Review of Shutterstock
Shutterstock is one of the leaders in micro stock agency industry. Their business model allows customers to upload up to 25 images per day with select subscription plans, and this number is pretty generous. At the beginning the artist gets just 25c per image downloaded, but it goes up to 38c after the total sales reach $10,000.
Becoming a Shutterstock contributor is pretty simple. You will have to register by visiting their registration page for free and then send 10 of your best images for review. Only one of those images has to be accepted and you are free to start uploading your pictures. It is very important to send them your best work for review. All images should be of highest quality and feature different themes and objects. It might take a while to hear back from them, but even if the answer is negative, you can shoot some more and try again. All persistent photographers eventually get there, so nothing but patience stands in your way.
For all existing Shutterstock contributors, the picture approval process of new photos takes 2-4 days. Using the system is very easy and once you get a hang of it, it'll take no time to upload a new batch of pictures each time, which should be every day for ultimate success.
Not long ago Shutterstock added a new feature. You can now create public sets of images, like a portfolio for marketing. The photos have to be grouped by sets of 10 and in addition to images, you can and should post some information about yourself and links to your social media.
To be successful on Shutterstock you should upload new images tirelessly and relentlessly. This type of portfolio boosting works for all stock photography agencies is called "feeding the beast" and all photographers know this term very well. The new images are going to sell better than the old pictures, especially if you have some underperforming ones, which are not going to resurface back up, so forget them and get some new ones coming.
Shutterstock remains well versed in technological innovation and keeps moving with time. As so many people now like taking pictures with their smart phones, there is a way to upload and share those pictures too. Shutterstock also offers a plugin for Adobe Creative Cloud users, who can now insert pictures to Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro. BigStock was acquired in 2009 to further enrich Shutterstock market reach and service capabilities.
In conclusion, if you are serious about trying stock photography, Shutterstock is a way to go. You should definitely try it and become a contributor. Most photographers rate Shutterstock as their number 1 or at least 1 of the top 3 agencies in terms of financial gain and return. The royalty per image is not huge, but it's a matter of volume, which comes with a bit of time investment. As long as you are actively uploading images daily, you will be fine. You can always sell an image with a higher pay and credits for a couple of USD. Finally, you can get Extended License and bank another $15 to your account. All in all, don't wait a minute longer and apply to Shutterstock, because you have nothing to lose, but possibly a lot to gain.