All You Need to Know About Shutterstock Pricing

Shutterstock is one of the top microstock agencies. It was the pioneer in the market with stock image subscriptions: they introduced this offer when they launched in the industry and were a huge success. Within time, they also added options for on-demand photo buying, in the form of image packs. 

Read more about Shutterstock License. And don't miss trying our Shutterstock Coupon Code – we offer our users an exclusive discount of 15% off on everything.

This agency has some of the best deals for photo buyers and a huge library of over 80 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.

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Shutterstock Subscriptions and Image Packs

Shutterstock lets you buy subscriptions that allow you to pay a flat fee per month and download a limited number of photos. These monthly plans are a good deal if you're a regular photo buyer if you 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 have a need for hundreds of photos and will never use the download limits, in the long run, it's not convenient.

They also offer to buy image packs on demand, this way you only pay for a reduced number of photos. This is a good option if you only need a few new images, or if you want to test the waters with stock photo buying before committing to a subscription. Since these downloads 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 of this is that the smaller the image pack, the higher the price per image.

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Shutterstock Subscription Prices

Professional subscription offer has different image limit options, and it can be hired per month or per year (but they're billed monthly).

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, 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 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 big 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 $o.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 in the market.

It's worth noting that month-t0-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 also has great stock video subscriptions to access HD and 4K stock footage at super affordable rates. Starting at just $159/month for 10 video downloads, these plans take the price per video clip down to as little as $8.33 each, a real bargain considering it's all HD and 4K quality! And you can enjoy an extra 15% off thanks to our exclusive coupon code!
Get a 15% discount on your choice of Shutterstock Video Subscriptions, which start at $159 a month for 10 video downloads. Subscriptions let you get ...

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Shutterstock Image Pack Prices

This is the option to buy images on demand, upfront and without any extra payment commitments.

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 price to $9.16 each, saving you a total of $16 from smaller pack 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 our 99club and Low Volume subscriptions:

  • 99club: 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 99club plan, you get all the images you need and you save up to $150! Click here to get your 99club subscription now!
  • Low Volume: 600 XXL images for $199 ($0.33 per image). At the same image price rate as Shutterstock's monthly subscription, our limited-time plan is limited to 600 images, and so it costs $50 less. If you need less than 600 images, this is a great deal for you to save 50% on subscription price! Get your Low Volume Special Offer here!

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 $379 a month ($o,50 per image), for 3 users $479 a month ($0.63 per image), and for 4 users $579 a month ($o,77 per image). For more than 4 users, the price gets adjusted depending on the number of users needed. Check out the pricing table below for additional team members.

What if I Need an Extended License?

All images bought with these plans and packs price tags come with a Shutterstock Standard license.

For customers needing more rights that 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).

Shutterstock Premier for Large Teams
If you have a large creative team and corporate image needs, then you ought to explore the Shutterstock Premier platform, which offers tailored solutions for enterprise businesses including unlimited seats, custom licenses with enhanced rights, personalized search, and much more!

Shutterstock Alternatives

A great Shutterstock Alternative is our 99club subscription 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!

Our Special Low Volume membership is also a good option, with 600 XXL images for $199, you're paying only $0.33 per image. With the lower download limit, it makes it much cheaper than Shutterstock!

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 Small size to 4 credits for XL size (and 50 credits for Extended license).

Their subscriptions are very flexible as they have both daily and monthly limits 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.

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More Details on Shutterstock's Image 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.

What Shutterstock Plan is Best for You?

If you don't need stock photos regularly, or you're not yet sure of 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!

Buy your choice of stock images or stock footage at Shutterstock with a 15% discount on subscriptions and image packs.
This exclusive coupon gives you 15% off in your stock footage purchase with video packs!

You can also save 15% off on stock footage at

This exclusive coupon gives you 15% off in your stock footage purchase with video packs!

Click here to see  Shutterstock's full Plans and Pricing details.

Amos Struck

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

  1. Hi there, i have some questions since i am mostly intrested in your videoclip section. Your info is very clear regarding images/stillphotos. So i was wondering what diffrent subscriptions offer you might have/,regarding price per month/ and amount of clips i could download per month (in the 1080 quality at least). And do you offer some sort of “free days trial”?. Best regards,
    from Stockholm.

  2. So im interested in creating a class and using the stock photos for my manual that comes with the class but the class is purchased, would that be ok?

    • 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!

  3. hi,
    first of all good information Amos, thank you.

    my question is what do you think of coming up with ones own stock footage website in this time, is it worth putting an effort? If so, can you guide if i can find some useful information on how to do this? Cheers.

  4. If an image has a standard license, can you use the image to paint from. I’m an artist and just want images that I can paint.

    • 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.

  5. hi, I am looking to buy a stock image of a photo frame mock up just to portray my photographs, would the standard license be ok?

    • Hi Michelle, so you want to buy only the “photo frame” as design and then put your own image in it? That usage should be fine with most stock agencies. Kind Regards Amos

  6. I plan to re-issue a book a wrote a while back. The rights reverted to me, but the art work didn’t. What is my best option for getting a Shutterbox image for my book, which will be print on demand, and what would the cost be?

  7. Hi. I have used Shutterstock for some years now usually buying a pack of 350 or 750 images buying with an expiry of a month on an individual licence although my account is under my company name (my company is just me and my partner). Shutterstock have been in touch saying I may have an inadequate licence and that it should be a corporate licence. Although I have a company, it is just me that downloads and uses the images (occasionally I send the images to a freelancer) for books that are published under my company name. Can Shutterstock force me into a more expensive corporate licence when effectively I am using the images run the same way a freelance does? Thanks

    • Hi James, unfortunately, I can not really help you with this matter. This seems to be something you need to figure out with Shutterstock directly. Sorry that I can not be of any help here.

  8. Can i print a photo from shutterstock on one single product like wood and sell it ?

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