Shutterstock alternatives

The 7 Best Shutterstock Alternatives In 2024

Shutterstock is a popular platform for collecting stock images online. However, sometimes people may not be satisfied with Shutterstock despite its versatility. That’s why there are some great Shutterstock alternatives for stock photos that you can try. This article is going to tell you exactly that.

I know it is challenging to find the best alternatives to Shutterstock with so many competitors in the market. Nevertheless, I conducted extensive research to find some top replacements and finally found them.

Today’s article will cover some websites that perform as well as, if not better than, Shutterstock in providing online stock images. So pay attention to the entire article without skipping any part.

What Is Shutterstock?

Shutterstock is a provider of high-quality licensed images, videos, music, and editorial assets.

Shutterstock is a global marketplace for artists and creators to sell royalty-free images, footage, vectors, and illustrations.

Customers such as creative professionals, marketing agencies, and media organizations buy subscriptions or pay-per-image to use this content in their work, subject to the licensing terms.

Shutterstock also provides a range of tools and services for businesses, including creative tools, enterprise content services, and a platform for businesses to find and work with high-quality freelance creatives.

Shutterstock offers a huge collection for those who want to download royalty-free images online for various needs. It has users from 150+ countries worldwide and supports 25 different languages. Moreover, there are over 1 billion images, videos, and music tracks, including over 400 million images.

Looking for something different? It’s also on Shutterstock because 200,000 new images are uploaded every day. Shutterstock is popular with people who regularly use online images, but many don’t want to pay for it.

However, Shutterstock has some competitors that offer royalty-free and updated photos. As mentioned earlier, it offers versatility, and that is why it still has a lot of users around the world.

shutterstock pricing_Shutterstock alternatives
Shutterstock Pricing

Shutterstock pricing and features

Cost29 USD/mo
Stock of imagesMore than one billion images and videos.
Free imagesN/A.
SpecialtyPremium quality photos and videos.


  • Shutterstock offers an enormous library of images, videos, music, and other digital assets. This vast collection ensures you can find just about any type of content you need.
  • The content on Shutterstock is professionally created and curated, which ensures high quality.
  • Shutterstock constantly updates its library with new content, keeping it fresh and relevant.
  • Shutterstock has a very effective search engine with multiple filters. You can search by color, category, size, orientation, and more.
  • The royalty-free license allows you to use the content you purchase in multiple projects without paying additional fees.


  • Shutterstock can be expensive compared to other stock photo websites, especially for individuals or small businesses.
  • While Shutterstock offers a royalty-free license, the terms can be complex. For instance, some uses may still require an extended license.
  • Shutterstock’s free trial can be limiting, as it only allows a certain number of free images. This could be insufficient for users who want to test the service more extensively before committing to a purchase.

Why Do You Need A Shutterstock Alternative?

Shutterstock is one of the top platforms for high-resolution images, videos, and music online. However, Shutterstock also has some downsides that keep some users away from it, and now they are searching for a better alternative. The following reasons will make it clear to you why you should look into Shutterstock.

  • It requires cost: You still have to pay to use Shutterstock even though it offers a free trial. So it is quite inconvenient for those who don’t want to pay.
  • Unflexible: If you purchase one type of video package here, you will always have to purchase a new package to meet the needs of another video.
  • Low selling price: When users buy a picture from this platform, they have to make a high payment, but those who sell pictures here get a comparatively low price.
  • Stringent requirements: Anyone can upload images to Shutterstock, so there are a lot of restrictions for photographers. Nevertheless, users are guaranteed to get the best-quality images.

7 Shutterstock Alternatives

Now it’s time to learn about the top photo-sharing platforms. I won’t force it, but I suggest learning about every option mentioned here. You can easily choose which one is right for you. 

1. Unsplash

Unsplash is the first collection on my list. It serves many users’ marketing, advertising, and blogging needs by providing quality photos. While it offers a significant number of high-quality images, the quantity is considerably less than that of Shutterstock. However, unlike Shutterstock, Unsplash allows users to use photos for free.

Furthermore, new images are uploaded on Unsplash daily. The platform features a convenient search bar that allows users to easily find their desired images and download them for free at any time. For photographers, Unsplash is also an excellent platform for publishing their photos.

Unsplash pricing and features

Cost4 USD/month.
The stock of photosOver 3 million.
Free imagesYes
SpecialtyMeets different needs.
Unsplash Cost
Unsplash Cost (Photo By Unsplash)

2. iStock

iStock, founded in 1995, is a well-known source of visual content. Unlike Shutterstock, it offers some images for free, though users can opt for its paid version for additional features. Beyond images, iStock also provides high-quality audio and video.

With its vast catalog, users can quickly find what they need among millions of items, saving valuable time. 

iStock is an ideal platform for both free and paid users. Free users can satisfy their minor requirements, while for paid users, as the number of photos purchased increases, their subscription costs decrease.

iStock pricing and features

Cost29 USD/month.
Stock of photosOver 6 million.
Free imagesOver 4,552,100 photos.
SpecialtyProvides ready-to-use images.

3. Pixabay

Looking for more free images? Pixabay can be an excellent alternative to Shutterstock. It offers over 2.8 million high-resolution photos that are completely free. Additionally, Pixabay provides copyright-free videos.

An interesting feature of the content on this platform is that it’s released under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which means you don’t need to credit the artist when copying or using the images. You can download your favorite image in various resolutions entirely for free. What’s more, you don’t even need to create an account on Pixabay to download these free images.

Pixabay pricing and features

CostIt’s free
Stock of photosOver 2.8 million images.
Free imagesYes.
SpecialtyUsers can access more items freely.

Related: Best Redbubble Alternatives for Artists Looking to Grow Their Brand

4. Pexels

Pexels may not have initially made a big splash in the market, but it quickly gained popularity. This platform is an excellent resource for users seeking a library of royalty-free photos and videos. Similar to Pixabay, all images on Pexels are released under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licensing, so you can use them freely, without the obligation to credit the artist.

Pexels is ideal for those who appreciate people-centric images and wish to download them without copyright restrictions. For years, individuals and businesses have been using Pexels photos and videos for various purposes. Plus, Pexels adds new images every month, which are available to you for free!

Pexels pricing and features

CostIt’s free!
Stock of photosOver 2.8 million
Free images,9.5k free photos, and 1.3k videos.
SpecialtySupports 28 languages.

5. Freepik

Freepik is an image-sharing platform that provides high-quality images, but you will also find the best designs and mockups required for graphics work. Especially the content downloaded from here will probably not need to be edited as it has been designed and uploaded, keeping the users’ needs in mind.

Also, you don’t have to bother with old content as they regularly update with fresh content. Unlike Shutterstock, it lets you use a lot of free content. Moreover, if you want to go for the paid version, that is within your budget. Even the cost of Freepik is low compared to other alternatives.

Freepik pricing and features

Cost9.99 USD/month.
Stock of photosOver 24123000 photos.
Free images341.79k.
SpecialtyUploads images frequently.
Freepik Cost
Freepik Cost (Photo By Freepik)

6. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is an old photo sharing service that was founded in 1982. It’s definitely a decent alternative to Shutterstock because it makes it easy to find products like Illustrator or Photoshop. Adobe Stock has maintained its popularity since its inception and has guaranteed plenty of royalty-free content. 

It has met a boon business need, mainly by providing graphics items. The number of free photos here is small, but you can subscribe to a monthly plan if there is more demand. Adobe Stock is the only place where you can find graphics items at such affordable prices; even with an annual plan, you get more.

Adobe Stock pricing and features

Cost29.99 USD/month.
Stock of photosMillions of photos but not specified.
Free images10 images.
SpecialtyMeets different organizations’ needs.

7. Burst

The latest contender on my list of top Shutterstock alternatives is Burst, launched by Shopify in 2006. Burst allows users to download any image for free, perfect for fulfilling the commercial needs of your website. Although its library is not as expansive as Unsplash or Shutterstock, it offers a significant amount of content sufficient to meet your needs.

Furthermore, you can download and use any content at no cost. Despite being free, each image is high-resolution, ensuring top-notch quality. You even have the freedom to edit the image as necessary.

Burst pricing and features

CostIt’s free
Stock of imagesMore than 20,000
Free imagesYes.
SpecialtyFree high-resolution images.

Final Opinion

Admiring Shutterstock can indeed be a lengthy process, given its immense popularity and widespread use worldwide. 

However, knowing about the best Shutterstock alternatives can help avoid some significant drawbacks. I have already introduced you to some of the top competitors in the market.

In my opinion, Shutterstock may not be the ideal platform for everyone, hence the need to explore alternatives. 

You don’t have to spend additional time searching, as I’ve discussed the alternatives above. Your task is simply to decide which platform is right for you.

FAQ On Shutterstock Alternatives

What is a free alternative to Shutterstock?

There are many websites that offer free stock images, videos, and other assets as alternatives to Shutterstock. 

However, the quality and variety may not match the scale of Shutterstock. Here are a few popular free alternatives: These include Freepik, Pixabay, Pexels, and more. They offer beautiful and royalty-free images.

Why is Shutterstock so expensive?

Which is better: Unsplash or Shutterstock?

Can you use Shutterstock without paying?

Is iStock better than Shutterstock?

References On Shutterstock Alternatives:

1. All-in-one access with one subscription
2. Where to find copyright-free pictures
3. Adobe Stock
5. ( Alternatives to Shutterstock)

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