Submitting to Shutterstock

Submitting your photographs to an agency can be extremely rewarding, imagine someone buying your photographs with the potential for your images to be seen by 100's if not thousands of people.

I have now been with Shutterstock for about a year and it has been great. My photography skills have massively improved, I am now making money from doing something I love, and am seeing the world with extra excitement.

Why stock photography...
It's a passive income that allows you to take photographs of the things you love and make money. You can submit and make money on photographs of almost anything, food, travel, people, architecture, nature, anything that interests you.

Why Shutterstock...
They have a huge number of clients and can sell your images all over the world. Selling your images worldwide has never been so easy.

License types
Shutterstock sells images in two licenses, Royalty Free and Editorial. If your images contain people, property or trademarks for which you don't have a release you will have to need to submit the images as editorial. Check online before you submit any images as RF to see if you need a release.

Getting into Shutterstock

Now comes the tough part, it's not quite as simple as submitting photographs and they will sell, you first need to get accepted as a contributor.

To do this you have to submit 10 photographs of which 7 have to be accepted. This means your photos have to be technically perfect in every way. If you get rejected the first time, don't despair, look at the reason(s) they gave you and work on improving or fixing the issues mentioned.

I have put below some of the technical things you need to be aware of when you apply...

Technical Requirements

Photograph size: The photograph has to be at least 4meg in size. Most modern cameras will be able to produce photographs at this size. Further below you will find my equipment list.

Photograph type: Shutterstock requires the photograph to be a JPEG.

Focus: If you're photo isn't in focus it will be rejected. Whenever possible submit the highest resolution possible. To check focus, zoom to your image 100% and check details, people shots often need good focus on the eyes, architecture needs a good depth of field. It's ok for elements of the image to be out of focus as long as the things that should be in focus are.

Noise: Ensure your image has no noise or artifacts. The best way to avoid this is to shoot at the lowest ISO you can (around ISO 100). You should also shoot raw. You can then reduce noise in software such as Lightroom. An example of a noisy image is below...
Untitled photo
Composition: Make sure you have good composition and it's clear what you are trying to portray from your image. It's a good idea to have copy-space.(See below copy-space on the right)... This allows image buyers to add things to the image such as text and therefore makes your image more useful.
Bright Yellow Flower
Exposure/Lighting: Make sure your image is properly exposed and doesn't suffer from harse lighting and shadows (unless this adds to the image creatively). See below for a few examples of well exposed images.
Keywords/Titles etc: Make sure you keyword your images properly, ensuring all keywords are relevant and describe your image as fully as possible. If you don't keyword properly your images may be rejected or the images may not be found in the customers search.

Equipment Recommendations

If you are submitting to agencies it's worth ensuring you have good equipment. This is to help you capture images in the highest quality possible. Better equipment will often mean you have a higher acceptance ratio when submitting your images due to the quality of the images.

This is my equipment, if you click on the links, you can see my reviews...
- Canon 6D Camera
- Canon 24-105mm Lens
- Canon 85mm Lens
- Canon 40mm Lens
- Me Foto Tripod
- Gloxy Flash
- Lowepro 200AW Bag
- Reflectors
- Lightroom 5 (for editing/image management)


I wish you the best of luck. Any tips or further advise pop me a message and I will try and help.

Please click on my link below to start submitting to Shutterstock and Earn money.
Submit to Shutterstock

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The above review is based on mikecleggphotography's personal opinion, often from using the product or service. Any specifications and details are believed to be true but should be double checked when purchasing. Mikecleggphotography is not responsible for any damage to your equipment or yourself if you use the product or service mentioned.

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