How To Make Money Selling Photos Through An App
If you’re like most people, you have a smartphone on you most of the day. The technology for cell phone cameras has gotten so good that many people don’t have a need for another camera.
If you have a library full of thousands of photos, instead of leaving them to take up space on your phone, sell them on a photo marketplace.
Below, I go over the best apps to sell photos as well as how to sell photos online as a beginner.
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Best Apps To Sell Your Photos
500px app offers both a free and paid subscription. With the free subscription, you get free use of their photo marketing platform that has over 13 million members.
The downside with the free subscription is that you can only upload 7 images a week. They have three membership levels above that each allows unlimited uploads and far more customizations.
This would be a good platform if you plan on testing the waters and don’t want to upload many pictures at a time.
2. Agora Images
One of the best features of the Agora Images app is that you get to keep ALL of your earnings. There also aren’t membership or commission fees.
There are different commission levels depending on how high of a rating you get. The levels are Junior, Advanced, Pro, and Master.
In Agora Images, you aren’t selling the complete rights to the photo one time. You can continue to resell the same photo to other businesses.
As you get better at taking photos, you’ll sell more, thus getting higher ratings that move you up in rank. Higher rank equals a higher payout.
You can also participate in the app’s photo contests to earn money and even win trips! The contests are called “requests” and are hosted by businesses, brands, and bloggers.
They’ll give specific image requirements for the request and the best photo wins.
Bylined is a unique app platform whose focus is on User Generated Content or UGC. They partner brands with photographers to create user engaged on-demand photos.
Basically, brands contact Bylined about creating a photo contest. The contest gets sent out to people with the app. You create a photo and get paid by your favorite brands.
The Dreamstime app lets the photographer retain the image copyright. Contributors earn between 25-50% of the Revenue Share.
There are a few options for selling your photos that can increase your payout. Selling exclusivity rights gets a 10% bonus for that image. Those rights can be for 1-3 years. You can also opt to sell complete rights.
If you sign up as an Exclusive Contributor and don’t sell your photos on another platform, you’ll earn a 60% Revenue Share.
Dreamstime does require a $100 accrual before they payout.
EyeEm is a network of over 25 million photographers around the world. Similar to other apps, you make money through selling your photos in the marketplace but also with missions from brands.
In the EyeEm marketplace, you retain the copyright and receive 50% of the commission every time the photo sells. The lowest license they sell is $20 a photo so you’d earn $10 each time!
This is a non-exclusive marketplace so you can put the same photos up on multiple sites.
EyeEm’s goal is to create a creative global community so they offer free tutorials and tips to help you to improve your photography skills.
Foap is one of the most well-known photo apps and can be a profitable selling platform since some large brands buy photos from there. The commission structure is set up where the photographer gets 50% of the profits.
One unique aspect is that for every photo you upload, you have to rate 5 photos from other people. These ratings are used to help rank you and your pics.
Foap is more than a marketplace people upload pics into. Brands and companies send Foap a request for photos that they’re looking for. They’ll give information on style and type.
Then, Foap sets up competitions or Missions where photographers submit their best photo or video. If your work is chosen, you could easily make a few hundred dollars.
Keep in mind, your pictures need to have a minimum resolution of 1280 by 960 pixels but you can continue to resell the same picture over and over again.
Scoopshot is one of the best apps to sell photos if you’d like to set your own prices. This has the potential for you to earn more if your photos are top-notch.
Other ways to earn are through daily tasks and contests. Tasks are requests for specific photos from brands. These tasks are sent directly to your smartphone from Scoopshot based on your location.
Daily contests are the photo challenge set up by Scoopshot that everyone can contribute to.
Submitted photos are put for sale in the Scoopshot store. You’ll receive notification in your app whenever a photo of yours is purchased.
One interesting twist is that all photos you upload can be used by publishers for free when an ad is embedded in the photo by their image advertising network.
If your photo is used by online publishers, you’ll earn a share of the advertising revenue. Every view of your photo earns you money!
8. Shutterstock Contributor
Shutterstock has been around for over 15 years and has millions of photos. They’ve paid out over $1 billion total to their community of contributors.
To sell photos on their platform, you must become a Shutterstock Contributor. A contributor can earn between 20-30% of the price depending on what type of subscription the customer used on the site.
Being such a huge, well-known company can make it hard for beginning photographers to break in. You’re not bound to only sell in Shutterstock’s marketplace so this may be a good second app choice.
Some positives are that the photographer retains the image copyright and you get a credit listed beneath the photo on the site that uses the pic. This is great for getting your name out if you’re an aspiring photographer.
Snapwire has close to 800,000 content contributors. You get to keep your image copyright too.
You can earn two ways using Snapwire: through your portfolio & marketplace and with requests & challenges.
Marketplace sales get a 50% commission but requests and challenges earnings keep 100% commission.
Their app was built exclusively with content creators in mind so it’s easy to use and intuitive.
Stockimo is an app created by Alamy, one of the largest stock photo agencies.
This is great for you because Alamy knows how to sell stock photos so you stand a higher chance of success. Stockimo is selling the license to use your photos so you keep the copyrights.
Stockimo is solely for photos taken from your cell phone. If you have photos you want to sell that were taken with a DSLR camera, upload them to Alamy.
You’ll receive 20% of every sale. An upside is that depending on the license, the sale could be hundreds of dollars. The Stockimo website states that the average sale price is $90.
The downside is that there is only an iPhone app so far and not Android.
Twenty20 app has each photographer create a gallery. You get your own personalized link where you can promote and sell your photos.
You can also add your best photos to showcase and get more exposure. Each photo sold earns a percentage of the subscriber’s share.
For instance, if a subscriber downloaded 20 photos in a month and 6 of those were yours, you’d earn 30% of that subscriber’s contributor payout.
If you participate in the challenges, you can earn more. You get to keep 100% of the commission if a brand works directly with you through the Twenty20 platform.
This platform is non-exclusive so you can use other photo apps as well. You keep your copyright to all your pics.
How To Sell Your Photos Online: Where To Start?
There are only a few steps to complete in order to start selling your photos.
1. Choose Your Stock Photography App Or Site
I hope that the list of the best apps to sell photos above has helped you in your search.
I recommend starting with ONE photo app to begin with in order to not become overwhelmed with numerous apps.
It doesn’t really matter which app you choose, whichever one catches your eye. Keep in mind that just because you start using one app, that doesn’t mean you can use another.
If later on, you decide to change where you want to sell your photos, that’s not a big deal. Transitioning to a new photo selling platform is generally straightforward.
2. Create An Account
Once you’ve chosen a photo selling app from the list above, it’s a standard process for setting up an account.
Fill in all of the information for your profile in the text boxes. Make sure your information is accurate.
Some of the account profiles are used as an application to join the stock photography network.
3. Start Producing Photos
If the app you decided to join has a review system in place, it may be a week or so before you hear back from them on approval.
This is the perfect time to start going through all the photos you already have or taking NEW photos with the intention of selling them in the photo marketplace.
4. Upload And Share Your Work
Once you’re approved for an app or stock photo network, you can begin to upload your photos to the photo marketplace.
Some of the apps have a social sharing feature to help you promote your photos easily.
5. Keep An Eye On Trends
Not all photos will sell easily. Some will do better than others. In order to have more of your photos sell, keep an eye on the popular pics and photo trends.
Blogs and other businesses plan their content 3-5 months out. They may be looking for Christmas photos in the middle of the summer.
Staying up to date on the highest selling photos on your app platform will allow you to determine which of your photos will have a good chance of selling well. It will also give you ideas for your next photoshoot.
Selling Photos Online For Beginners: How To Succeed
Once you’ve committed to selling your photos online using one of the apps above, you may be wondering how to get people to find and buy YOUR photos.
Your success will depend on a few things:
- Paying attention to trends
- Finding your niche
- Building an audience
If you know what people want to buy, focus on that topic and get good at it, then you’ll be able to gain traction getting your photos purchased from the photo app marketplace.
What Photos Sell Best?
A large consumer of stock photos are bloggers and small to medium-sized businesses. Take a look at a few popular websites and pay attention to what types of photos they have throughout.
Also, think about what the business is trying to convey with the photo. Understanding that will help you take photos that people will want to buy.
Some of the most commonly purchased photos are:
- Food – Delicious food with a nice presentation but also eaten and unwashed plates.
- People Working – Very popular with businesses. Writing on a laptop or pen and paper are easy photos to stage with a friend.
- People – Just people in general in candid settings. Parents with kids or friends in a group having fun.
- Cities – Cityscapes, buildings, people commuting. The hustle and bustle of city life.
- Travel – Travel shots from unique locations around the world. Think Instagram-style but without the filters.
- Tools – Construction site, hammers, screwdrivers, auto parts.
- Nature – Almost everyone loves pictures of animals or landscapes. Not going on a safari anytime soon? Shoot photos in a backyard garden or park.
Selling your photos online is a great way to earn extra money but can be confusing for beginners to know how to go about it.
I hope this list of the best apps for selling photos has made it easier for you to decide where to start selling your photos.
Let me know in the comments which stock photo app you’re most excited to try.
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Make Money Online With A Photo Selling App