Shutterstock Review: Top 10 Best Stock Photos Review

Shutterstock Overview

Have you grown frustrated with your inability to find suitable free stock images for your various projects - for example, for design projects or news stories? If so, you may just find Shutterstock a handy one-stop source of some of the best quality images around.

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  • Pricing plans for both professional and merely casual use
  • A great choice for highly prolific designers, bloggers, small businesses, creative agencies... even Fortune 500 companies
  • JPEG and TIFF image formats, as well as videos and music
  • Images include 'Photos', 'Vectors' and 'Editorial', each with a wide range of subcategories
  • Easy-to-browse website and extensive Support Center encompassing phone, email and 'live chat' support, as well as an online database of helpful articles
  • No 'free' option, but an extremely broad range of copyright free images across many different categories

Shutterstock was established in 2003 when founder Jon Oringer uploaded 30,000 of his own stock photos - and the collection has grown exponentially since then. Today, 10,000 images are added daily to the site, which is licensed by the TRUSTe Privacy Program.

Plans & pricing

Prospective subscribers to Shutterstock aren't restricted to choosing between its Professional and Basic plans, with Enhanced Subscriptions and business-oriented solutions also available.

Free Browse Account – Search through the collections. Create and share unlimited lightboxes

Standard License - Shutterstock Standard license allows for most commercial uses and some limited merchandising uses.

Basic – Download images any time for up to one year – including all JPEG sizes and vectors.

  • 1 image: $9.80
  • 2 images: $19
  • 5 images: $49
  • 25 images: $229

Professional – Download 750 images every month, including all JPEG and Vector sizes

  • 1-year plan: 750 images - $199/month | 350 images - $169/month
  • 1-month plan: 750 images - $249 | 350 images - $199/month

Enhanced License - Shutterstock Enhanced license allows for unlimited runs of merchandising uses as well as high-viewership commercial uses.

Enhanced Subscriptions – Download images any time for up to one year, including TIFF, JPEG, and Vector sizes

  • 2 downloads: $199
  • 5 downloads: $449
  • 25 downloads: $1,699

Small Teams

  • Up to 10 users can access one subscription
  • License up to 35 images a day


  • Unlimited user access to images, footage and Offset
  • Enhanced licensing and full indemnification
  • Unlimited, un-watermarked comps, invoicing and research assistance.

Top 3 pros and cons

✔ More than 60 million royalty free images

✔ Photos, illustrations, vectors and videos all available

✔ All-encompassing customer support


- No free trial option

- No option to purchase images without subscription

- Not the cheapest stock image site

Customer support

  • Phone, chat, email, FAQs
  • Database of support articles


Shutterstock is one of the biggest players in the stock photo industry, and it shows. Given its tens of millions of copyright free images to choose from as well as a high standard of customer support, if we were you, we'd sign up now!

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