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How to earn money online by selling photos on Shutterstock

Earn money by selling photos on Shutterstock is a global marketplace for buyers and users who want to earn money online by selling photos. Shutterstock was launched in 2003 and their Headquarters is located in New York. So it’s been more than 10 years since they have been in this business having customers all over the world. They are currently operating in more than 150 countries and provide digital imagery licenses. Their basic aim is to help digital contributors and buyers to connect with each other and make successful transactions. There are two types of accounts on Shutterstock, Customer and Contributor. Contributors share the digital media that they have created and Customers buy it.



Since we want to know how to sell Photos and Videos on Shutterstock to earn money online so we will be focusing on the Contributor part. Now Shutterstock offers a great opportunity for those who create digital content that includes unique photos and videos. So if you’re good at Photography or Video editing and Publishing then this website can literally make you rich. They have clearly mentioned it on their website that you can immediately start getting thousands and millions of visitors and start earning money. All you need to do is create outstanding photos and images. Now there are three types of content that you can sell on Shutterstock:

  1. Photo Selling: You can sell lots of photos on Shutterstock provided that they are in JPG format and are at least 4.0 mega pixels. So you will probably need a High resolution camera for that.
  2. Vectors and Illustrations: You can also create Vectors and illustrations and sell them on this website. You can submit EPS format files with a maximum size of 15 mb or JPG images with at least 4.0 mega pixels.
  3. Videos: You can also create videos and sell them on this portal. However, the video length should be from 5 to 60 seconds. No more no less.

Here’s how the Contributor portal looks like:

shutterstock contributor portal

So basically you can earn in number of ways on this great website depending on your skills. If you’re not good at photography but you can create stunning illustrations or vectors on Photoshop or other tools then you are in luck. If you’re good at creating short videos then you can earn a lot with Shutterstock.

To join Shutterstock as a contributor click HERE.



Shutterstock offers a number of ways that you can earn money from your digital content. They are:

  • 25-A-Day Downloads: Customers have the option to subscribe on monthly basis and they can download images over a period of 30 days. Every time you image gets downloaded you will receive 25 cents. Now this commission can increase up to 38 cents as you reach greater milestones.
  • On Demand Downloads: Subscribers can get an On demand subscription which allows them to download and use images up to an year. In this model you will be getting $1.88 per download. It will increase as you get more visitors and downloads.
  • Enhanced Downloads: Customers can get an Enhanced Downloads license which allows then to download images for commercial use. In this case, you will get $28 per download.
  • Referred Subscriptions: You can also earn 20% commissions by referring more customers to Shutterstock. To join their affiliate program click HERE.
  • Single Downloads: If you photos get sold as single images without any subscription, you will get 20% of the sale price.



As discussed above, Shutterstock pays very good commissions on sales that are generated by any of the methods mentioned. You can also view the complete Earnings Schedule HERE. You can get paid by three methods, Paypal, Skrill and Bank Check. The minimum payout for Electronic payment isย $75 while for Check is $300. So it depends on you how you want to get your payment. Payments are calculated on the 1st of every month and are paid after 2 weeks.



Whether you are a Photographer, an Illustrator or a Video editor this website can prove to be a gift for you. You will not only start earning a good amount of money from your digital content but you will also get visitors from all over the world to see and admire your photos and videos. So be creative and upload as many photos as you can but make sure there is no compromise on quality because you need to build your reputation too.

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42 thoughts on “How to earn money online by selling photos on Shutterstock”

    1. I don’t think so. If the image quality does not meet their strict requirements, i really don’t think it can be accepted. However you may contact them directly to know the exact answer.

  1. what should be the concept of the photographs, is shutter stock gives us an certain topic or we should go for our own ideas?

  2. Hi!
    Thank you so much for this information. My specialty is doing photoshop work and i do photo manipulation. I also work as a freelancer. Can i sell my artwork on shutterstock?

  3. i want to know that is there any tax levied after earning from the shutterstock in india and how much. And how to pay the tax that i earn from the shutterstock.

  4. Nice, my name is nuskhan. From srilanka, I have intrest to shoot photos, and online selling, but I have not experience in photography. But I will do that well. How to joint for you. My ambition is will be become a good photography in the world.

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