Shutterstock contributor levels

Shutterstock has back in June 2020 introduced a contributor earning structure containing levels from 1 to 6. The cool thing is that I have just now climbed up a step in the Shutterstock contributor levels world from 2 to 3. The not-so-cool thing is that Shutterstock contributor levels are being reset at the beginning of a new year. This will leave me like half a month being a proud level 3 guy. In addition to that, I just have solved my 500th image on Shutterstock.

What are shutterstock contributoR levels

According to Shutterstock, the contributor levels have been introduced to be aligned with the market. Getty images for example have had these levels ever since I can remember. I only sell on Getty via EyeEm due to the exclusivity clause on Getty but that’s a different story.

Shutterstock contributor levels are defining the royalty fees you are getting when selling an image.

    Images sold
  Pay rate
Contributor Level 1
  Up to 100   15%
Contributor Level 2
  101 to 250   20%
Contributor Level 3
  251 to 500   25%
Contributor Level 4
  501 to 2’500   30%
Contributor Level 5
  2’501 to 25’000   35%
Contributor Level 6
  Over 25’000   40%

Those percentages sound like a lot but since it’s a percentage we need to understand the base price of an image. I usually get like 0.10 cents for an image.

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shutterstock earnings

500th image sold on Shutterstock

As mentioned above, I not only climbed up a step but also sold my 500th image. That’s kind of very cool as I always appreciate it if someone likes my photography and even considers buying it.

When I look at my sales statistic one image pops up which makes about 50% of my sales in USD that has been licensed 211 times so far. I very well remember when I took the shot and never would have thought it becomes a Shutterstock superstar.

The image is about an isolated Carrion crow in flight with fully open wings. In case you love and would like to purchase the image as well, you find here a direct link to it.

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isolated bird on white background

Final word

I am not making a lot of money on stock photography but it’s a fun way to get a bit of exposure. What I find a bit sad is that I will not know what people are using the image for.

I recently discovered that I have been licensing an image on Getty through EyeEm that has been published in BCC wildlife issue 5 / 2020. That was quite an awesome surprise.

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bbc wildlife bison

Let me know your thoughts

I hope this article was helpful for you. If there is anything you are looking for, please let me know and I try to find examples to discuss.

Love and protect wildlife

Animals are awesome and need our protection. Please don’t hurt, kill or eat animals.

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