Is Shutterstock Free?

Shutterstock is a stock photography website that offers some free stock images to its users.

Is Shutterstock Free

However, you may be wondering if Shutterstock is really free for everyone, as the vast majority of stock images are available for purchase.

In this article, we will take a look at the pros and cons of using, as well as other alternatives to find high quality images.

What Are Some Benefits Of Shutterstock?

  • Stock Photography – The site has over 1 million images in their library. You can search by keyword or category to find what you need.
  • Free Stock Images – All images on the site are completely free for commercial use. They also offer paid subscription plans with additional features like watermarking.
  • Unlimited Downloads – You get unlimited downloads from any image on the site. This means you don’t have to worry about paying extra fees for downloading multiple files.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – If your company uses SEO, then Shutterstock is an excellent resource for finding high-quality photos.
  • High Quality Photos – Shutterstock has a large collection of high quality photos.
  • No Watermarks – Unlike some competitors, all images on Shutterstock are 100% free from watermarks.
  • Easy To Use Interface – It’s easy to navigate through the site and find exactly what you want.

Cons Of Using Shutterstock

Limited Library Size – While there are over one million images on the site, it doesn’t mean they are all available to download.

Many photographers choose not to upload their work because they aren’t sure how many people will see it.

Limited Search Options – There isn’t much flexibility when searching for specific types of images. 

Is Shutterstock The Best Website For Stock Images?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and budget. If you only need a few images, then Shutterstock is probably the best option.

But if you need tens of thousands of images, then you should consider looking elsewhere.

Why Do People Use Stock Images?

There are several reasons why people use stock images. One reason is that they save time and money.

Instead of spending hours trying to create something yourself, you can simply purchase a ready-made image. Another reason is to make your content look professional.

When you use a stock photo instead of creating your own, you give off the impression that you know what you’re doing.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Photo From Shutterstock?

You can buy a single image for $1.00. If you want to purchase multiple images, then you can do so for $9.95 per month.

You can also subscribe to their premium service, which includes things like custom watermarks and rights management.

Do I Need An Account To Purchase Stock Images On Shutterstock?

Yes, you must register before purchasing anything. Once you sign up, you will receive an email containing a link to your account, where you can log in.

Why Isn’t Shutterstock Free?

While there are no hidden costs, Shutterstock does charge a small fee for each transaction. In addition, they also take a percentage of every sale.

What Are Some Other Websites That Offer Stock Images?

There is a wide variety of websites that offer stock images. Here are just a few:

  • Fotolia – Fotolia offers a huge selection of high quality images. They even have a mobile app that allows you to browse and purchase images.
  • Dreamstime – Dreamstime is another popular website that offers high-quality images. Their prices start at around $10/month.
  • iStockphoto – This is one of the oldest sites out there. It was founded in 1998. Although they don’t have as many photos as other sites, they still provide some great options.

Are Stock Photos Legal?

In most cases, yes. However, you should always check with your local laws before using any copyrighted material.

Can I Sell My Own Photography?

If you are selling your own photography, you may be required to get copyright permission from the photographer. This means that you would need to pay them royalties for each sale.

How Can I Make Money With Stock Images?

If you are interested in making money with stock photos, you can sell your own work through sites like

This is a great way to profit from your hard work, and it is easy enough to sell your images to Shutterstock without too much hassle. 

Why Should I Sell My Stock Images?

Why Should I Sell My Stock Images

Selling your own work gives you the opportunity to earn extra income while helping others. Plus, it helps you build a portfolio of images that you can show potential clients.

What Types Of Images Can I Find On Shutterstock?

Shutterstock has over 100 million different images available for purchase. These include everything from landscapes to animals to food.

There are also many categories including fashion, business, sports, technology, arts and more.

How Many Categories Can I Search For On Shutterstock?

There are currently over 10,000 categories available on Shutterstock. You can search by category as well as keywords.

This makes it easy to source and access images that are suited to your individual needs and interests. 

Where Is Shutterstock Located?

Shutterstock is headquartered in San Francisco, California. However, the photographers that submit their work to Shutterstock are located worldwide and thus.

You will undoubtedly find images that are culturally suited to your individual needs. If your business is located in France.

Then using images from the USA may not be advisable as customers can tell the difference between various locations by analyzing background features or skylines.


To conclude, Shutterstock is a website that has over 100 million different stock images that are available for purchase.

Whilst some images may be available for free, users typically pay for these stock images.

These images are wide-ranging, and this makes Shutterstock one of the most popular platforms to source a wide variety of stock images.

Whilst you may need to pay for the vast majority of images contained on the platform, they are usually inexpensive to purchase and doing so gives you the rights to use these images in whichever way that you see fit. 

You can also approach Shutterstock in order to sell your images to them, and this is a brilliant option for those photographers who wish to make money from their images.

The website is easy to navigate and use, and this is why it contains so many images that you are able to purchase. 

These images are also categorized and easy to search for, so while Shutterstock may not offer their stock images for free, they make the user experience easy and accessible in all other ways.

It is also relatively cheap to sign up for a membership to Shutterstock in comparison to other websites that offer stock images.

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘Is Pexels Copyright Free?‘.

Katie Dawson