Step by Step on How to Sell Photos on Shutterstock

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Step by Step on How to Sell Photos on Shutterstock

Shutterstock is the first name to comes in mind for photographers who want to sell their photos online. With its global presence, it’s not surprising that Shutterstock becomes the most popular microstock photo website for both, photographers and users. Becoming a Shutterstock contributor is not as hard you probably thought. However, there are some things you need to know first especially if you are new to stock photography industry.

The first crucial thing you need to know about Shutterstock is that it is a microstock agency. Which means, your photos will be sold in a lower price. In average, your photos are priced between $1 to $2 and you will get 20% of it. Shutterstock doesn’t sell your photos individually. Instead, it adopts the subscription model. The best way to have your photos downloaded by Shutterstock customers is by uploading unique and stand out photos. This is not an easy job, but hey, who said become a photographer is an easy job?

Before getting started to create a Shutterstock contributor account and sell your photos, ensure that you have had enough photo collections. There is no benchmark about the number of photos you need to have, but most photographers usually prepare about 100 quality photos. The more quality photos you have, the bigger chance your photos will be accepted by Shutterstock. And yes, the chances your photos will be download by Shutterstock customers is also higher.

Photo preparation

Aside from the photo quality, there are several other things you need to know before submitting your photos to Shutterstock. Regarding the type of photo. If you want to submit portrait photos or other type of human-involved photos, ensure to enclose the model release. Your photos will never be accepted until you submitted the release model. Even if the photos have a superb quality and have a huge potential to go viral like Antonio Guillem’s “Distracted Boyfriend“.

Other type of photo that won’t be accepted is the ones containing brand logo. For example, the photo like the one below is not accepted since it contains content that may be subject to copyright or trademark protection (apps logo).

The same case goes to the following photo. This photo is not accepted since there is a brand logo in the frame. Despite the logo looks blurry in the back.

Now once you understand of photo criteria that have the higher possibility to get accepted, it’s time to get war.

Registering to Shutterstock

In the registration process you will be prompted to fill out some fields. Your will also be asked to submit your ID card (or driving license). In some cases, Shutterstock will also ask you to upload your passport.

Follow the steps below to create a Shutterstock contributor account.

  • Visit this page and click the Create an account button.

  • Fill out all of the required fields and click the Next button.

  • Check your email to verify email address. Click the Next button to continue the registration process.

  • On the next page, fill out all of the required fields in the form and click the Next button once done filling out.

  • On the next page, upload your ID, driving license or passport. Shutterstock needs it to verify your legal identity.

  • Once you added your legal identity, click the Continue button.

Until here, you can start uploading your photos. However, they will not be published until the verification process of your identity is finished, which takes 1-3 business days. But, you can go the dashboard if you curious enough about the Shutterstock contributor dashboard.

While waiting for the verification process, you can prepare your best photos to upload. Please note that all of uploaded photos will undergo a reviewing process by Shutterstock staff. The process can take days or weeks. Just be patient. Becoming a Shutterstock contributor is not an overnight job.

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