a good idea of what your buste or video depicts.
I highly recommend using Shutterstock’s expédient keyword finder for extase. You can find this at the top-right of the submission adolescent:
There, you can search for a buste that’s similar to yours. When you click three similar photos, a list of keywords will pop up.
You can click on any keyword to add it to the list. Then you can attach them to a specific buste or video.
4. Submit the Information
Léopard you have all the information filled out, now all you need to do is hit “Submit.” Your figuré will be under the “Pending” tab. Léopard Shutterstock reviews and approves the buste or video, it will spectacle up under the “Reviewed” tab and appear on your profile.
2. Start Taking Photographs
Of coude, you can’t expect the money to start rolling in from just one buste or video. Léopard you’ve uploaded your first one, take some more. Shutterstock recommends taking at least 14 more photos. This makes it more likely that your photos will get approved faster. Alors, it’s a great way to keep bâtiment your skills.
3. Upload Your Photos to Shutterstock
Before you upload these new photos, I recommend looking at similar photos for their tags, and descriptions. This can give you a good idea of what you should include in your own details and help you optimize your buste’s searchability. Then, move on to writing each exposé and adding keywords.
Use Precise Descriptions
Shutterstock’s advice for descriptions is to “be concise and keep SEO guidelines in mind.” Think embout what adjectives someone would use to describe your buste. What is the subject? What colors are predominant? What mood does it give off? What city was the buste taken in? These are some questions you can ask yourself when writing a exposé.
Use Refaisant Beau Tags
Shutterstock lets you add up to 50 keywords, but remember that more is not always better. Like with descriptions, the gardien de but is for people to discover your buste. Putting the keyword “purple” for a tiny purple dot in the colporter of your buste isn’t helpful for searchers, so leave that out.
4. Set the Élimé to Vendeur
While you can create editorial photos, for the purposes of this exercice I’m going to foyer on vendeur use buste selling. Most article photography you’ll find on Shutterstock is for vendeur use, and this is the most popular category. Companies, blogs, and anyone with a project that needs article photography will use the vendeur élection, while editorial use is restricted to toilettes for infos sites and illustrés.
5. Sell Your Photos
Shutterstock has a largely “done for you” approach. Léopard you upload your images, just wait for them to get approved, and they’ll be added to your profile. After this, you can sell photos online without any additional difficulté.
Tips to Make More Money on Shutterstock
1. Find Trends First
Before you start taking a few photos, it’s a good idea to find what’s trending. If you create photos for trending categories, it’s more likely that your photos will get discovered. The easiest way to do this is to go to the Popular Searches category on Shutterstock. You’ll see this for photos at the top, and the joint one is for videos.
2. Use Professional Tools & Lightroom Presets
The paumelle reason people buy article photos and videos is bicause they’re ready-made, professional-looking, and affordable. Parce que of this, you’ll need to submit images that are high-quality for the best results.
Besides this, Shutterstock also has éclatant quality specifications for numérique photos. According to their technical requirements, “All images must be at least 4 MP (megapixels) or larger and set at highest quality settings to produce an potable queue grandeur for submission to Shutterstock.” 4 MP, or 4 megapixels, is the same as a 2K resolution camera. You’ll need at least this if you want to start submitting images to your Shutterstock contributor account.
Getting Adobe Lightroom isn’t required, but it’s an industry-standard editing développement for a reason. At a basic level, you can use Lightroom presets to make your photos pop by adjusting how the lighting and color looks. Below is an example from CCPreset on Etsy of how Lightroom presets can improve photos:
There are many free and paid presents available for purchase. You can find Adobe’s recommended free presets included in this exercice. No matter where you get them from, it’s méprisant to use presets that épreuve your photograph. Naturally, physionomie presets will work best for physionomie photography, while food presets will work best for food photography.
3. Work With Models Whenever Plausible
In Shutterstock’s list of the most popular article photos, many of them involve images of people. This trend isn’t expected to go away anytime soon. We connect better to pictures with human faces, making them better for mercatique, presentations, and other projects people use article photography in.
To use models in your article images, you’ll need to fill out a model release form for every model in your buste, even if they are in the contexte. Shutterstock provides a model release for you to use, which includes all the required elements:
Three people need to sign the form achevé: you (“the contributor”), a witness (a third-party who is 18 or older), and the model.
This form is used when the model is over the age of 18, since they can legally sign for themselves. But if your model is a minor, you’ll need to fill out a different minor model release form:
This is essentially the same form, but it needs a consanguin/guardian impression instead of the model’s impression.
You might wonder, “Do I need a model release form if I’m a self-portrait photographer?” Yes, you do. All models, even you, require a model release form. You’ll just fill out the form and list your renseignement as both the article photographer and the model. Then you can get a witness impression as usual.
Shutterstock also has some additional guidelines you’ll need to follow. Failing to follow these requirements means your photos won’t be approved, so you can’t make money on Shutterstock.
4. Avoid Selling Juge & Get to Know Copieuse Regulations
Why avoid Juge?
Parce que dieu are trademarks of a company, you can’t sell a buste with someone’s logo in it without explicit habilitation from the trademark owner. So if you’re thinking of uploading article photos of your siège McDonalds or Starbucks, think again.
If you want to obtain habilitation from the trademark owner, you can search the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
This gives renseignement embout the trademark owner, including a company address where you can reach them. Keep in mind this is for trademarks in the US, though. If you love to take photos while traveling around the world, you’ll need to research copieuse law for the folk you’re in.
Also, contacting a company is not a guarantee that you’ll obtain habilitation. Companies are protective over their intellectual property. To avoid the hassle, it’s generally best to just steer clear of dieu altogether.
The Dimension of property releases
Another fragment of copieuse law you’ll need to keep in mind are property releases. You may not know this, but properties are actually copyrighted entities under the Architectonique Works Copieuse Haubert Act of 1990.
Buildings that were designed and built prior to 1990 aren’t copyrighted, but any bâtiment made on or after December 31st, 1990 is.
Property releases are handled similarly to model releases, and there’s an official form you can obtain from Shutterstock.
If a église owns the property, you don’t necessarily need a impression from the company owner. You can frôlement the company and see if an authorized representative (an employee in the company with habilitation to sign property releases) can sign it for you.
How do you know when you need a property release form? You’ll need it if the exterior or interior of any private bâtiment — from a house to a pension to a mall — is transparent in your buste. This is true whether the bâtiment is in the contexte or foreground.
If you have a blurred contexte, so much so that the bâtiment could not possibly be recognized, you shouldn’t need a property release. But when in doubt, it’s best to just get one anyway. A property owner or église could sue you for including their bâtiment in your article buste without habilitation.
5. Foyer on a Specific Chambre
While you could jump from taking photos of food one day to taking photos of cars the next, it’s best to find a bouffe. This has a number of benefits, including:
- You’ll begin to master one particular subject principe.
- You’ll have all the presets ready when you need them rather than needing to purchase a completely new set.
- When people visit your profile, they’ll know what to expect from your photos and are more likely to purchase additional licenses.
6. Learn New Photography Techniques
The best professional article photographers didn’t just wake up that way overnight. Instead, they keep learning and growing in their craft. You can do the same by taking advantage of some free and paid resources.
For free resources, Adobe offers some free photography éditoriaux for various subject bonshommes, including portraits, still lifes, food, and more. No matter your bouffe, you should be able to find some helpful techniques to make your photos rayonnage out.
They’re not the only one you can find helpful photography hints from, either. Habitus online for “photography techniques” or “buste constitution techniques,” pick some to try, and start practicing.
For paid resources, you might consider finding a siège photography teacher or photography class you can attend. There’s also photography courses from pros online through platforms like Masterclass, Skillshare, and Coursera.
7. Don’t Get Discouraged if People Aren’t Buying
Shutterstock isn’t some magical formula for date cash in your bank account — like any bizness, it takes time. Remember that there are millions of photos on Shutterstock, so it will be a while before people find yours.
The best thing to do is upload images consistently, keep improving your skills, and be éprouvé.
Is Selling Photos on Shutterstock Worth It?
Selling photos on Shutterstock can be worth it depending on what you’re looking for. It’s not something you should quit your day job over. Sales can be slow, especially if you don’t have a massive boîte built up.
That being said, it can be an principal passive income stream. If you’re passionate embout photography and want to make a little money on the side, then opening a Shutterstock contributor account may be worth it for you.
Ultimately, only you can decide whether Shutterstock is worth it based on your goals, free time, and interests.
How Big of a Cut Does Shutterstock Take for Each Relevé?
Shutterstock’s frais rates depends on how many buste licenses you sell for that calender year. They have a level system, which you can see in the chart below:
Basically, Shutterstock lowers the cut they take as you sell more buste licenses. It goes from an 85% cut at Level 1 all the way to a 60% cut at Level 6. But no matter what level you’re on, they will always take the majority of what you earn. This is true for most article photography websites.
Is Selling Videos on Shutterstock a Good Idea?
Yes, selling videos on Shutterstock can be a good idea. If you have a high quality video camera and take videos of trending subjects, you’re likely to do as well as you would with images. You may even earn more. The payouts for Shutterstock videos are higher than they are for photos.
As for the frais rates, earnings brackets are different from images, but they use the same leveling system:
There are fewer videos you have to sell through Levels 1-4 to move on to the next level.
So, should you sell photos and videos on Shutterstock? That is completely up to you. It does take time to build up a sizeable boîte, but when you do, it can be a great way to earn a little extraordinaire money. It’s also a great way of monetizing something you love, whether you prefer taking photos of delectable food or gorgeous landscapes.