Some questions about paid stock images


I have some questions about stock images… I have been using CC0 license public domain images from pixabay, unsplash and other similar sites. And i have been thinking to use some paid stock images site like shutterstock for example.

My questions is if i buy ShutterStock professional membership with standard license which allows 750 images to download for US $249/month and i cancel my membership after one month… Will i be allowed to use those 750 images in my all future projects for preview purpose?

When i submit my files to themeforest, what will i need to show about those images? Is there any license file proof or just need to tell the reviewer that they’re from ShutterStock or iStock etc for preview purpose only?

Which is the better stock site in terms of low pricing and great quality images. If i’m allowed to use 750 images in my all projects then its $0.332 per image cost on shutterstock. Is there any better deal?


Each site has different rules about what happens post subscription.

For example Shutterstock (I think) say that if you are already using a file then that’s fine but they prevent stockpiling by saying that if you download any number of images then they must be used/incorporated to a project within 6 months otherwise the license expires. Adobe I believe is lifetime and iStock is 30 days.

Bear in mind

  • that each site will have different limits on the amount of times each image can be used
  • each image with have restrictions on the use e.g. many will say no commercial use (without seriously expensive licenses, if at all). A theme demo here would be “commercial”.

You probably won’t need more than possibly linking to the license but you should not include it in the item and you should substitute all images with placeholders in the download version of the item - never redistribute the stock images.