Write   |   Advertise   |   Contact

Shutterstock’s Top Tips For Using Stock Images Online

You can find out more information at http://www.shutterstock.com

When it comes to using photos on websites, we all know about copyright issues – or do we?  If you’re not sure of the pitfalls, check out these pointers from Shutterstock, an innovative global e-commerce company and a leading provider of stock photos, illustrations, and footage.

1. Get Permission

The most common mistake people make is using images they find online without obtaining proper permission. This can land you in serious trouble. The legal option is to buy from a royalty-free image library.


2. Model Release Forms

If you plan to use images of people on a commercial site, you need a model release form – even if you have taken the photos yourself!. Photos containing people sourced from Shutterstock already have the necessary model releases in place, so you can use the images without worry that a model might make a claim.

Model Release

3. Check the Terms

Check the image agency’s Terms of Usage and the different types of licences. For example, most royalty-free stock images cannot be used in conjunction with unlawful or immoral content.

Check The Terms

4. What Type of Licence?

Most stock agencies offer two or more licences differentiated by the scope of permitted uses. This means that if you intend to use a stock image to sell or promote a product with high distribution (such as a CD cover that would be reproduced in excess of 250,000 copies), you first need a licence that allows for this higher volume. This is to ensure that the photographer or artist who created the image is properly compensated.


5. Editorial Use Only

Another common mistake is confusion between ‘editorial’ and ‘commercial’ images.  Images labeled ‘Editorial Use Only’ cannot be used for commercial purposes – i.e. the image can only be used to illustrate a news-related story. It cannot be used to sell or promote a product, service or idea, which rules out most websites.


6. Logos and Trademarks

Royalty-free images cannot be used as part of a ‘branding’ campaign: they cannot be incorporated into logos or trademarks.


More Information

With images playing such an important role in web design, it’s well worth looking at Shutterstock’s 25-A-Day subscription which lets you choose from millions of photographs, illustrations and vectors for a flat rate. You might never worry about images again.

All images in this blog post have been sourced from Shutterstock’s library of images.

You can find out more information at http://www.shutterstock.com

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Really useful advice – thanks for the article! We use iStock extensively for a lot of the websites we design – great quality stock images really help when sprucing up a design, as placeholder images often don’t convey what the site could look like.

  2. A great article with some really useful advice. I use shutterstock and istock frequently when designing websites. The use of quality images can make a website extremely visually appealing. I found the advice on using images for editorial and commercial reasons very informative.

  3. Shutterstock & iStock are without doubt 2 of the top microstock/ subscription sites around. At Which Stock Agency – http://www.whichstockagency.com – we review & rank the top agencies as well as listing all their current discounts and promotions so you might want to have a look if you’re after a special offer! We also list info about copyright & licensing plus you can post comments about individual stock agencies. Sorry for the plug – just thought it would be useful!

  4. Great post as always. It was more effective & useful to the people who were at the designing professionals. It helps us to know how to use stock images in a webpage. Will use these tips from our upcoming projects. Thx for sharing this post.

  5. A really useful blog for someone who regularly uses stock image websites. I think there is a time and place for stock images.
    In particular industries there are a lack of imagery on these sorts of sites, so sourcing images doesn’t always work but the quality of these images are great if you can find what you are looking for. Even more reason why they should be respected and used fairly.
    Thanks for the tips.

  6. My clients ask me about how to use other people’s images and stock photos all the time. I am going to use this article as a reference tool for them after I explain these guidelines verbally. Well done, Phil!

  7. Quite an interesting post as I was unaware of people landing themselves in trouble for using images without permission, but I wonder is there actually Agent Smith Types looking through the images people use? Or do you just have to be extremely unlucky to get caught out??

Leave a Reply