Jon Oringer founded Shutterstock in 2003 as a photo agency. Its initial product was a simple photo-sharing site that allowed users to upload photos to be shared with friends and family. Oringer then hired photographers, editors, and developers to make the site successful. Shutterstock has since expanded to offer more than 200 million royalty-free stock photos, vector graphics, and illustrations, with over 10 million music and video files. It has become one of the largest stock photo sites in the world. Shutterstock offers a variety of options for licensing content, including a la carte pricing and subscription services.
It’s a marketplace where you can buy or sell images for your personal use or business. You can search for photos that fit your needs or browse through categories that interest you. If you are looking for a particular type of photo, you can filter search results by genre. The site offers many photos, including fashion, food, travel, technology, etc.
There are many alternatives for Shutterstock, but which one is better? We have done deep research on the Top Shutterstock Alternatives and Competitors and have compared their features, pricing, services, customer service, and more.
What is Shutterstock?
Shutterstock is a global stock photo, video, and music licensing agency that provides media organizations, marketing agencies, and businesses with royalty-free images, music, and video to make their content more impactful and effective. Shutterstock adds hundreds of thousands of creative assets each week through its growing community of over one million contributors.
Bigstock, a value-oriented stock media offering; Shutterstock Custom, a custom content creation platform, Offset, a high-end image collection; and PremiumBeat, a curated royalty-free music library, are all brands of Shutterstock.
History of Shutterstock
Jon Oringer founded Shutterstock in 2003 as an American company. Creating his online marketplace, Oringer initially uploaded 30,000 of his stock photos and made them available via subscription, with unlimited downloads and a monthly starting price of US$49. He started hiring additional contributors when demand exceeded his photo supply.
The firm claimed in 2006 that it was the largest stock photo agency in the world, with over 570,000 images in its collection. The firm branched out into a film in 2006 with the launch of Shutterstock Footage. The company had over one million photos by 2007. The company was invested in by Insight Venture Partners that year. August 2008 saw the launch of a la carte pricing for Shutterstock’s “On Demand” service, which removed daily download limits.
Bigstock, a rival credit-based microstock photography agency, was purchased by Shutterstock on September 23, 2009. Shutterstock had 11 million royalty-free stock images by early 2010, and Fast Company argued that the deal put them on a competitive playing field. In February 2011, it announced a partnership with the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
The alternatives and competitors of Shutterstock
One of the most popular stock photo websites in the world is Shutterstock. Their history, reputation, quality of service, and affordable prices in royalty-free stock images make them a favorite among many buyers worldwide. If their offers don’t adjust to what you need or simply want options, you’ll love to learn about these great alternatives to buy cheap Royalty-free images online.
Finding a trusted alternative to Shutterstock isn’t easy, but we are confident that these stock photo agencies will help you find the one which is best for you.
iStock is one of the oldest and most renowned stock photo agencies, known for its highly curated library, which hosts millions and millions of high-resolution images divided into two main collections called stock. Both collections have high-resolution photos and illustrations. They offer stock videos and audio libraries.
There are subscription options for just Essentials and just Signature, or all three. Depending on your budget, these options are very reasonable, though the complete package (Essentials, Signature, and Library) is probably the best option for most.
With two image categories and pricing tiers, you have more options than just one option with other stock photography sites. Prices vary according to what kind of photos you need; they’re some of the lowest found.
Photocase is a Berlin-based stock photo agency that provides artistic stock photography from passionate photographers at affordable prices. Their library is full of premium stock images with great artistic value and an authentic, modern aesthetic in demand. With so many years in business, this is a very reliable and professional service where you will find unique pictures that no other agency provides.
They don’t work with subscriptions, but they do offer credit packs that can be used to save on purchases. Their final price depends on the credit pack you buy, and their images are priced from 5 to 15 credits. Credit packs start at $55 for 25 credits, and up to $1,520 for 1000 credits, saving you 45% in the final price.
If you are looking for stock photos that are unique and rare, Photocase is an excellent alternative. This is the perfect alternative if you like low-priced images but follow a more artistic aesthetic!
The base of the Fotolia stock photo agency library is where the Adobe Stock stock photo service property is located. It is fully integrated into the Adobe Creative Cloud platform, so you can access, surf, test edit, and license images from its collection directly within your favorite Creative Cloud apps. There are various subscription plans with over 60 million royalty-free photos and illustrations. They have a lot of things, including graphic templates, 3D models, video clips, and more.
There are prices for everyone, and their subscriptions cover a wide range of volume tiers. You have the option to choose between month-to-month or yearly options.
If you use Creative Cloud tools in your design process, Adobe Stock is a good alternative to Shutterstock. This service has subscriptions like Shutterstock and enough photos for you to choose from, but more importantly, it adds value with its full integration with Creative Cloud, which will simplify your design process greatly. This is an alternative worth exploring if you want to work with Illustrator CC and similar.
Microstock agency The Stock Photo Secrets Shop was designed for small and medium-sized businesses. These offers are thought to meet their needs in terms of service and budget, and no one does it better than star product: 99club plan gives you 200 XXL royalty-free high-quality stock images for one year for just $99, which means $0,49 per download! Now that’s low-cost images! If you like their low prices per download but can’t use their high-volume monthly plans, then it’s the best alternative.
The 99 Club was the best and most fitting Shutterstock alternative for those on a restricted budget. Not only is it as cheap as the former, but it offers plenty of other benefits, is well-regulated, and comes from a reliable agency.
A very popular web-based and user-friendly graphic design tool are Canva. But you might not know that they integrate a huge selection of premium stock photos and design assets from over 60 million users into their subscription-based Canva service, which also features templates, publishing and branding resources, and more that can help you create visual content at lightning speed.
If you need to improve your skill in photo editing and are considering buying a subscription to Canva, the benefits of using it will be obvious. It offers more flexibility than the standard Canva image editor and comes with unlimited downloads and access to a powerful, easy-to-use image editor.
Canva Pro is a simple yet effective tool for those who can’t afford to pay for professional graphics. This is an extremely versatile tool for users that need a more complicated experience than what they would receive using just online editing tools. It’s quite inexpensive.
Stock Photo Secrets Shop is a great alternative to Shutterstock: Low Volume plan because it is specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses. You can get 600 XXL royalty-free stock photos for only $199 a year, a limited-time and exclusive offer. That’s only a little more than a dollar per photo.
For a fraction of the price, this deal will give you 3x more downloads than 99club. Up to 100,000 new images are added monthly, and you can choose from a pool of over five million images.
Low Volume is an alternative to Shutterstock for businesses that need hundreds of images for marketing and promotional efforts but don’t have much money. Even though Shutterstock gives you 9000 images in a year, If you don’t use a lot of downloads, you’re losing money because they charge you as much as $199 per month.
Many photos with a flexible yearly cap to download for a much lower; the one-time fee is included in the Low Volume deal. Shutterstock charges $1188 monthly for a 600-a-year subscription but only allows 50 downloads per month. It’s a no-brainer that Low Volume is a better option. If you want to take this deal, do it quickly. There is a limited-time offer that won’t be available for long.
Pond 5 is a web-based stock footage marketplace. It is a place for video, film, and television producers to find great, downloadable, royalty-free footage for their productions and license their own work for use by others. It is also a place to connect, collaborate, and create a global community of moving image artists. Pond 5 was founded in 2006 and is based in New York, New York. On May 11th, 2022, Pond 5 was acquired by Shutterstock.
The Pond 5 team has a wide range of experience in the creative industry. In addition to being founders of the company, they’ve been involved in the industry’s business side for over 15 years.
Pixy Digital Services
A startup called Pixy Digital Services is located in India. The company’s business model is built around a stock of photographs on its website, which are curated with a story around the photo also created. The photographs can be purchased and used by buyers through the gallery. Their main focus is to provide images for online businesses and bloggers. They offer a wide variety of stock photography that you can use for free. The company also offers various services, such as video creation, image editing, and more.
Designers can offer free graphic resources on the Freepik platform. Flaticon is a project that develops sources for free icons, and Slides is a project that develops Slides and PowerPoint templates for presentations. The company was founded in 2010 and is located in Malaga, Spain.
Freepik offers hundreds of free images, vectors, and fonts for designers. It is a platform where designers can share their work with others and get feedback on their designs. Freepik has many different categories of resources. For example, icons, shapes, fonts, illustrations, and many more. The website also includes a huge collection of free stock photos. All the resources are available in both high-resolution formats and vector formats. It allows its users to search for the resources they want and download them. You can also download the resources on your computer. The company doesn’t sell any of its resources. Instead, it gives them away for free. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to develop their creative skills.
Looking for alternative sites is the best way to get the best deals on stock images. These are the sites that offer a lot of different types of images for a very low price. Some sites allow you to create your own image library, and some allow you to upload your own images. Some of these sites are easy to use, while others require training. The best way to find out which sites will suit you is to try them out. You’ll be able to decide which ones are the most convenient for you. You can also use Google to search for alternatives to Shutterstock.