Shutterstock has been one of the world’s leading microstock agencies for more than a decade now. Like other microstock sites their business model is a simple one. Sell a lot of image licenses very inexpensively, focusing on quantity and bulk sales. For many photographers, that’s not always been an ideal situation. A vast archive of images leaves little room for yours to be noticed.
They want to help improve things, though, with the release of a new plugin for Adobe Photoshop. This plugin allows users to search images to test out watermarked images quickly and easily in their designs. It also suggests similar images, features curated content. It also has buttons to be able to easily license images once you know they work for you, all without leaving Photoshop.
For those who use Shutterstock’s imagery in their work, this is a big workflow boost. Before the process, as with most sites, is quite convoluted.
- Browse Shutterstock to find an image you like that might work
- Download the free watermarked version
- Bring it into Photoshop and see if it fits for what you need
- Decide whether it does or it doesn’t based on how much effort you want to put into the mockup
- Go back to Shutterstock and try to find the image again
- Purchase the image
- Download the image
- Bring it into Photoshop again, and do what you did in the mockup, but better
Now, you just bring up the Shutterstock panel, search, and click to insert the preview into your open document. Do as much or as little work to it as you like. Clicking “License Image” switches it straight out for the unwatermarked image. All your edits will be automatically reapplied to the new image.
So, there is a little more hope for photographers that sell on Shutterstock. The improved workflow for users is bound to make them see more images, as it’s easier to do. They’ll probably become more inclined to buy, too.
Some will still complain about how microstock ruined the stock photography industry, but you can’t please everybody.
The new plugin can be downloaded here. It’s available for Windows and Mac, and requires Photoshop CC2014 or CC2015.
Do you shoot and sell stock imagery? Do you shoot for microstock sites or more traditional stock agencies like Alamy? Do you use a lot of stock imagery in your work? Will this plugin make you start using Shutterstock if you don’t already? If you do already purchase from Shutterstock, will this make you more inclined to search for and buy images? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.