Buy a Shutterstock Subscription
As a buyer of stock images, I would automatically buy a Shutterstock subscription if I knew that I would need a lot of stock images to work with.
Since I am a photo stock contributor as well as a blogger I use a lot of stock images. I don’t take each and every photograph used on Photoluminary, although I do take many of them. Also, whenever I write reviews of photography software I use my own images.
I have the option of converting my earnings on Dreamstime and iStockphoto to “credits”. These sites are in my opinion the best sites for purchasing a few images at a time. However, if you want access to a large number of stock images for blogging or design then Shutterstock is truly the way to go.
The reason that I feel it is best to buy a Shutterstock subscription if you need a lot of stock images boils down to the cost per image. Shutterstock sells images on a subscription basis which makes the initial cost a bit higher, but you end up savings loads of money in the long run.
For only $249 you can can download up to 25 JPEGs and/or vector images per day for a full month. This means that you can download around 750 high res premium stock images, both JPEGS and vectors, for around $0.33 each! Compare this to the cost of downloading a single medium sized stock image on iStockphoto or Dreamstime, which will run you around $8 to 10$. Also, on sites other than Shutterstock vectors are almost always more expensive than JPEGs.
Shutterstock also has other subscription plans:
For $709 you can download up to 25 images per day for three full months. So you can download 2,250 high resolution stock images for $.031 per image.
For $2,559 you can download up to 25 images per day for a full year. This is the most significant savings as you can download 9,000 high resolution stock images for only $0.28 per image.
If you know that you won’t be need a high volume of images then Shutterstock does offer On Demand subscriptions. You can download 5 images for $49, 25 images for $229 or 12 small/medium only images for $49.
If you need to purchase images for large print runs or for use on merchandise, there are a few subscription options for this as well.
Shutterstock offers a huge library of images. As a contributor I find their acceptance standards to be as high as iStockphoto and Dreamstime. In addition they are far more open to artistic images than other stock sites in my experience. So, they have the usual collection of stock images, plus a lot of “manipulated” stock image such as HDR photos.
I hope that my review has helped you if you were unsure if you should buy a Shutterstock subscription.