Friday, May 16, 2008


Shutterstock was my first foray into the world of microstock. They offer their clients a subscription based schedule where they pay X amount and then get to download Y amount of images per month. Contributors receive between $0.25 and $0.38 for each time someone downloads one of their images, depending on that contributor's sales previously. If you've made under $500, then you're at $0.25 per image and so on. Now, a quarter an image doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up. Consider that a musician gets $0.17 for an album sale, and $0.25 doesn't sound so bad.

The main requirements to become a submitter for shutterstock is that you submit 10 initial images and have at least 7 of them accepted. It's a general consensus that the initial 10 are judged a little harsher than subsequent uploads, and while I won't point out specific portfolios, if you dig around some, the standards are not always terribly high of what they accept. Don't get me wrong, there's a tremendous amount of good content on there, but there's some "2 minute photoshop" (and worse) stuff on there as well.

After the initial review process, your goal is to upload at a steady pace and be active on the forums. While it hasn't been proven, it's been the longstanding theory (and I've found it to be true) that on shutterstock, in particular, you need to keep a relatively steady stream of uploads and post on the forum relatively often (i.e. do both at least a few times a week) to have success.

To date, I've made the majority of my microstock income from shutterstock, including a recent $9 sale from a short video clip (aka Footage) but I'll leave the Footage information for another post on another day.

If you'd like to sign up for shutterstock to be a contributor, or to buy images, click here.

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