5 Tips to Improve your Shutterstock Custom Profile


Note: This article is primarily learning material for current Shutterstock Custom contributors. Interested in becoming a Contributor? Click here to learn more and apply.

The new year is here, which means you are probably thinking about the goals you want to hit this year, and how you are going to source new opportunities to work towards. As Shutterstock Custom contributors, you have the opportunity to shoot for a wide network of global clients through our assignments, which is a fantastic way to start building your career portfolio. But before you can start to receive assignments, you have to be seen by our Project Coordinators through your Shutterstock Custom profile.


Your Shutterstock Custom profile is our gateway to your work, and keeping it updated allows our team to better understand your abilities as photographers and videographers. Through various sections of your profile, our team can evaluate your capability for a particular brief, so ensuring you have completed it in full means you have a higher chance to shoot more work with us.

We’re outlining 5 different ways that you can improve your Shutterstock Custom Contributor Profile to get more assignment opportunities to shoot with clients.

1. Ensure your website and portfolio are up-to-date

This is especially pivotal if you are a new photographer who has not shot with us before, as we will only be able to deliver assignments to you based on your website or portfolio links. You have the ability to submit multiple portfolios including links to your Instagram, so keep these looking fresh with your latest work. If you shoot multiple types of media, such as videography, add these links to your portfolio so they can be evaluated. We evaluate your profile and add tags based on things you have shot, so if you want to shoot food ensure that you have food work available on your submitted portfolio. 

2. Add categories to your profile

If you have shot new work that isn’t in your categories yet, make sure you add those categories in so you can be evaluated and approved in those categories. The majority of contributors on Shutterstock Custom shoot multiple genres of photography, so you have the ability to have multiple categories on your profile. By adding categories, you’ll be placed in that category for assignments in those areas.

For example, if we receive an assignment from a client looking for photographs of a family of four, we will look at the Portrait, Lifestyle, and Babies & Families categories to find suitable contributors. If you aren’t in those categories, you won’t receive the assignment interest check. 


3. Add tags to your portfolio

In addition to adding categories, you have the ability to add individual tags to your profile. These tags are another way for our Project Coordinator’s to find you on more specific assignments. They are specific to your environment, people, places, and things that you have access to. Be as truthful as possible so that we can deliver assignments to you that are tailored to your availabilities. 

For example, if we have a client looking for drone footage, we will search the drone tag to find contributors that have access to drones. If you haven’t implemented that tag into your profile, we won’t be able to find you. 


4. Perform well on Shutterstock Custom assignments

Our team can see all the feedback from your past assignments, so performing well on each individual assignment can absolutely affect your Shutterstock Custom profile standing. This means that if you accept an assignment, but don’t deliver the assets on-time or deliver off-brand content, your profile may be negatively affected. Treat each individual assignment as a piece of professional client work, and deliver what is required of you on time and in full to have a great profile standing. 


5. Ensure your location is up-to-date

Ensuring you have your location up-to-date is pivotal, as we ship product on various assignments depending on your location. If you plan on travelling for a long period of time and are interested in shooting Shutterstock Custom assignments specific to those areas while abroad, change your location to ensure you receive assignments in that area. You can change your profile location by adjusting your settings on the main page of your profile.


We are so thrilled to see what Shutterstock Custom contributors around the globe create in 2018. Ensuring that your Shutterstock Custom profile is up-to-date, accurate, and complete is a great way to start receiving more projects with us.

If you aren’t a contributor yet but an interested photographer or videographer, please apply here to get started.