The following post was originally featured on the blog of our parent company Shutterstock, on Tuesday July 21, 2015. As this change in its auto-trace policy also pertains to Bigstock contributors, it is being shared here.

Vectors are a powerful type of content. They are editable, adaptable, and scalable without loss of resolution. Our vector collection is one of the most diverse on the market. At their best, vectors are simple, clean, well constructed and easily editable in clearly labeled layered files. Well constructed vectors are a result of using tools within vector editing software such as the pen tool, gradients, fills and blends.

Up until now, images converted into vectors solely using auto trace or live trace have been accepted into our library of content. While an auto traced image is technically a vector, the result of the tracing process drastically diminishes the quality of the original image and severely limits the capability of the vector beyond scalability. We see beautiful watercolor paintings and gorgeous photos converted into vectors simply for the sake of making these pixel based images into scalable vectors, but the end result is a poorly executed vector version of what was previously a beautiful image.

We have received feedback from customers who have expressed frustration when downloading auto traced paintings, photos or textures. They find that while the vector is scalable, the image quality has been completely lost when viewed in a magnified form and is far too complex and time consuming to edit within an acceptable time frame. Vectors containing thousands of poorly constructed paths are not only extremely large files, but they are also nearly impossible to edit. The usefulness and power of a vector is severely diminished when burdened by excessive amounts of auto traced elements.
Based on our analysis of content performance and customer feedback, moving forward we will only accept auto traced one-color line art and flat art. Auto-traced full color photos and illustrations will now be rejected with the following reason: Unacceptable Auto Trace – We are no longer accepting this type of content. (Continue reading on Shutterstock's blog ...)

Top image: Abstract colorful splash background. Watercolor background illustration by Shutterstock contributor HAKKI ARSLAN.

AuthorBrian Masefield

As the saying goes, there are "cat people" and there are "frog people." Or something like that. Either way, it's safe to say that Bigstock contributor Kikkerdirk is a frog person, and we couldn't be happier about it. Kikkerdirk's up close and personal collection of frog photos is just plain cool ... even if you're more of a cat person.

Behold all of the amazing royalty-free frog photos, below. Each one is available for downloading. 


Jumping at the chance to see even more frog photos? Check out other fabulous amphibians in Kikkerdirk's collection below. Happy downloading.


AuthorAshley Hefnawy

Presentation is everything, and food settings are no exception. Bigstock contributor Mythja is particularly good at creating and photographing table top works of art, so we compiled a few of our favorite shots below. Browse through and see her entire royalty-free collection of food photography and tablescapes. Enjoy.


Check out the rest of Mythja's royalty-free photos below. Each image is available for downloading. 

Header image at top of post: Sun dried tomatoes 

AuthorAshley Hefnawy

NYC's Central Park has an enchanting, magical quality. Where some parts are devoid of nature, other areas thrive in what seems to be another world. Bigstock contributor gary718 captures this juxtaposition in a way that's both beautiful and unique.

Part of this series' charm is the use of grayscale over the infrared that makes each photo appear wintry. In reality, the photos were most likely taken in springtime (notice the leaves on the trees). Browse through his royalty-free photos below, and enjoy the glimpse of Central Park. Each image is available for downloading. 


Check out even more unique shots of NYC from the royalty-free collection of Bigstock contributor Gary718, and enjoy the curated lightbox, below, featuring more of his infrared work. Happy downloading.

AuthorAshley Hefnawy

Need some inspiration for your child's next big bash? Fear not. Bigstock contributor Pink Pueblo has a fresh collection of cool, creative, and kid-friendly imagery, especially suitable for DIY party invitations and birthday cards. 

Scroll through to see some fun highlights from this royalty-free collection, and check out even more seamless patterns and fabulous color schemes in the full Bigstock Pink Pueblo collection!


Check out more of Pink Pueblo's work below, filled with dazzling royalty-free illustrations. Happy downloading. 

AuthorAshley Hefnawy

Bigstock contributor Alisa Foytik has a knack for delicate and detailed artwork. Her collection boasts an impressive array of holiday-themed vectors and patterned imagery. Foytik's royalty-free illustrations are perfect for a variety of uses, like holiday cards, flyers, and more. Browse through some curated selections of her work below, each one available for downloading. Happy holidays.


Now that you're fully in the holiday spirit, check out our curated collection of even more royalty-free illustrations from Alisa Foytik. Happy downloading.

AuthorAshley Hefnawy

Creating a home photography studio may seem like an expensive venture, not to mention an overwhelming one. Where do you start? What do you need? And will it be professional enough? But if you go the DIY route, you can create a fully-functional studio for much less than you might think.

There are countless ways to save on backdrops, stands, and light modifiers, if you’re willing to build them yourself. You can also shop for deals, or buy used equipment like umbrellas and light stands. If you have a spare room, or even a quiet corner in your home, a bit of imagination, you can easily build your own home photography studio on a budget.

Here are the basics you will need to get started:


When putting together a photography studio, the most expensive – not to mention important – part of the project is the lighting. The two most basic choices of lighting are speedlights (also known as accessory flashes) and continuous studio lighting. For the beginner, or those on a budget, speedlights are the better option. For one thing, you can purchase used speedlights at nearly any camera shop – and they’ll be much less expensive than studio lighting.

Another great reason to go with speedlights is that they are more portable than studio lights. They're smaller and you can use them both on and off your camera. In addition, your lighting system will be powered by AA batteries rather than heavy battery packs.

Light Stands / Tripods

No matter what type of lighting you decide to use, you’ll need a stand to hold it up. Light stands and tripods are both great choices. Light stands are normally less expensive, but tripods offer a little more versatility. Most tripods have adjustable legs, so you’ll find they have more stability should you ever need to set up your lighting outdoors. You can also use the tripod as a makeshift light stand with a cold shoe adapter affixed to the camera plate. If you’re using speedlights, get a simple bracket that has an adjustable shoe to hold the flash, as well as a slot to hold the umbrella.


It’s hard to go wrong with umbrellas. Depending on the type of photography you’re planning to do, you’ll need diffuser umbrellas and bounce (reflective) umbrellas. Diffuser umbrellas – which are simply plain white umbrellas that soften the light from the flash – are the most common, and they’ll only cost you a few dollars apiece. If you need bounce lighting, you can get convertible umbrellas. These come with a black covering that can be removed if you need to switch between bounce and shoot-through umbrellas.

Reflective umbrellas are the most expensive of the three, and a majority of photographers find that they rarely even use them. However, if you need to warm your lighting with a gold umbrella, or reflect a lot of white light with a silver umbrella, go ahead and add them to your shopping list.

Snoots & Accessories

Umbrellas aren’t the only way to modify your lighting. You can buy – or build – many different accessories that attach to your flashes. For instance, if you want targeted lighting to highlight your subject’s face, rather than buying a snoot (the conical attachment that mounts on the head of your flash), you can use card stock and gaffer’s tape to make one. Grid lighting (like a snoot but gives a more gradual fall-off to the light beam) is also easy to make with some black drinking straws. And consider building a DIY softbox out of cardboard and an old sheet to diffuse your lighting.


When it comes to studio backdrops, which can be expensive, there are many great DIY options. The first thing you’ll need to choose is the backdrop itself. Most photographers use muslin, which is a thick cotton fabric that comes in a variety of colors. It’s inexpensive, durable, and easy to wash. You can buy it as a pre-made backdrop, or purchase bulk fabric from a craft store and make your own.

The next challenge is finding or building a mounting system for your backdrop. A simple idea is to mount a curtain rod to your wall. If portability is a priority, you can build your own collapsible backdrop stand from PVC pipe. This route is a little more expensive and time consuming than a curtain rod, but the result is a lightweight stand that is easy to tear down and move around. Just make sure that you select a thick enough pipe so that it doesn’t bow under the weight of the backdrop.

Aside from the electronics, almost everything listed here is both inexpensive and easy to create on your own. And, once you build up your clientele, you can indulge yourself with other pieces of equipment to make your studio even more versatile. Happy shooting. 



AuthorBrian Masefield

Photographer Kirill Makarov has an eye for the minute details of everyday life. Makarov also seems to have an eye for the details of everyday minute life. We've picked our favorites from his photo series of a surreal, miniature, and basically adorable world. (This post was created with royalty-free photos. Each one is available for downloading.)

Breaking News


A Little Daytime Farming


A Potentially Sticky Situation


Noodle Work


Little Car, Big Trouble 


Artists At Work, Dough Not Touch


Ain't No Pebble High Enough 


Getting A Little Sun 

There's a lot more to discover in this mini world lightbox, which you can check out here »

AuthorAshley Hefnawy

Bigstock has some big news for contributors. We’re now accepting 3D renderings of interiors. By interiors, we mean anything that depicts the interior of a building, including renderings of rooms inside homes, hotels, and transportation hubs.

Here's how to submit 3D interiors to Bigstock:

1. Please ensure that the software program you use to create your 3D interiors gives you the right to license content you create on the software through Bigstock.

2. When you submit your 3D interior rendering, you must indicate that the image is a 3D rendering in the description. You must also mark the category as "Art/Illustration” and subcategory as "3D" during the submission process. Please do not include the name of the software program in the title.

3. A property release must be submitted with each 3D interior rendering. The information required on the release is:

  • Your name, on the left side of the release.
  • The name of the software program used, on the right side of the release (where it asks for “Description of Property”).
  • The name of the specific license (also under “Description of Property”).
  • You do not need to include/have a witness.

If the software program you use does not have multiple licenses, you may indicate this on the property release.

4. As always, please only use elements to which you own the copyright, or that you have the right to use, in content you license through Bigstock. Therefore, you should not submit the following:

  • Templates of interiors available through software programs. Your submissions should be unique and original, and use of template elements should be limited.
  • Interior renderings of existing properties or interiors.
  • Unique and/or isolated furniture. If there is furniture in your 3D interior rendering, it must be generic. Additionally, it should not be the focal point of the 3D interior rendering, or isolated in the rendering.

Artwork that you wish to include in 3D interior renderings must be accompanied by a property release indicating that you are the copyright owner of the artwork. If you did not create the artwork, you may not submit it. Content from “free” image websites or other “free” resources should not be included in your submissions.

Thank you. If you have any questions, please email

AuthorBrian Masefield