Can You Upload Watermarked Images To Shutterstock?

Can You Upload Watermarked Images To Shutterstock?

Shutterstock is a perfect place for photographers, experienced and novice, to present their work to marketing agencies and publication organizations, hoping to sell them. With over 600,000 contributors uploading breathtaking photos and videos, there is always something for buyers to see. However, there have been concerns whether it’s possible to upload watermarked images to Shutterstock.

Shutterstock doesn’t allow watermarked images even if it’s your logo. The purpose of Shutterstock is to provide clear images that can be used commercially, and watermarked media is not suited for this purpose.

That’s not all, as you still need to know whether it’s worth selling images on Shutterstock, the type of images they accept, and the minimum payout, which you will find out if you read on.

Can I Upload Watermarked Images on Shutterstock?

Shutterstock is the first place that marketing agencies, businesses, and media organizations go to when looking for images to use in their line of work. With over 600,000 contributors, 225 million images, and 13 million video clips listed for sale, there is always something that reflects the nature of your work.

Photographers looking to establish their name and build their portfolio opt to use Shutterstock for several reasons:

  • Ready market – Shutterstock has around 1.9 million customers always looking for something to buy, and you won’t need to hustle for clients.
  • Good pay – it also pays better than its competitors, although you can get more money when freelancing.
  • Secured work – it’s easy for someone to steal your work if you list it on your website, but Shutterstock helps to add a watermark until someone buys it.
  • Timely pay – get paid on time when someone buys your work.
  • Connecting with peers – Shutterstock is a great place for new photographers looking to connect with their colleagues and share ideas.
  • Getting feedback – the only way to improve your work’s quality is to get constructive feedback and work on it.

However, Shutterstock doesn’t allow uploading watermarked content on their platform as this violates their terms of the agreement, even when it’s your watermark. Instead, Shutterstock offers a watermarking system that you can use to secure your work.

Is it Worth Selling Photos on Shutterstock?

Selling images and video clips on Shutterstock has its benefits, such as tapping into a ready market, securing your work with watermarks, and building a portfolio on a reputable platform for free. However, some drawbacks exist, and they include:

  • Stiff competition – over 600,000 contributors post their work hoping to capture the buyers’ attention, and this could be problematic, especially if you’re new to the platform.
  • Low pay – Shutterstock pays contributors cents whenever their images are downloaded and 30% on footage clips. The pay is minor for someone looking to make a living.

You can sell your images and footage clips for top dollar without using the platform, but you have to be an excellent photographer with a strong reputation and your own customer acquisition strategy.

What Type of Images does Shutterstock Accept?

Shutterstock accepts any JPG or PNG media, provided it’s not nudity, child pornography, or anything that violates human and animal rights. The media needs to be below 25MB each, and up to 100 files can be upload at once.

If you want to stand out from the competition, it would be best to upload files that have commercial use and be as unique as possible. It would also help to upload crystal clear files and avoid duplication. Reach out to your peers and friends for feedback on your work.

What’s the Minimum Payout in Shutterstock?

Shutterstock releases payments once you reach the $35 mark, with the maximum being $2000. Shutterstock also accepts electronic payment systems like Payoneer, Skrill, and PayPal. Each Shutterstock account should have one of these payment platforms listed.

Payments are disbursed monthly, and any changes you make to your account during the end of the month will only reflect the next month. You only get paid once you reach the minimum payment threshold. If not, then the balance is carried forward to the next month’s pay.


Shutterstock is a great platform for photographers to list their work and attract potential buyers. The platform doesn’t allow uploading watermarked images even if it’s your watermark. You can add a watermark once you’ve uploaded the images or video clips using the platform’s system. Selling images on Shutterstock is great for new photographers looking to build a reputation. You only get paid once you reach the minimum pay mark of $35.