Shutterstock is one of the top microstock agencies. It was the pioneer in the market with stock image subscriptions: they introduced this offer when it launched in the industry, and it was a huge success. Over time, they also added options for on-demand photo buying.
Don't miss trying our Shutterstock Coupon Code – we offer users an exclusive discount!
This agency has some of the best deals for photo buyers and a huge library of over 734 million high-quality images. But stock photography pricing can get complicated, and sometimes it's hard to tell which one of Shutterstock's pricing plans is the best for you.
Here you will find Shutterstock pricing explained in a way that will make it easier to know exactly how much are Shutterstock photos priced and what purchasing option works better for your needs. Check out the discount offer price with our coupons below.
Here you can also see the main Shutterstock statistics for buyers and sellers of images!
And now, we also bring you the 3 best ways to get Shutterstock Creative Flow for free!
Are you into the new world of AI image generation? Then check out Shutterstock Generate, the agency's own AI image-generative tool!
Shutterstock Pro (formerly Shutterstock regular subscriptions) and On-Demand Packs
Shutterstock lets you buy subscriptions that allow you to pay a flat monthly fee and download a limited number of photos. These monthly plans are a good deal if you're a regular photo buyer and need lots of high-resolution photos, illustrations, or both –for websites, ads, social media, etc.– because they lower the price per image to as little as cents of a dollar each. But if you don't need hundreds of photos and will never use the download limits, in the long run, it's not convenient.
Additionally, they have Business plans (for creative teams) and a custom Enterprise service for big companies.
They also offer to buy images on demand with credits, so you only pay for a reduced number of photos. This is a good option if you only need a few new images or want to test the waters with stock photo buying before committing to a subscription. Since credits don't expire until a year from the purchase date, you can download your images whenever you want, without monthly expiration dates, and you don't have to pay for hundreds of photos you won't use. The downside is that the smaller the credit pack, the higher the price per credit and thus the price per image.
Our exclusive offer lets you save a huge 25% off the 30 credits pack on Shutterstock! This coupon applies only to the 30-credit pack.
The default prices are for the Standard license, which is royalty-free and suitable for commercial use, with very few limitations. Some of those limitations can be removed with an Enhanced license, which has different price points –you will find prices for both licenses in the list below–, and some other restrictions are immovable. For more details on the usage terms of each option, check our experts' guide to Shutterstock Licenses.
Note: All Shutterstock content must be used only with a valid license issued in your name, which you acquire when you download said content from their website, using the download button. Content from Shutterstock obtained in any other way might not have a valid license and thus be fraudulent and a copyright infringement. You must always stir clear from dubious content and prefer to download Shutterstock images directly, from their website, to ensure full legal usage.
Shutterstock Pro (formerly Shutterstock regular subscriptions) Prices
Shutterstock professional subscription offer has different image limit options, and they can be hired per month or year (but they're billed monthly). It's important to note these Pro plans are individual, meaning only one person can sign in to the account and download images. And they give you images with a Standard license.
Originally Shutterstock focused on high-volume plans, and they are still their core offer price, but now they also have low-volume subscriptions that are perfect to test the waters and for small budgets.
Plans start at only 10 images per month, costing $49 monthly only, or $29 a month hired annually. As you can easily see, even hiring it from month to month, this plan costs you the same as a small image pack, while giving you twice as many images. You will pay for each photo between $2.90 and $4.90 depending on the extension you choose.
The other small plan is for 50 downloads a month. Priced at $125 monthly and $99 a month with an annual subscription, it's a great way to get a considerable amount of photos, paying between $1.98 and $2.50 per image.
Then they have high-volume plans for bigger buyers or any creative needing lots of photos all the time. For 350 images a month, the monthly subscription costs $199 a month ($0.56 per image). And the annual subscription costs $169 a month, taking the price per image down to $0.48 and saving you around 20%.
The 750 images a-month subscription is at $249 monthly ($0.33 per image), and $199 per month with an annual plan, which cuts 20% from the monthly price. This is Shutterstock's star plan, and it's amongst the lowest prices available.
Flex 25 Plan
More recently, in 2021, Shutterstock introduced a new multimedia subscription, the Flex 25 Plan. This subscription lets you download images, videos, and audio files indistinctly, using the same monthly allowance. Instead of downloads, it gives 25 credits per month, and each file type has its cost in credits.
Images are 1 credit each. Videos cost 25 credits per clip. And music tracks are 6 credits per download.
This way you can download up to 25 images, up to 1 video, and up to 6 music tracks, as well as combine them all according to your needs.
Month-to-month, this plan comes at $69 a month, but you can get it for $49/mo if you subscribe for a whole year. And now, you can get it for even less with our exclusive Shutterstock Coupon, which gives you 15% off on Flex subscriptions! Here you can see all the details of the Flex 25 offers.
It's worth noting that all month-to-month plans are set for auto-renewal by default, so you have to unselect this feature if you do not wish your subscription to roll out for another month. Another valuable highlight is that Shutterstock does not tie price to image size, all images cost the same regardless of the size you choose to download!
Shutterstock Business Plans (formerly Shutterstock for Teams)
If you work as part of a creative team or want colleagues to be able to access the Shutterstock account for workflow purposes, then you'll need a Business plan, which gives you 750 images per month for $479, for up to 10 team members. If your team is bigger, you can contact the agency directly to discuss a tailored plan.
In terms of subscriptions, Shutterstock offers bespoke packages for big companies and brands. You can get a customized plan by contacting a Shutterstock representative directly and selecting this option on the Shutterstock pricing page.
Shutterstock Editorial Plans
More recently, Shutterstock has added subscription options for the editorial-only library. These plans' prices are not yet disclosed, but they're a good option to explore for those looking for images for editorial purposes, as they cost $199 each when buying on demand. You can visit the Shutterstock Editorial website here.
Shutterstock Image Pack Prices*
This is the option to buy images on demand, upfront, and without any extra payment commitments.
*Image packs are discontinued and replaced by credit packs, we'll bring you the details soon.
The cheapest image pack is 5 images for $49, meaning you're paying $9.80 per image. Then there's a 25-image pack for $229 that takes individual image prices to $9.16 each, saving you a total of $16 from the smaller pack's individual image price. Check out the pricing table below.
Shutterstock has great deals for different buyer needs.
But if you don't want to work within monthly download restrictions, you should check out Stockphotos.com and their awesome Club Offers:
- Club Easy: 200 XXL images for $99 ($0.49 per image). If you use less than 200 images per month, why spend hundreds of dollars for downloads you'll never use? With The Club plan, you get all the necessary images and save up to $150! And right now, as a special deal, you get a bonus of 50 images in your first year! Click here to get your Club Easy subscription now!
- Club Plus: 500 XXL images for $199 ($0.39 per image). At the same image price rate as Shutterstock's monthly subscription, this plan is limited to 500 images, costing $50 less. If you need less than 500 images, this is a great deal to save 50% on the subscription price! And it also comes with a bonus of 250 images in the first year! Get your Club Plus here!
And want to know the great news? We have an exclusive Stockphotos.com coupon code for you to get 10 free extra images with any Club subscription you purchase!
What if I Need More Than One User in My Account?
All Shutterstock standard buyer accounts are individual: only the registered user can access the account and the photos purchased and use them.
But what if you need another designer, your company's team, or your clients to be able to access your account? You can, but this is what is called “multi-seat”: a license that permits access to a defined number of people (each representing one “seat”) to the same account and to use the photos bought with it. Most agencies offer this as a type of Extended license, for a different price.
Shutterstock also includes a Team Subscription option, granting multi-seat access to the buyer account. This is hired annually only, it gives 750 images per month, and the cost increases proportionally to the number of seats needed. For 2 users it's $379 a month ($0.50 per image), for 3 users $479 a month ($0.63 per image), and for 4 users $579 a month ($0.77 per image). For more than 4 users, the price gets adjusted depending on the number of users required. Check out the pricing table below for additional team members.
What if I Need an Extended License?
All images bought with these plans and pack price tags come with a Shutterstock Standard license.
For Shutterstock customers needing more rights than those included in Standard licenses, they offer image packs for Enhanced (i.e., Extended) Licenses: 2 images for $199 ($99.50 per image), 5 images for $449 ($89.80 per image), and 25 images for $1699 ($67.96 per image).
If you are interested in stock footage, which Shutterstock also offers, we recommend you check out this dedicated Shutterstock Video review from our sister site Footage Secrets, it has everything you need to know.
As a quick overview, we can tell you that Shutterstock sells videos on-demand with credit packs, or via video subscriptions. The latter has the lowest per-clip rates, of course.
The prices for Standard license videos start at $79 for a single HD clip and $179 for a single 4K clip. With a video pack, those rates can go down to as low as $63.15 and $91.95 respectively. Video subscription plans are not tied to video resolution and start at $189/mo for 10 downloads, but the best possible price comes with an annual, billed upfront plan for 20 downloads per month, which gives you 4K clips for only $8.35 each.
Recently, Shutterstock added the Enhanced Video License option, which adds unlimited audience size coverage among other perks. Enhanced Footage clips are available on-demand only, starting at $229 for a single HD clip and $359 for a single 4K clip. With Enhanced video packs, however, you can lower that price to $77.95/clip and $106.75/clip, respectively.
For more details, check the Shutterstock Video License Comparison table.
A great Shutterstock Alternative is Stockphotos.com's Club Easy offer. It gives you 200 XXL images for $99, and you're paying $0.49 per image. That's 47% less than Bigstock's monthly offer, without any monthly restrictions!
Their Club Plus plan is also a good option, with 500 XXL images for $199, you're paying only $0.39 per image. With the lower download limit, it makes it much cheaper than Shutterstock!
There are great benefits to Stockphotos.com subscriptions, too: the plans have extra bonus downloads in the first year and include complementary upscales at Stockphotos.com's AI Upscaler, video downloads, and even vehicle templates. Subscribing to any of their Clubs also entitles you to a 50% discount on premium images and extended licenses. Plus, with our special Stockphotos.com coupon, you can get 10 free images with your Club Easy! To learn more, read our full Stockphotos.com review.
Another good alternative is Bigstock. Bigstock offers a wider variety of on-demand packs and subscription plans than Shutterstock.
Their image credits have a one-year validity and go from $35 for 10 image credits to $495 for 500 image credits. Each image is priced from 1 credit for a Small size to 4 credits for an XL size (and 50 credits for an Extended license).
Their subscriptions are very flexible as they have both daily and monthly limit options. Plans are billed monthly and can be hired per month, per 3 months, or per year.
With daily limits, 5 images a day cost $79 ($0.53 per image) per month, $199 ($0.44 per image) per three months, and $639 ($0.35) per year.
They also have 10, 20, and 50 images daily limit options.
The monthly limit plans are hired by month only. They have 25 images a month for $69 ($2.76 per image), 50 images for $79 ($1.58 per image), 100 images for $99 ($0.99 per image), and 200 images for $189 ($0.85 per image). While offering more flexibility (you can download as many images a day as you want until you reach your monthly limit), these subscriptions have a higher per-image rate than other options.
Do you want to try Bigstock? Start your free 7-day trial now.
Ready to buy Bigstock photos? Get your Bigstock Subscription here.
Do you want a subscription yet? Click here to get Bigstock Credit Packages.
More Details on Shutterstock's On-Demand Packs and Subscriptions
Shutterstock allows having more than one plan in the same account. This means a customer can have both subscriptions and image packs on their account simultaneously.
If the customer hires a new subscription option (for example, has an active monthly subscription and hires a new annual one), the new subscription starts when the active one expires.
When buying image packs, customers can use their downloads for one year after the purchase date. After that moment, all unused downloads expire.
When paying for a subscription, once the monthly download quota has been used, the customer must wait until the next month to get the quota renewed. Unused downloads expire from month to month.
The license for images that were not used in a project within 6 months after the end of the subscription expires. This means the buyer can no longer use them in any way. However, all images used in a project before this date are owned by the buyer forever, and can be used in other projects as well.
Shutterstock Standard License vs. Shutterstock Extended License
All Shutterstock images are Royalty-Free, and all images bought with subscription and image packs come with a Shutterstock Standard License. This license allows you to use photos for commercial purposes, but they have restrictions. Print reproduction is limited to 500,000 copies; use in TV, online video, and films is limited to projects with budgets up to $10,000; and copies for web/print templates and items for resale are not allowed.
To get an unlimited print run, unrestricted use in TV and film, and rights to use photos in templates and resale products, you need an Enhanced (i.e. Extended) license.
Prices for an Enhanced license start at $99.50 per image and can go down to $67.96 per image, depending on the Enhanced license pack you buy. This is a higher price compared to Standard license options, but you're paying a variety of extra rights to use your photos.
How much does a Shutterstock photo cost?
Depending on what buying method you use. A Shutterstock photo can cost between $0.26 and $9.80 with a Standard license.
For an Extended license, the price ranges between $67.96 and $99.50 per image.
What is Shutterstock's charge?
Shutterstock only charges for the images you download, be it with an image pack or a subscription. There are no other charges for using the service.
Is Shutterstock worth paying for?
If you need stock photos that are high quality, commercially valuable, and legally safe to use in marketing and advertising, then yes, Shutterstock is worth paying for. It's a very cost-efficient solution for stock photos.
Does it cost anything to sell on Shutterstock?
If you want to sell your images on Shutterstock, the company doesn't charge you anything for submitting your images and, if approved, for having them up for sale in their library. That is free.
However, they do cut a percentage of every sale you make. For more information, see our guide to selling photos online, there is a whole section just for Shutterstock.
What Shutterstock Plan is Best for You?
If you don't need stock photos regularly, or you're not yet sure about committing to monthly fees, get an image pack: you have a whole year to use it and there are no extra payment commitments.
If you are a regular and/or big-volume stock photo buyer, a Shutterstock Professional Subscription is the best deal for you. It offers a super cheap price per image, a very wide download limit, and you can cancel it at any time.
Don't forget to redeem your Shutterstock Coupon Code and save even more!
You can also save 15% off on stock footage at Shutterstock.com