User Posts: Ivanna Attié

If you are a graphic designer or creative, or if you're just needing images to use in different projects, you must have come across the term "stock images" or ...

iStock (previously known as iStockphoto vs. Shutterstock) and Shutterstock are microstock agencies that have been at the top of the stock photo ...

What are the best sites to buy stock images online? There are plenty of stock photo agencies where you can buy stock photos online without breaking the ...

Finding the right stock photo agency for your needs is hard.  Registration is free for all agencies, but when it comes down to purchasing stock photos ...

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Browsing All Comments By: Ivanna Attié
  1. Thank you, Keerthana, we are glad you like our article!

  2. Hi Jessica. Quick disclaimer that we are not Shutterstock nor lawyers, our answers are for orientation only. That said, yes, it’s possible to use Shutterstock images on e-books. If you refer to point 2 of our guide above, the Standard image license grants use in digital publications (including e-books) with an unlimited number of views. Do keep in mind that this use refers usually to illustrative purposes, if the images are the core value of the publication then it might be considered “product for resale” and then an Enhanced license is required. We recommend you contact Shutterstock directly to verify what license is best for your intended use. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi David, thank you for your insightful comment, it’s always great to hear the perspective of the contributors. And yes, your concerns and principles are shared by the creative community. Getty Images in particular is taking important steps to ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their involvement in generative AI development. For example, they’ve teamed up with BRIA to develop new generative AI models that, precisely, compensate copyright holders for the use of their work in AI training and AI image generation. Hopefully these projects soon become an industry standard. Thanks again for your comment!

  4. Hi Hetal, Shutterstock issues payments for contributors via PayPal, Payoneer and Skrill. You can choose between those platforms. Hope this helps!

  5. Hi Angelique, there are many options of online photo communities where you can share your pictures and get feedback from other photo enthusiasts. But if you wish you can also try submitting them to Shutterstock (or other similar stock photo agency) to see if they’re accepted and then your images would not only receive more exposure but also potentially earn you a passive income. If you do the latter, do make sure to read and understand the contributor agreement terms, the licensing terms that would apply to your images, and especially read the section of our article above where we talk about having realistic expectations.
    Hope this helps!

  6. Hi Kendra. Quick reminder that we are not Shutterstock representatives nor lawyers, so our answers are for orientation only, for a final answer you need to contact Shutterstock directly. As for images, the Standard license covers using them in YouTube, in projects with budgets up to $10,000. It also covers the use in books, for illustration purposes, up to 500,000 prints. For unlimited budget/prints, you would need an Extended license.
    Music is under a different license, though. The Shutterstock standard music license lets you use the music in YouTube productions for Personal Use only, meaning in content where you spent less than $4,999 in aggregate to promote or advertise. We suggest you contact Shutterstock directly to verify which license you need for music in your case.
    Hope this helps!

  7. Hi Maria, quick disclaimer that we are not Shutterstock representatives nor lawyers, our answers are for orientation only and you must always contact Shutterstock directly for a definite answer. That said, our understanding is that your intended use is covered by Shutterstock’s standard license. If you refer to the point 2 of our guide above, it would fall under the term in section 5: “personal, non-commercial use (not for resale, download, distribution or any commercial use of any kind)”.
    Hope this helps!

  8. Hi Jennifer. You may want to check out our articles:
    How to Edit Photos
    AI Image Editing Tricks
    These contain the kind of info that will help you learn. Hope it’s useful!

  9. Hi Matt, we are very glad our article and recommendation were useful for you!

  10. Hi Debbie. Yes, once your pictures are approved, they are made available for license on Shutterstock’s website. And yes, the standard contributor agreement is non-exclusive, meaning you can submit and sell the same pictures on other stock photo sites. Do keep in mind we are not Shutterstock representatives, so our answer is for orientation only and it’s always best to contact Shutterstock directly to confirm this information.
    Hope it helps!

  11. Hi Daniel, Canva modifies its pricing according to region, and sometimes they make changes to their monthly and annual price points. In some regions, the current price for Canva Pro month-to-month membership is $14.99 per month, yes. Hope this helps!

  12. Hi Elle, first of all a quick disclaimer: we are not Canva representatives nor lawyers, so our answers are for orientation only. That said, the Canva Pro free trial lets you download content under the Canva Pro license, which enables using graphic elements in designs for resale. However, there are some limitations regarding what items you can create/resale. You can check if your intended use is included by reading our guide to Canva Pro license here, and we also recommend you contact Canva directly to make sure you can use their graphics for your purpose.
    Hope this helps!

  13. Hello there, quick disclaimer that we are not Shutterstock representatives so our answers are for orientation only. That said, Shutterstock’s contributor agreement is non-exclusive, so having used the photos on Facebook before is not an impediment to submit them to the agency.
    Hope this helps!

  14. Hi Pentti, first a quick disclaimer that we are not Shutterstock representatives nor lawyers, our answers are for orientation only. If the images are for illustrative purposes only, a Standard license might suffice. But if the illustrations are the core value in the eBook, you might need an Enhanced license. I strongly suggest you contact Shutterstock directly so their agents can accurately point which license is required for your eBook.
    Hope it helps!

  15. Hi David, quick disclaimer that we are not lawyers nor Shutterstock representatives, so my answer is for orientation only (you need to contact Shutterstock directly for final answers). If the designer has a license to Shutterstock images under their own name, they can indeed use it in a design for you (this would be covered as “client work”) and all the licensing terms will still apply. In this case, you would only be allowed to use the final design the freelancer gave you –you cannot extract a Shutterstock image from the freelancer’s design to use it in another graphic, for example–.
    If you download the Shutterstock images under your name and then hire a freelancer designer to create something with those images for you, this is also permitted. In this case, you get to use the images in any way you want within the licensing terms, outside the freelancer’s work. And the designer must delete the image files as soon as they complete their contract with you, as they cannot use them for anything else.
    Hope this helps!

  16. Hi David, the standard royalty free license commonly covers the use of images in books, for illustrative purposes. If the images constitute the core value of the publication then more than likely you’d need an extended license. Do keep in mind that licensing terms can vary from one agency to the next, so you must always read the license agreement carefully beforehand, to make sure your intended use is covered.
    Hope this helps!

  17. Hi David, sadly I can’t answer this for you. I know for a fact you can publish your website design to your own domain with a Canva Pro subscription; I am not certain if it’s possible to do it with a free trial. I suggest you contact Canva representatives directly as they are the only qualified to give you an answer and guiding you through the necessary steps.

  18. Hi Haley, indeed, if you use a design made on Canva with an image provided by Canva, in a blog post, this constitutes one use. If you would want to ever use that design/that image in another blog post, or in any other placement, you’d need to re-download it again from the Canva website.
    Hope this helps!

  19. Hello Vaisakh, “data licensing” refers to the possibility of using the images to train AI models. Since this year, Shutterstock is developing AI photo tools (like an AI image generator) and they also have partnerships with AI developing companies. They have a Contributor Fund, a program where you get monetary compensation for every time your work is used in AI training or AI image generation at Shutterstock. We are not Shutterstock representatives so this answer is for orientation only and you would need to contact them directly to confirm, but it would seem that your image(s) might not be approved for the stock photo catalog, but they were approved for AI training and you might need to decide whether you want to agree to that usage or not.
    Hope this helps!

  20. Hi Carol, that message means that your image was approved to be used in datasets to train AI models developed by Shutterstock. This also implies you would be entering the new Contributor Fund, a program that compensates artists for the use of their work in AI training and AI image generation.
    Hope this helps!

  21. Hi Rose, yes, Royalty Free images generally can be used to illustrate books and eBooks, under a series of usage terms. Depending on where you buy them, you will have to read the license to see what the particular terms are. Keep in mind we are not lawyers and we don’t work for stock photo agencies, so this information is for orientation only.
    Hope this helps!

  22. Hi Joseph, Shutterstock periodically shares the type of images that are in demand, on their “Shot List” that you can check here.
    Hope this helps!

  23. Hi Darnell, I’ll answer this by parts.
    1. Google does NOT license images, they cannot do it because they don’t own it. Google merely aggregates images to their search engine, and the “usage rights” tab helps you identify whether the image you are looking at is copyrighted or not, and in case it is, what kind of licenses are available to use it. So, Google isn’t really giving you options for license, they’re just showing you what licenses is possible to get –from an authorized source– for said image. This is very important.
    2. You are correct in that a Creative Commons license is essentially a permission issued by the copyright owner granting an end user rights to use their work for free. However, there are a variety of Creative Commons licenses and not all of them allow the kind of use you intend (which is commercial use in products for resale).
    3. You can never “copy and paste” nor “right-click download” an image from the web onto a design/product of yours. Copying and pasting isn’t licensing. In order to legally and safely use someone else’s image that you found online (be it for free or paid) you need to use the download button at the source website’s image page. A license is commonly issued automatically with your download, and it becomes your proof of licensing.
    4. Creative Commons licenses –or other forms of free-use licenses– are not a very safe choice when your intended use is commercial. Unless you are downloading from the artist’s verified, personal website, it is almost impossible to certify that a) the person who put the image under creative commons is the actual copyright owner, b) if the image depicts recognizable people, it’s equally difficult to verify that they’ve signed model releases. If any of those conditions isn’t true, the license is invalid and you as a user would be liable.
    We always recommend acquiring royalty free licenses for commercial use, in this case you would need an extended license. But if you want to use Creative Commons (or other forms of free-use licenses) make sure to do your due diligence regarding the image and license background before using.
    Hope this helps! PS: Check out the extended license offer at here!

  24. Hi Marcos, do you refer to migrating images from your contributor portfolio at one agency, to upload to another agency? If so, there are software solutions to batch-upload and batch-process image submissions to multiple agencies at once, such as StockSubmitter for example, but I am not aware if any of them can sync an existing portfolio and migrate images.

  25. Hi Bobbi. First of all I clarify we are not Canva representatives so my answer is for orientation only. The Canva license is a single-use license. This means each image license covers only one design and use. If you wish to use the same image in a different design for a different purpose, you need to re-download it to acquire a new license for that new use. So in your case you would need separate licenses for the book cover design and for each book page design you use. We recommend that you reach out to a Canva representative directly so you can verify this with them to be sure. Hope this helps!

  26. Hi Carrie, as our article says, the EyeEm platform is still very much online and working properly, so your images are not at risk of being deleted at this time. We suggest you contact the EyeEm help center and see if they can assist you with a way to safely download and store your photos (a cloud service, for example). Hope this helps!

  27. Hi Regan, for this question we recommend you contact Shutterstock directly. Because this type of use could fall under the label of “derivative work” and thus not be covered by their licenses, but that depends on different factors. So it’s best you contact them and explain exactly how you plan to use the image in your painting, so they can confirm if it’s possible and which license you need in that case.

  28. Hi Chris. Usually, this is possible, yes, but most agencies only cover print-on-demand uses through API, not regular subscriptions. Hence, you need to verify this with your agency of choice directly. The license that applies is still Royalty Free, though.
    Hope this helps!

  29. Hi Rand, if you mean that you want to stop your Canva free trial, we cannot help you with that. We are not Canva representatives. You can stop your free trial by canceling your plan in your user account on the Canva website. But if you have trouble doing this, you must contact Canva directly and ask for help.

  30. Hi Peter, yes, some AI photo tools do this. In the article here, we mentioned that DALL-E 2 has a feature to create variations of a given image –which sounds like what you want– and it can also make edits to a photo based on written instructions. Hope this helps!

  31. Thank you for your opinion. It is true that their paid subscriptions are very low-priced and accessible for lots of users.

  32. Hi Jan, first of all, we are not Shutterstock representatives nor lawyers, so our answers are for orientation only. That said, if the hotel companies are your clients, then the Standard license should cover the use on web designs for said clients. Do keep in mind, though, that you would be the owner of the usage rights for the photos, not the hotels. If they wish to use the images from their websites in other designs, they’d need to either commission the design from you or buy their own license. We recommend you contact Shutterstock directly to verify which license you need.
    Hope this helps!

  33. Hi Susan, if the image you want is in Shutterstock’s Offset collection (premium) then yes, it’s possible to buy just one image. Otherwise, the minimum is two images for $29.
    Hope this helps.

  34. Hi Malcolm, we are not Shutterstock representatives, and this is a question better suited for them, as depending on each individual case, this could be considered derivative work (and not covered by Shutterstock licenses) or be accepted. We recommend you contact Shutterstock directly to verify that you can use their photos this way, and which license applies in case you do.

  35. Hi there, we are not iStock representatives. You should be able to cancel the trial on your user account by going to “Subscriptions,” selecting the active plan, and clicking on cancel. However, if this isn’t working for you, you can always contact iStock directly and request your account to be deactivated.
    Hope this helps.

  36. Hi there. Here you can see our list of AI photo tools including image editors that can perform your desired task. Hope this helps.

  37. Hi Noel, royalty-free licenses are a one-time payment type of deal. Once you download an image under a royalty-free license, it is yours to use forever (within the usage terms). This is regardless of whether you bought it on-demand or with a subscription (subscriptions are plans with monthly or annual recurrent fees, but said fee is for the right to download a new batch of images every period, not an ongoing payment for already-bought pictures).
    Depending on the agency, they might have different limitations regarding the usage of downloaded photos once your subscription ends. Still, in general lines, you never have to pay again for a royalty-free image that you already put to use.
    Hope this helps!

  38. Hi Damiano. According to the company, Shutterstock currently has around 2 million contributors worldwide. The last report on the total number of files downloaded is from 2018, when they surpassed the 1 Billion downloads mark. Considering their annual growth, one could educatedly guess it must be at least 2x-3x that number at this point.
    If you’re interested in more metrics about the agency, you might like to read our Shutterstock Statistics report.

  39. Hi Jyoti, first of all, we are not Shutterstock and we are not lawyers, so our answers are for orientation only. That said, the uses you describe might require different licenses. For example, a standard license from Shutterstock would cover using the image on your website and recipe cards, but to use the photo in your product labels you might need an Enhanced license. I recommend you contact Shutterstock directly so they can tell you which license you need in those cases.
    As per your second question, you do NOT get exclusive usage rights over any image you buy at Shutterstock. They’re all royalty-free and non-exclusive. This means you can buy an image and use it, but so can everyone else.
    Hope this helps!

  40. Hi Jo, our extended Canva Pro Free Trial is for new users only. You would need to create a new account in order to activate this trial, meaning your previous designs would not be migrated (but they wouldn’t be lost either, they’d remain in your current account). Hope this helps.

  41. Hi Nelly, I am not quite sure what you mean by “empathic understanding” of using Shutterstock photos. Do you feel we did not cover the buyer’s needs fully with our explanation of the license options? I’ll be happy to assist, but I need more clarification on what information you are missing.

  42. Hi Igor, thank you for your opinion. While it can be “simpler” to buy images by the unit when you need only a small amount, the credits/download packs or subscription buying methods offer a way to save money, as they both cut the individual image price down and get more photos for the same price. Both of which are desirable for a lot of buyers.
    If you need 4 images, buying them individually would cost you, let’s say, $15 each, so $60 total. If you buy a pack of 5 images for $45, you’re paying $9 per image, saving yourself 15 bucks AND getting one more image simultaneously. With a subscription, the savings are more significant. (This example is made up, the prices don’t necessarily correspond to any particular agency).
    It is not ideal for everyone, that’s for sure. But those are the main benefits of the system for buyers.
    Thanks again for your comment!

  43. Hi Melody, this question comes up a lot, and it doesn’t have a simple answer. First of all, we are not Shutterstock representatives and we are not lawyers, so our answers are for orientation only.
    Depending on how much you use the photo for reference, this could be considered derivative work or not, and be or be not covered by the Shutterstock license. Our best advice is to contact a Shutterstock representative directly, as they’re the only ones who can tell you whether your intended use is accepted or not.

  44. Hi Anne, first of all, I remind you that we are not Canva representatives, so this answer is for orientation only. We recommend you to contact Canva directly to verify this. Onto your first question, the Canva Pro license is perpetual so once you use the photos or template in a published design, it is yours forever, meaning you will continue to have those designs available even after your subscription ends. Do keep in mind, you will not be able to re-use that Canva content in any other designs (that would require a new license).
    As for the second question, it is our understanding that you are allowed to modify all aspects of templates and images as much as you like –complying with the license terms–. In fact, if you use the images “as is” there are more restrictions than if you alter them. So, resizing, recoloring and changing fonts, all should be perfectly acceptable edits to Canva images.
    Hope this helps!

  45. Hi Christine. We are not Shutterstock representatives, so this answer is for orientation only; you need to contact Shutterstock directly to verify. But the Shutterstock standard license enables using the images in books and other publications, up to 500,000 copies. Images under a Standard license can cost between $0.26 and $9.80 each, depending on the buying method and volume you buy –the lowest prices, under a dollar per image, are with the large subscription plans–.
    If you require more than 500,000 copies, you need an Enhanced license granting you unlimited copies. Those come at a higher price point, between $68 and $99.50 per image, again depending on how many you buy in advance.
    Hope this helps!

  46. Hi Adam, thank you for this interesting question. Straight off the bat, we are not lawyers or representatives for other stock photo agencies, so this answer is for orientation only. But at most stock photo sites, a license owned by a franchisor isn’t extended to all franchisees, no. In most cases, each franchisee would need to buy their own individual license. It might be possible to contact a stock photo agency directly and negotiate a custom license that covers franchisees, but that depends entirely on the agency.
    Hope this helps!

  47. Hi Dan, the way to reach a Shutterstock representative is to use the direct contact channels on Shutterstock’s website. They have a live chat, a phone line, and an email inbox.
    Hope this helps.

  48. Hi Phil, we are not Shutterstock representatives nor lawyers; our answer is based on our knowledge of the industry and the agencies’ licenses. Still, we can tell you that Shutterstock does NOT allow the use of any of their celebrity photos for commercial use (such as t-shirts for sale would be).
    Images of famous people on Shutterstock are under a strict Editorial Use Only license and can only be used to illustrate news and other editorial content. Furthermore, most stock photo sites do the same. Famous people hardly ever sign model releases authorizing the indiscriminate use of their likeness for commercial gain, so it’s almost impossible to find such images under commercial-use license, anywhere.
    Of course, you should contact Shutterstock directly to get their official answer.
    Hope this helps!

  49. Hi Matin, if you license the image, your client will only be able to use it the way you deliver it (as part of the website design for them) and could never use it in any other way. If the client buys the license, then they’d be able to use the image in as many designs and ways as they wish –within the license terms–, so that might be more beneficial.
    However, keep in mind we are not Shutterstock representatives so if you have doubts we suggest you contact Shutterstock directly and verify with them.
    Hope this helps!

  50. Hi Kyri, we cannot recommend a specific website, but what you have sounds like editorial-use-only images of an actress, there are multiple stock photo sites that have editorial collections (such as Shutterstock, Getty Images, Adobe Stock, and more) that you can check to see if they take submissions for this kind of material, if they would be interested in your collection and whether your images pass their review process.
    Hope this helps.

  51. Hi Martin, an Extended License normally does not involve the selling of copyright. Even if you license an image under Extended license, said image still belongs to you. Unless you include exclusive usage rights in your license –the royalty-free extended license at most agencies doesn’t include this– you are free to continue licensing the image to other customers, be it digitally or physically. However, it is all down to the licensing terms, so always make sure to read those carefully before agreeing to license your image under it.
    Hope this helps!

  52. Hi Šimon, obligatory disclaimer that we are not iStock representatives, our answer is for orientation only. But, it is our understanding that you get to keep and use the images downloaded during your active subscription, as long as you’ve used them in a design at the time. However, we encourage you to check iStock’s FAQ as it’s very complete in addressing such licensing questions, and you may also contact iStock directly to clarify this matter.
    Hope this helps!

  53. Hi Shivali, the Shutterstock Standard license covers the use of images in social media, and you are not required to credit Shutterstock or the artist. However, you cannot in any way imply that the image(s) are yours or that you created them. That is not allowed with Standard nor Enhanced licenses. I recommend you contact Shutterstock directly to make sure you get the right license for your purposes.
    Hope this helps!

  54. Hi Lucas, we are not Shutterstock representatives nor lawyers, so my answer is for orientation only. You should be able to use Shutterstock photos in a book, keeping in mind print run limits: A Standard license covers only up to 500,000 copies, for more than that, you need an Enhanced license which covers an unlimited number of copies. However, I recommend you contact Shutterstock directly to verify your intended use and which license would serve you best.
    Hope this helps!

  55. Hi Fauvian, we are not Canva representatives so my answer is for orientation only. But as long as you have made changes to the image (no matter how small) and it’s a design downloaded from Canva (not just an image but a design containing it), your intended use should be covered. I recommend you contact Canva directly to verify, though, as it’s the safest option.
    Hope this helps!

  56. Hi KAJ, if you are intending to sell these stamps and paper collections then yes, an Enhanced license would be required. But we are not Shutterstock representatives so always consult with them directly to verify about which license you need.
    Hope this helps!

  57. Hi Bill. Do you refer to the “Services and other” segment that is itemized in the revenue table and the cost of revenue table? If so, that refers to different customer success-oriented services that Adobe provides across the board, and include expert consultation, technical support, customer account management, and more.
    Hope this helps.

  58. Hi Cecilie, you would need to verify directly at the agency you are using, as licensing agreements can vary from one company to the next. However, in general lines, if you are the one purchasing and downloading the photos, then the licenses (the rights) are being used under your name, not your client’s. If you then use the images in the book cover designs and send them that design, they do get the right to use the design (this is covered under client work), but they do not own the rights to use the image alone –outside of that cover design–. And if you’re using Royalty Free images, almost none of them allow you to transfer the license, so your client is very likely not holding any rights over these pictures. They should be buying the licenses themselves. Obligatory disclaimer: we are not lawyers and we do not represent other stock photo agencies, so you would need to contact the company you got the images from and verify with them.
    Hope this helps!

  59. Hi Jerry, we are not Shutterstock representatives nor attorneys, so my answer is for orientation only. Is the Humanist Society involved in the production of these videos, or did they send you the photos as a courtesy? This one is a bit tricky because if your client is the local authority, then they would need to purchase a license for those photos, yes. If your client is the Humanist society and they already have licenses for those images, that should be fine. I strongly suggest you contact Shutterstock directly to verify. Everything else you got it right: you are covered to use the images in the making of the videos, but you won’t own any rights over them and must delete them from your devices once you submit the project to your client(s).
    Hope this helps!

  60. Hi Michelle,

    Obligatory disclaimer that we are not lawyers and we don’t represent other stock photo agencies. That said, what you describe would fall within the description of client work and would be covered by a Standard license at most stock photo agencies. Of course, you need to read the license agreement of the agency you choose before downloading, to verify this is the case (and contact them directly if you need clarification). But as long as you take the steps you detailed about protecting the original photos and informing the client of the limitations in which they can use the video, this should be ok. As a side note, make sure to verify the agency you are using covers YouTube usage, and what terms they have for such use. For example, Shutterstock has a budget limitation for YouTube video use, and Adobe Stock has a viewer cap.
    As for your last question, Shutterstock’s Standard license is royalty-free, so yes, you can use the same image in more than one project, for more than one client, with the same one license (and without having to pay anything extra). What you need to know is that the coverage of client work is “one project for one client”. If you plan to sell the exact same video or design to multiple clients, then you need to verify with the agency directly as that might be considered product for resale and require an Extended license.
    Hope this helps!

  61. Hi Alan, thank you for sharing your experience so far, it’s very valuable info. The effort vs reward analysis is a very personal one, and that’s something we mention in our guide regarding deciding whether it’s worth it or not for each individual artist, and we understand the current earnings from only one agency might not justify the work it takes for you. This is also why a lot of contributors submit to several agencies simultaneously, as the pooled earnings can, optimistically, make it more worthwhile than those of only one site. But again, that’s a personal choice to make. Thanks again for sharing!

  62. Hi C, thank you for your comment. We will make a correction to our real-life example in the article. In our expert’s opinion, the hats can potentially fall under Enhanced license even if they’re free, due to being considered “merchandise” regardless, but flyers and brochures are usually covered by Standard license as far as we are aware. We will seek more clarification about this specific point if possible. This is why we always recommend contacting Shutterstock directly as licensing terms can be somewhat ambiguous and only the agency has the last word, so it’s great that you did just that. Thanks again 🙂

  63. HI Cleonna, I firstly state that we are not Canva and we do not speak for the company so my answer is for orientation only. That said, yes, you get to keep and use any designs you made with Canva Pro during your free trial. What you will not be able to do is to re-download any designs/premium content for free (you would need to pay for them). I recommend you contact Canva directly to verify this, for your own peace of mind.
    Hope this helps!

  64. Hi Bourouba, if your intention is to have a middleman company handling the licensing process for you, obviously any of the agencies we listed in our article will work. Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock and Getty Images are all highly professional companies, and once you’re accepted as a contributor you can easily build a portfolio and send the link to potential customers; the agencies handle/automate the whole buying process and cut a share of the sale price, you don’t have to do anything else. However, a few things to highlight:
    -If you’re looking at making more money per sale of your images, then your best bet is Getty Images: the % you get per sale is higher here because their prices are higher too. Qualifying as a contributor for Getty Images can be harder to do than for the other agencies, though.
    -At microstock agencies such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock or iStock, you’ll make a lot less per sale (sometimes a sale only earns you a few cents), but you can potentially sell more (because of the low prices that attract more customers). This is a volume-based business.
    -If you only want your photos to be used by organizations that care about nature as much as you do, then you would need to either continue managing licenses personally or find a tailored or niche agency solution. At Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock or Getty Images (and at virtually any other stock photo site) your images can be downloaded and used by anyone. There are use terms they have to abide by, of course, that protect the integrity of your work. But you cannot filter or reject buyers.
    Hope this helps!

  65. Hi Abbey, if I understand correctly, you will design a brochure (using Shutterstock images in the design), for a client, and your client will print that brochure and hand it out to its prospective customers. If this is the case, you are fine with a standard license from Shutterstock, keeping in mind it has a print run limit of 500,000 copies (you would need an Enhanced license if you were to exceed that number of copies).
    The only thing you and your client need to know is that you will be the owner of the images’ licenses. Your client will only own the design you created for their brochure and will only be able to use said design. Your client CAN NOT use the images from that brochure for any other design unless they go and buy a license from Shutterstock themselves.
    However, we are not Shutterstock representatives so I recommend you to get in touch with the agency directly to get their official response on this matter before using the images, for your peace of mind.
    Hope this helps!

  66. Hi there. We are not Shutterstock, so we strongly advise you to verify this and any other licensing inquiry with them directly, our answers are for orientation only.
    That said, the image you linked appears to be available for an Enhanced license, which is the type of license you need for using it on commercial products. So providing you buy it under an Enhanced license, you should be able to use it in your intended way.
    Again, please verify this with the agency before downloading, for your peace of mind.
    Hope this helps!

  67. Hi David, by fashion runway/lookbook image, do you refer to a royalty-free image or an editorial image from an actual runway show? Because a royalty-free image is suitable for magazine use (including covers) in most cases –you would only need to verify the print run limit if using a standard license– and allow for all kinds of edits. But editorial images licensed through stock photo sites cannot be heavily edited, and the editorial license sometimes doesn’t allow for cover art use, but for illustrative use only.
    So if you’re interested in an editorial image, you would need to contact the agency that has it and ask them directly about whether you can use it on your cover and edit the background, and what license would you need in that case.
    Hope this helps!

  68. Hi TJ, obligatory note that we are not Shutterstock representatives so this answer is for orientation only, and we recommend you contact Shutterstock directly to verify this info. Upon review and advice from our resident licensing expert, I am told that yes, you very likely can sell prints of unedited images with an Enhanced license. Again, it’s always best to verify with the agency directly.
    Hope this helps!

  69. Hi Kait, as we are not Canva representatives, my best advice is for you to contact Canva directly and verify this with them. But, from the best of my knowledge, the only way to legally use Canva content (Pro or free) is to download a design from the image editor. As long as you select an image, put it on the editor’s canvas, and perform any kind of edits on it (be it cropping, adding a filter, or text, etc.), and then export it using the download button, this should constitute a Canva design and comply with the license terms. Again, please check with Canva directly to make sure you’re in the clear with your intended use.
    Hope this helps!

  70. Hi Lisa, the Canva Pro license is perpetual, this means the license for photos you downloaded and used in a design while your plan was still active, is still valid even after your plan ends. You may continue using those photos in your ebook and print copies according to the license agreement terms, just remember three things:
    1. You cannot use those photos in any new designs. To do that, you would need to re-download the images from Canva directly (and pay for them again).
    2. If you are using the images as stand-alone in the ebook, the pixel count limitation from Canva’s terms still applies.
    3. Any images you downloaded within your plan but did not use in a design at the time of cancellation of your subscription, are voided. You cannot use those images if your plan is not active, and you must delete the files.

    Hope this helps!

  71. Hi Matt, this is a very interesting point, thank you for bringing it up. We expanded a bit on this subject in our recent news coverage of the opening of DALL-E 2 to the public which you can read here.
    The truth is that right now the whole legal frame for selling AI images in stock agencies is in its infancy, a lot of details are still being ironed out. DALL-E 2 specifically grants full copyright and commercial usage rights to users, for example, but whether stock photo agencies will immediately accept AI-generated visuals from contributors on their platforms is not clearly defined yet.
    They’re certainly taking steps in that direction, but the issue is more complicated than it might seem at first glance: copyright issues regarding the images used to train the AI software, biometric data of people whose likeness was used in the training, potential plagiarism allegations from AI-generated images that resemble existing, non-AI work, are just some of the factors that are still slightly problematic. vAIsual, a company we mention in our article, have a very well-round service precisely because they’ve taken most of those things into consideration every step of the way.
    Nevertheless, it’s exciting to see this unfold and see what solutions the stock media industry will adopt!

  72. Hi Eleanor, the specifics of image attribution can vary from one agency to the other, so you need to read the license agreement of the stock photo you intend to use (this information is commonly included in their terms), and even better contact the agency directly to verify. But in general terms, stock photo agencies require that you cite the agency and the author of the image. Please remember that to use a royalty-free image in a book introduction you need to have a valid license for said image.
    Hope this helps!

  73. Hi BK,

    According to Shutterstock’s license agreement, in the Restrictions segment (see point #3 in our guide above), point 1.2.i says you cannot in any way make it seem like the content is yours. Adding to that, the point 1.5 (Credit and copyright notices) establishes in point 1.5.a that: “The use of Images and Video in connection with news reporting, commentary, publishing, or any other “editorial” context, shall be accompanied by an adjacent credit to the Shutterstock contributor and to Shutterstock in substantially the following form: “Name of Artist/”” – So yes, you are required to include attribution in the photo, in the detailed format.
    If your report only contains images from Shutterstock, it is often possible to simply include one general photo attribution for all images, in the credits section of your report. But you need to verify this with Shutterstock directly.
    Hope this helps!

  74. Hi Georgina, what you describe would fall under the label of derivative work, and the Shutterstock license does not allow for this kind of use, neither on its Standard nor Extended license. Furthermore, there is an explicit prohibition to infringe on the image artist’s copyright, trademark, and other individual rights. This is why using stock photos as a reference for artwork is usually not permitted.
    However, Shutterstock does encourage you to contact their Customer Service if the rights you need are not listed on their license agreement, and we suggest you reach out to a Shutterstock representative directly to verify whether they have a license option suitable for your needs. But do not proceed with your intended use without confirming with the agency.
    Hope this helps!

  75. Hi David, could you be more specific? Do you mean that you wish to cancel your Shutterstock subscription? If so, you can do it directly on your account settings on their website. Keep in mind that all images you download and have already used in a design, are yours to use forever even after canceling your subscription. Hope this helps.

  76. Hi Nicole. That is a very good question. All images you use have to be part of a design made with Canva, the license doesn’t allow standalone uses of images.
    Do keep in mind, that a design doesn’t have to have a lot of design elements – even adding a filter or a small logo, a colorful border, etc., would suffice. As long as you created it on the Canva Editor and exported it/published it from there, you will be covered.
    Disclaimer: We are not Canva representatives or lawyers, this answer is for information only. We encourage you to contact Canva directly to verify the info.
    Hope this helps!

  77. Hi Donna, before I answer, an obligatory disclaimer that we are not Shutterstock agents nor lawyers, so this is for information only and I encourage you to verify this with Shutterstock directly. That said, as explained in section #2 of our guide, the Standard License terms in Shutterstock cover print uses including magazines and books, up to 500,000 copies.
    I understand the resale issue is probably where you become dubious. But, if you refer to section #4 of our guide, the Enhanced License is only required when the images are to be integrated into merchandise, but publications do not fall under this criteria.
    Every time the images in your book are there to add value, but are NOT the value in themselves, and provided you don’t exceed the 500,000 copies, we think a Standard License would suffice. Again, you should definitely verify this with Shutterstock before using the photos.
    Hope this helps!

  78. Hi Andy. All Shutterstock images are high resolution, you usually get to pick between two or three available sizes (we recommend always selecting the largest size available since there is no added cost and it’s a lot more flexible for design). Said largest size is suitable for large format printing, at 300 DPI, so you shouldn’t have problems printing in your desired dimensions. However, we recommend you check with a Shutterstock representative directly before buying, to make sure. Hope this helps!

  79. Hi Manny, since we are NOT Shutterstock representatives, answering your question is a bit complicated. While their license does allow you to alter the images, there are limitations and considerations related to how much you can alter them. Additionally, while their Enhanced license authorizes the use of images in products for resale (and your art pieces would fall in this category), they also have restrictions regarding selling digital imagery based on their content. We are not able to answer this concisely for you, so we highly recommend you to contact Shutterstock directly and clarify with them, before downloading or using any of their images in this way.

  80. Hello, not sure exactly what you mean. This is a news article from 2013, which reported on Shutterstock’s official announcement of surpassing $150M in contributor payouts (you can see the press release right here).
    At the time of this announcement, Shutterstock had been in business for 10 years. What Amos did was a simple breakdown of those numbers that meant an average of $15M in contributor payouts per year.
    Shutterstock’s latest announcement in terms of contributor earnings milestones is from 2019 when they reported having reached $1 Billion in contributor earnings.
    Hope this clears it up for you!

  81. Hi Yusuf,

    Thank you and that’s a very good question. I think the industry always has room for new players and as long as you have a solid plan and are willing to put in the effort and the investment, you have a shot. That said, there is more opportunity for niche agencies with a unique offer.
    As a matter of fact, our team leader and founder, Amos Struck, will be discussing precisely this topic and sharing his strategies for smaller companies to thrive in the stock photo industry, in the upcoming CEPIC 2022 Roundtable, if you have an interest in this and the possibility, I recommend that you attend! 🙂

  82. Hi Jeanne, we are not Canva and we don’t represent them so I strongly advise you to verify this with Canva directly. But, for information purposes only and from our interpretation of their license, that point you mention refers to the images as standalone (this is, just the stock photo/stock graphic element from Canva library), not to a design created using Canva/Canva elements. You cannot ever make a stock photo obtained through Canva available for others to download or share as is. I don’t have the particulars about whether you can sell designs containing Canva content on Etsy (this you will need to check with Canva directly, as I mentioned), but as far as I understand you can use the Canva editor to create designs for sale. Hope this helps a bit!

  83. Hi Sarika, per Shutterstock’s license terms, you are not ever required to disclose the license number, but you are required to credit Shutterstock for the images, in a clear and legible font. For Standard Royalty-Free License, the credit suggested is “Name of Artist/”. And for Editorial Only License, the form of attribution should be “Name of Artist / Agency / Shutterstock”. Hope this helps!

  84. Hi Maggie, do you mean how to access the Canva license terms? If so, you can access it by clicking right here. Hope it helps!

  85. Hi Natalie, according to Shutterstock’s score system, “high usage” is the term that indicates the image has been downloaded more times (thus, presumably used more). Hope this helps!

  86. Hi Meg, very good question. If you check the image in section #2 of our guide above, you’ll see that point 2 of Shutterstock’s Standard License mentions that physical prints are limited to 500,000 reproductions “in the aggregate”. So this print run limit applies to the image as a whole, no matter how many designs you’re using it. To answer your question, yes, you need to keep track of the number of prints you make, over time. If in the future you need to surpass the 500,000 copies limit, you can always re-license the image (i.e. re-download it from Shutterstock) under Standard, or upgrade to an Enhanced license (which grants unlimited downloads among other usage rights) if you see it fit. Mind you, we are not Shutterstock representatives, so you might be better off contacting them directly to verify the information. Hope this helps!

  87. HI there, Getty Images is a very prestigious agency and they specialize in exclusive, high-end, and hard-to-get imagery. Their prices reflect that, but they’re certainly not for every budget, that is true. The $475 per image rate is the highest, for one single large-sized photo (4K and HD videos cost the same), and it goes for less if you buy a bundle. There are cheaper prices available –for example, a small web-sized image goes for $150-$175–. That said, there are a lot of much more affordable options out there, including iStock which is under the Getty umbrella and has great quality images for as little as $0.22 each (bear in mind these are non-exclusive stock images). Hope this helps!

  88. Hi Anjali, we are not Canva representatives so my answer is for orientation only, you will need to contact Canva directly to verify this and I advise you to do so. But to answer your question, the pixel count limit in online publications refers specifically to unedited images, that is, using a photo exactly as it was downloaded from Canva. If you create a design in Canva using several stock images, that would imply the images have been edited by you, and thus the pixel count limitation would not apply. Even if you use only one image, as long as it’s been edited/customized, that limitation is removed. Hope this helps!

  89. Hi Phan, I’m glad our article is helpful for you! Regarding your question, the use you’re describing is covered by Shutterstock Standard License. Just keep in mind that: your client can only use your design in their social media channels (they cannot use the vector element from Shutterstock alone, as they do not have a license for it). However, we are not Shutterstock representatives so we advise you to verify with them directly. Hope this helps!

  90. Hi, obligatory disclaimer that we are not Shutterstock representatives, so you would need to contact Shutterstock directly to verify about this. My answer is orientative only. That said, the Editorial license at Shutterstock is a one-use-only license. Meaning you can only use it once, in connection with one medium. So you would need to re-license the image every time you want to use it in a new blog post. However, their terms also include that you are allowed to re-use an Editorial image as long as it is contextually related to your initial use –for example, if you use an image in a news post about Microsoft, you could then re-use the same image in a social media post where you promote your article–. Hope this helps!

  91. Hi Sheryl, I can only offer you an orientative answer on this. I think you would need an Extended license because what you intend is to use the images in products for resale. However, the nature of your product (tarot-like cards) could potentially fall under the sensitive use clause that most licenses have that would not allow you to use the images for this. So, my advice is to contact the stock agency(s) directly to ask if your intended use is accepted by their terms and to verify that an Extended license would suffice. Hope this helps!

  92. Hi Carla, very good question. First of all, the obligatory disclaimer that we are not Shutterstock representatives, so my answer is for orientation only and you would need to verify with Shutterstock directly in any case. That said, as of right now according to Shutterstock’s terms you can keep and use all the images you download within your subscription forever, even after said subscription ends. About cancellation fees, if you hire the month-to-month plan there isn’t any penalty, you can hire it for just one month at no extra cost. Do keep two things: 1) The auto-renew option is selected by default, so you must make sure to unselect and save the changes in your account settings within the month, to avoid being charged for a subsequent one. And 2) Your allotted downloads are available for that month alone and while the subscription is active, any downloads you haven’t used by the time your plan is up will be forfeited.
    Hope this helps 🙂

  93. Hi John, we address your questions and more details on where and how to sell images in our Honest Guide to Selling Photos Online. We recommend you check it out, and if you have further questions, feel free to ask them in a comment in that section, if it’s in our knowledge, we’re always happy to help.

  94. Hi Jolene, it is possible to use stock photos in t-shirt prints to sell, for that you need an Extended License. These licenses come at higher price points than the regular ones, but give you the right to use images in products for resale (such as the t-shirts), among other added usage rights.

    Hope this helps!

  95. Hi Michael, each agency has its own submission guidelines which include resolution requirements, where what matters the most is to meet the minimum size required for high res download. The minimum is usually 4 megapixels (mp) which translates into 2000×2000 px, but the industry standard of desirable size is around 15 mp. Your files at 6000×4000 are 24 mp so, more than okay to submit.

    A good practice to determine image size is to zoom them into 100% and check that the edges and details of the main subjects are perfectly sharp. If there’s any softness at 100% zoom, then consider reducing the dimension some.

    DPI doesn’t factor in, all agencies care about is pixel count.

    Hope this helps!

  96. Hi Mark, a watermark is an effective way to protect your intellectual property indeed, and you can also include a copyright disclaimer at the foot of every image published. Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer and you would need to verify this with an attorney, but that as long as you are the legal copyright owner of these images, you will always have ways to enforce that copyright to be respected. Today, for example, there are many advanced image recognition and image tracking services you can use to police where and how your content is being used. So if someone would use your images without authorization, you could identify this illegal use and send a DMCA takedown notice or otherwise initiate legal actions. I hope this helps!

  97. We’re glad you found our Shutterstock Free Trial useful, Sandra!

  98. Hi, Ron. Thank you for your comment. You are very right, Canva Pro’s current pricing is $12.99/month or $119.99/year. Our article is not old, it was actually updated at the end of August 2021 to reflect a temporary price-cut in Canva memberships. As you sharply pointed out, the plans are now back to regular pricing. We have updated our article to reflect this, and we thank you for pointing it out to us.

  99. Hi Emma, we are very glad to know our extended Canva Free Trial was useful for you!

  100. Hi Derek, that is subject to designer’s preferences and PDF is a perfectly acceptable format for graphics. But generally speaking, EPS format is better for editing.

  101. Hi Francisco,

    We are not Shutterstock (the source of the video you posted), and besides that, unfortunately, we don’t know who this model is. I believe a better way to find him would be to contact the contributor (the artist that created this video) directly and ask. Or perhaps running an image search with his face on Google. Hope this helps a bit!

  102. Hi Lucy,

    Clarifying first that we are not Shutterstock representatives, it is my understanding that you could use a Shutterstock image for this purpose, providing you make less than 500,000 copies. This is the stipulation on point a.2. of their Standard license agreement” “Printed in physical form as part of product packaging and labeling, (…) CD and DVD cover art, or in the advertising and copy of tangible media, (…) provided no Image is reproduced more than 500,000 times in the aggregate”; all images downloaded during your free trial period are under Standard license. I advise verifying with Shutterstock directly for your peace of mind, though.
    Hope this helps!

  103. Hi Janet, it is my understanding that using a stock image to create a painting would be considered a copy of the image and thus, not allowed by any license as it would infringe the image author’s copyright.
    However, we are not Shutterstock representatives, so I advise you to contact Shutterstock directly to verify whether you can or cannot use their photos this way.

  104. Hi John, Adobe (and most stock agencies for the matter) have policies against stockpiling, meaning they put a deadline to when you can use images you downloaded from their site after your subscription ends. Each agency has its own limit, but it is usually not very long around 30-60 days. After that, the license for images you haven’t yet used is considered invalid. If your intention is to download images to use them later on, this deadline gets in your way.
    So, I would advise contacting Adobe Stock directly to find out what their deadline for unused images is, and based on that information see if a one-month subscription is worth your while.
    Hope this helps!

  105. Hi Nainesh, We are not Adobe representatives, so we are in no position to quote custom prices for their service. If the offers listed in our article do not meet your needs, you can always contact a representative on Adobe Creative Cloud’s website. Their customer support service is top quality, so don’t hesitate to discuss your specific needs with them.

  106. Hi Patti,

    What you describe is considered a reproduction of copyrighted images, and it’s prohibited by most stock photo agencies’ licensing terms. Meaning you cannot use drawings based on stock photos, even if you buy a license. There are some agencies that might allow it upon agreement, so in that case, you should contact the agencies directly.

  107. Hi Wendy,

    You will need to verify this with a Shutterstock representative directly. It is my understanding that you cannot use a Shutterstock image as part of a painting, any more than you can use it as part of a logo. These are copyrighted images and you cannot claim them as your own, thus you could not claim a painting that contains a Shutterstock image as your own, original work, be it for exhibition or for sale. I am under the impression that Enhanced License doesn’t cover this.
    However, we at Stock Photo Secrets aren’t lawyers and we do not represent Shutterstock, so again, please verify this with them directly.

  108. Hi Anna, as long as the images are a small part of the manual (for illustration purposes, for example) and not the core value in it, and also as long as the manual itself is not sold, then Standard License should suit you –keeping in mind the 500,000 print run limit. We have a dedicated article on Shutterstock License explained that you might find useful:
    Please keep in mind our articles and my comment are for guidance only, to be 100% certain you’re using the right license, you must contact Shutterstock directly and ask for confirmation.
    I hope this helps you!

  109. Hi Jacob, we’re very glad you found our article and real-life examples useful!

  110. Hi Steven. Firstly, in Adobe Stock “assets” refers to media files. A “Standard asset” does equal a Standard image indeed.
    The price of Standard images with subscriptions (the only type of assets you can download with these plans) ranges between $0.26 and $9.99 each. Our article focuses on these as they are the best prices, and we display them on tables to make them easier to identify 🙂
    If you use credits for Standard images, 1 image = 1 credit. That would be $8 – $9.99 per image depending on what size of credit pack you use.
    All this info is properly displayed on Adobe Stock throughout the buying process, as well as on their pricing page. In the case of Standard images, you must do a little calculation if you wish to know the price per unit because they no longer sell them individually, but the info is there.
    Lastly, the price of the assets does vary but depending on their status and value: Premium images, Premium 3D designs, Stock Video, Extended License and Editorial License have different price points than Standard images (they cost more). These can only be bought on demand, be it one by one or with credits.
    I hope to have helped clarify this for you!

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