How to Download Shutterstock Images Without Watermark

Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock image databases in the world. It provides quality photos, videos, and other forms of content for adding to your blog, website, etc. In order to avoid blatant stealing, Shutterstock features watermarks on all their videos and images.

But you want to use an image from Shutterstock without a watermark, right? If that annoying transparent Shutterstock watermark is bothering you, here’s how to quickly and easily get rid of it once and for all.

What Images Are Watermarked?

Shutterstock is a service that works based on either purchasing the available content or subscribing to one of the available plans. As such, Shutterstock has made every single image on their platform watermarked. Not only that, but they’ve done this for all other forms of content, as well. So, no, you can’t get any form of Shutterstock content for free.

Well, that’s not strictly true. Certain ways to get watermark-free Shutterstock images for free definitely do exist. However, they’re of questionable morality, even legality.

The Legit Way

Every single image on Shutterstock is downloadable without the watermark. The thing is, you just have to pay for it. This is how people who post Shutterstock images on this platform get paid themselves. This is why Shutterstock has introduced watermarks on their photos – to make sure that the authors receive appropriate renumeration.

Every image can be bought individually, as can every other form of content on the platform. You get a free month-long trial first, after which you need to pay a certain amount to gain access to 10 images per month. This plan is the most popular but others exist, too. Depending on your needs, you can select 10, 50, 350, or 750 images per month or annually. The prices aren’t really high and, even if this is a one-off thing for you, purchasing an image in order to remove its watermark won’t set you back too much.

download shutterstock images without watermark

There are also many discounts as well as coupon options available.

The ‘Other’ Ways

That being said, there are other ways to remove the watermark from a Shutterstock image. However, the owner of the actual image has all the copyright claims secured through Shutterstock. This means that, even if you successfully remove a watermark from a Shutterstock image, if the artist or Shutterstock catch you using it, well, let’s just say that you’re probably looking at a lawsuit. A lawsuit that will only worsen as the post that you’ve used the image on gets more successful.

To reiterate, using the following ways to remove the watermark from a Shutterstock image or any other form of content is absolutely illegal and punishable by law. The following options, therefore, are definitely not recommended.

Use an Online Tool

Online tools that specialize in watermark removal do, in fact, exist. They claim that they’re free, simple to use, and do a brilliant job. However, finding a tool that will deliver as promised is a bit of a pain in the neck. In fact, chances are, you’re going to encounter certain issues along the way.

First of all, many watermark removal tools claim that they’re free to use – and most usually are. They may even provide brilliant results – images with no evidence of a watermark ever being there. However, although free to use, they likely won’t let you save the photo, prompting you to pay for a subscription on their service in order to be able to ‘save’ an image. Now, you could pay up but you could also pay for the actual image on Shutterstock, without going to all this trouble.

Some online watermark removers, however, really are free of charge. There’s always a catch, however, as they probably won’t do a great job. They’ll either blur out the watermark with it still being apparent or remove a solid chunk of the image’s opacity.

Even if you happen to find a perfect free and simple-to-use tool that will provide brilliant results (which most likely you won’t), there’s still potential ramifications for legal action.

Do It Yourself

If you’re a professional and seasoned photo editor, sure, you might be able to pull it off. However, if you’re a photo editor, you’ll probably prefer paying up for the image because you, too, would like to get paid for your work.

If you’re an amateur photo editor, you can give it a go and will probably be able to successfully remove the watermark at some point, but be prepared to invest a lot of money. If time equals money (and it does), you may be better off just buying the image, in the first place.

If you’re a beginner photo editor, you probably shouldn’t bother learning how to remove the watermark from a Shutterstock photo. Well, unless you’re doing it for editing practice, that is.

Have Someone Else Do It

If you have a friend or acquaintance who’s proficient at photo editing and willing to remove a watermark for you for free, this could work. Of course, removing the watermark from Shutterstock images will take some time and most people, especially professionals, won’t be too keen on doing the dirty work for you. Plus, it isn’t exactly legal, so there’s an even bigger incentive not to do it.

Sure, you could hire someone but this will likely set you back more than purchasing the actual Shutterstock photo!


Removing the Watermark

As you can clearly see, although free alternatives for removing the watermark from a Shutterstock image do exist, they all come with one common, unique downside – it’s absolutely illegal. Therefore, if you want a clean Shutterstock image, without a trace of a watermark, that is absolutely legitimate and useable at your convenience, just pay for it. Honestly, this is the best way to go. Alternatively, you could risk a lot and go with one of the other methods outlined above.

Have you ever purchased an image off of Shutterstock? Does removing the watermark illegally pay off? What do you think? Speak up about it in the comments section below.

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