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Kate Shutterstock

New earnings structure for Contributors

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15 minutes ago, TBT Honest said:




I understand you don’t need my respect. 

Seeing your portfolio of 799 Holiday cards, to be honest, you need to move on if you want to make money here. Really ? Christmas cards ? 

You have 46 posts in this forum, u need to manage your time better, If you care so much about the industry, step out of your comfort zone and be original. 

The thing is I know you don’t care about the industry and about Shutterstock, you’re here for the fun of it.

@Maxal Tamor

I took my medicine and as soon as it kicked in I even looked at every single on of your photos and videos. 

Put in 2 more seconds and actually process your files, make them look better, you can’t shoot standard stock (in terms of subject) and not edit them properly and expect them to sell well. You too, look very comfortable in what you’re shooting and I understand you might be busy we other things so you can’t go hardcore on shooting stock, but at least put 2 minutes into editing. Very random portfolio, you can do better and with the power of Shutterstock sales, you will make great money.

@Polozov arts

Thanks for calling me an idiot.

By the looks of your portfolio I can tell you work in a cafe/restaurant, you live in a coastal town and you travel 2-3 times a year and you don’t mind asking friends to sign releases for you. Typical contributor that said hey, I got a camera and a computer, I can watch a few YouTube tutorials and let’s see what happens in the stock world. I slo run a 1cam 1 laptop operation, it looks and sells way better.

I have no business with such a random portfolio.

@Przemek Iciak

You actually put nice work into your shots but come on, you are not committed and very very random, you do it nice and pretty but its still kind of random and maybe you should stop playing with the dog and explore more.

@Rudy Matchinga

I love your work, very original. But, the combination of it being a small portfolio and not mainstream fits an artist, its great to have an artist as a contributor but you’re here to also make as much money as you can, bring that artist eyes a bit more to the mainstream due to demand and you’re all set.

I run a double faced Photography approach : dedicated stock photography and a completely separate artist life (that sells well).

@Dolwolfian Photography

You do understand that shutterstock is not a cloud service right?

I don’t understand your portfolio, I once forgot to disable my cloud upload on my kid’s  iPhone and by the time it finished uploading it looked like your portfolio.

Don’t speak, you’re here to shove as many photos/clips online and you don’t care about anything.

@Victoria Kondysenko

Great image portfolio, small tip - expand, go wider, I’m sure you sell, I see you video portfolio and it’s clear you are making a move towards it but there is a way to go.

I love your image portfolio, the actual work, but I’m less happy with the diversity.

I used to shoot this way when I started, but I made a decision not to be a “food guy” or “cat Guy” in fact, once I finish shooting a subject (not a day of shooting but when I’m fair with myself and say that I have enough of X) I WILL NEVER EVER shoot the same subject again. Treat it like the professional Russian painters, take a subject, pick it apart, and move on to a different subject.

I will not show you my portfolio, I apologise for it, Spasiva bolshoy.

@Daniel Urrutia Carlos

“Troll alert” was your comment to me.

Your oldest file in your 111 clip portfolio starts with 103….. 10 digits.

Very new contributor and I understand you are upset, you came in at the “ wrong time” for it to be easy money or to have a large volume of sales to be ok with the new and FAIR structure, I feel you. 

Still, you need to stay out of it, you don’t get to call out trolls with your portfolio.

If you want to make money here, get to work.

@Puffin's Pictures

True hero, I feel bad for your romantic view of photography combined with the stock industry, I don’t see any of that trouble you go through or say you go through in your portfolio. No romance in stock photography, even amazing sunsets or crazy protests lose all romance when you shoot stock.


And by the way, stay safe, my best selling clip on SS with over 1000 downloads and 30K$ Was shot 5 minutes from my home while wearing flip flops and I live in the most boring place known to mankind. Stay safe, adjust your romantic concept for photography and integrate a business approach to it.



I can’t see your portfolio but you did write that you made 50K last year selling stock 

So I’ll say what I conclude from it and from the rest of your text :

In my original post I wrote “Not a top contributor but not a small one”

As I understand it, you assume you’re ahead of me in earnings, you’re not, 50K in 2019 would be poor performance for me (to say the least) and I hope your doing it the way I do it, minimal operation, 1 photographer,1 camera 1 laptop, that’s how I operate and if you make 50K from stock, its good as long as your run a small operation.

But I take it from your comment that you assume that me saying “Not Top contributor but Not a small one”, you just don’t understand the size of sales scope in Shutterstock. I know the top contributors, I speak to them, not studios with multiple workers, im talking about the other 1 man operations that never ever posted a word in any forum (this is my first ever engagement and I will never comment here again).

Scale the industry better and never assume you’re ahead of someone.

Something is not right, 50K In stock sales and SS is a tiny part, either that’s no accurate or I am missing a market to sell my work. Interesting comment from you, I need to dig deeper.

50K gives you bragging rights to a certain extent.

Im willing to put it to the test. 

My offer is this : we both send   @Jo Ann Snover   5000$ each and an earnings spreadsheet , who ever is on top, keeps it all minus 20% fees to @Joe Ann Snover for clearing the air.

I don’t know Joe Ann but I follow her for years, every single word in order to collect market intel and she is a trust worthy lady and a true professional.

Let me know if your’e in. Man to man, and like all Men, we need a smart Woman to solve something.

Know your size, know your place.



You need to read my post again, I never said I’m a small contributor, I said not a small Contributor.


@John Neff

Oh well, I respect you, I read, watched, listened to everything you say everywhere.

Love the fireplace.

But ill say this, you, you of all others here should take a very very deep look at what you’re doing, open a philosophy book by that fireplace screensaver (I love it) and read deep into the philosophy of “Responsibility & Blame”.

You, of all people decided to feed Contributor’s worst nightmare, the unlimited download sites, sure, you said you’re just “messing with it” to see what’s up.

An honest man is telling you that if you have 1 clip in any of the unlimited downloads site, you carry 100% responsibility of the new payment structure on SS that were forced to cut prices only due to people giving clips for free on unlimited sites.

This is 100% true, I don’t care if you have 1 clip or 10k over there, by taking part in that, you ruin any chance for better commissions, you make Shutterstock look bad because hay, they want 79$ for Jeff’s clip but ill just go unlimited and for 29$ download Jeff’s entire portfolio in 4K.

I respect you and your effort, I follow you always, great insights but you should have never gone to even check the unlimited market. 

And if you did, if you decided to let people download your files for pennies and potentially rob your entire portfolio, how in the world do you allow yourself to go against Shutterstock?

I have tons to say about your relationship with BB but it’s off subject.

Shutterstock’s new structure was forced on SS and contributors a 100% because of you. I blame you John. Even if you have 1 file over there of static white wall 5 second shot.

Still I keep following you and collect market intel. 

Thank you.


@Wilm Ihlenfeld

Thank you for an amazing text.

You seem to disagree with that change but in between the lines I could sense that you understand that there was no other way around it and its a matter of market forces.

Yes, I see myself as a Shutterstock Creative share holder” but I know my place, I am not an SS partner, I don’t work for them and the typical structure and work relations have nothing to do with us contributors. 

Shutterstock owes me and you nothing, they do it as a business, the rules are well known in advance and you agreed to them.

Tell me, you think SS would not like to give you 100$ per image download? Sending you off at the end of the month to upgrade your gear and create more and sell more and better?  They can’t. They can’t.

SS Is under tons of pressure to preform and deliver earnings on both sides of the rope when on one side you have to maintain great financial reports and dividends and on the other side, while SS is the absolute leader in pays and sales, they are forced aggressively to restructure by its own contributors that feed that unlimited markets.

Shutterstock is being eaten from the inside by it’s own “creative share holders”.

You should thank SS for doing it’s best to hurt you as little as they can in order to exist. 

I don’t see any SS employee feeding the unlimited market.

I see tons of SS contributors feeding them for a couple more bucks.

Tell me, if you ran a business and found out that your employee is talking trash about you and start petitions would you keep him? 

And not only that, the same employee actually sells the same stuff as you do, across the street (mouse click away) for 99% cheaper, and to top its all he gives his clients the option to take the entire store with them while you’re on the other side of the street trying to charge 79$ per unit.


Are you going to be mad if a client came to your store and said “hey buddy, the exact same stuff on the other side of the street in 99% cheaper?”

Will you close your store? No one will buy a damn thing from you with your overpriced 79$, for that money I can download an endless amount of entire portfolios with unlimited.

So you either close your shop or adjust and that’s what SS is trying to do, they cut prices on both sides of the rope and they did it with the deepest care when it came to contributors. Break it down and you will see that there was a lot of thought into it, trying to hurt us as little as possible.

Stop blaming Shutterstock, stop calculating packages and minimum payouts.

This has nothing to do with Shutterstock and a lot to do with Contributors feeding the unlimited machine.  

Wanna start a petition? Go against Unlimited sites and the people that feed them.

Don’t go against the ONLY significant company the tries so hard to not hurt us.


Thank you everyone, I will not comment anymore on anything anytime soon.

11 years into this and having 2 forum statements is way too much, I have tons of things to do, Shoot, Edit,upload,Tag,collect market intel and develop new creative ideas, im ok with it because  ShutterStock makes it all pay out, every single month.


Stop selling on unlimited platforms, stop feeding them with clips, stop “pool sharing” your earnings.

Support ShutterStock.

And if anyone from SS reads it, please, don’t allow your contributors to sell at unlimited platforms.

Thank you all, back to work.



All your arguments are invalid. You don't have a portfolio and your first post here was to support shutterstock. Get out troll... 

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8 minutes ago, mariait said:

i got my first sale for 0.10 either. 5th "level"

Ok,here is my answer about my level in 4 for new earning.Why they put me in 4 level if will be same price? Disgrace !

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1 hour ago, Anita Ponne said:

Isn't the same true of us? That if we don't like the way SS works we can find another job? I solely blame the CEO's and large shareholders.

It is not the same. We are not working for SS. Technically, we are paying SS to work for us, and the rules changed in the middle, and little soldiers like Kate are part of it. She was even trying to justify this system at one moment.

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2 hours ago, Kate Shutterstock said:


As you've noted, commissions are now calculated according to the new royalty structure.


Rest in pepperoni dear Shutterstock!

I will monitoring the situation for a month, but something tells me that our cooperation will come to an end. Very sorry! That was a cool five years!

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Please don‘t feed the troll without a port.

Ignore the useless distraction, he has zero income from stock and is not affected by any of this.

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2 minutes ago, Gulsen Ozcan said:

Ok,here is my answer about my level in 4 for new earning.Why they put me in 4 level if will be same price? Disgrace !

To please the investors. That's why. 


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@TBT Honest

I understand you are not upset about the new earning structure and this might be for a number of reasons. In my mind it's either because you don't expect it to make money on it (because you work, worked, are affiliated to SS and earn your money from them) or because you are a shareholder, and expect a juicy compensation from this shameless grab by SS.

Either way you do not/won't show your true identity and/or your portfolio to back you up for an obscure reason I can only imagine. 

Therefore the term I use to refer to you "TROLL" is in context and I will keep it until you come out from under the bridge.

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Internet troll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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"Trolling" redirects here. For the method of fishing, see Trolling (fishing). For other uses, see Troll (disambiguation).
Two revisions of a Wikipedia article shows a troll vandalizing an article on Wikipedia.

In internet slang, a troll is a person who starts  flame wars or upsets people on the Internet by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] either for the troll's amusement or a specific gain. 

Both the noun and the verb forms of "troll" are associated with Internet discourse. However, the word has also been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, the mass media have used "troll" to mean "a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families".[4][5] In addition, depictions of trolling have been included in popular fictional works, such as the HBO television program The Newsroom, in which a main character encounters harassing persons online and tries to infiltrate their circles by posting negative sexual comments.

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Hope you guys had a good run in the first half of the day because it will take you two weeks of sales to make the same amount you did in 8 hours today.

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1 hour ago, Whiteaster said:

I am in the same boat as everyone else here and I have no other numbers to show other than the table found here on the forum and re-posted 2-3 pages earlier.

I see, you are a reasonable man who knows that moderators sent to take the heat have no right to add their own opinion, they can only tell us what they were told to do.

Apparently some people here have never had a job and have no idea how things work.

I am not defending SS, why would I? Still, in these 8 years I've spent here, Kate was always kind and patient to us all.

Now, a few people who have been booted recently, created a new account, with no port and they trash everybody who doesn't meat their style.

Wish you all good.

Peace and out.

I know how things work, and I know as well the principle of responsibility. When you work for a company, you are representing its interests. If it's not ok with you, leave, or accept to be treated the same way. And kate did not only inform us, she was trying to give us that corporate BS about the new January reset. 

If she has some kind of dignity, she should leave, if she stays, then she is on the same boat as the rest.

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35 minutes ago, Kate Shutterstock said:


As you've noted, commissions are now calculated according to the new royalty structure.


We're not blind. 

Now, address our concerns and stop that corporate speech. Remember that you are representing your company. Try something decent, because at the moment you're lower than anything.

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7 minutes ago, Jasmin Awad said:

Please don‘t feed the troll without a port.

Ignore the useless distraction, he has zero income from stock and is not affected by any of this.

You're right, I blocked him. But maybe he does have income from SS, but not as contributor :) 

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37 minutes ago, Kate Shutterstock said:


As you've noted, commissions are now calculated according to the new royalty structure.


There are AI bots that can write much more comprehensive messages.

There are also AI bots that can moderate a basic forum such as this one.

I wonder how long is going to take until Shutterstock finds you redundant based on the "effective" way you communicate the messages with the community.

As a forum front-man you said we're going to have a conversation together here yet you just moderated a rant that spans over 100 pages with no involvement at all.

If this is a "conversation" with the contributor.....then shutterstock is a fair company.

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Just now, Sunflowerr said:

Level 5. Huge disappointment


What's with the variation: 0.17 and 0.10? I don't get it.

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15 minutes ago, Morrowind said:

I think we will see below $0.1 for subscriptions. 

I fear that as well. The rate card shows no minimum, so they can adjust this whenever they want.

The 38 cent subs were masking much lower real values, they obviously have been selling these cheap packages for a while.

So how low is the true nanostock value masked by the 10 cents?

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19 minutes ago, Morrowind said:

I think we will see below $0.1 for subscriptions. 

For now 0.1 is guaranteed, but  I'm sure that's their next plan. Maybe they'll announce it before Christmas or something, as a great new opportunity.

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Just a quick warning:

There's news of Shutterstock terminating contributor accounts who criticized them.

For those of you who wish to keep their .10 cents, be warned!

For the rest, it might just do you a favor.

Shutterstock should ALSO comment on this manner, right here!

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