As more and more people turn to their smartphones for photography, photo-selling apps have become a popular way for aspiring photographers to monetize their hobbies.
Making money by selling photos can seem challenging when everyone with a smartphone can call themselves a photographer. However, plenty of novice photographers have found success in this field by establishing a niche and building a solid customer base.
Currently, several apps let you sell your photos for cash, whether that be by selling them directly or listing them via a marketplace.
Let's take a look at some of the best apps to sell photos online through.
Foap is among some of the best apps to sell photos online through. This free photo-selling app is available for iOS and Android, and its reviews are overwhelmingly positive. After signing up, the app lets you upload and sell your digital photos on the Foap Marketplace. Foap's approval process is based on member ratings, so you must rate five user photo submissions every time you upload a photo.
For your photos to get accepted, you will need positive ratings from other users. To start making money using Foap, download the app and create an account. You can then upload photos or take them directly using the app. Each picture needs to have a minimum resolution of 1280 x 960 pixels. The app splits the profit with you 50/50.
Shutterstock is another big photo-selling app offering over 180 million photos, vectors, and clips. Since its inception, the micro-stock site has paid out $1 billion to contributors. All photo enthusiasts are welcome to join Shutterstock. Typically, the payment is 15-40 percent of the sale, so it doesn't pay a lot of money, but it's a good place if you're starting out.
You can also refer your friends through Shutterstock's affiliate program to make extra income.
Many marketing agencies, small businesses, and large corporations use the Stockimo app to buy photos for their websites. You'll earn a commission for selling photos, and the app allows you to retain the copyright to your work.
The community rates the images, and like Foap, you must have a score of at least 2 to sell your photo. The only downside of Stockimo is that you will only receive a 20 percent commission rate from each sale.
ScoopShot is another photo-selling app. However, this app operates differently from the other apps on this list – it runs a daily photo contest that rewards outstanding users. One thing that makes ScoopShot stand out is that it allows you to set your own prices.
This way, you can factor in the effort you put into taking the pics and charge the price you feel each photo is worth. Companies can search for pictures by name, location, or genre. To sell faster, you must provide your location, experience, and a portfolio of at least nine recently taken photos.
StudioNow also allows you to make money selling photos. But, unlike most stock photo sites, this challenge-based app is strict on photo quality. With 200k+ users, the app lets you submit digital images according to the buyer's needs.
StudioNow pays you 50 percent of any photo sold through the marketplace or your individual profile. In addition, you can make extra money through requests or challenges.
EyeEm is designed with usability in mind. With EyeEm, you can take a photo, upload it, and make it available for purchase. You can even take photographs and store them in your app without an internet connection.
Once you are connected, the images will be synced and uploaded automatically. With pictures selling from $20-$250, this could be one of the best places for selling photos online.
If you're looking for a stock photo app to dip your toes in, the 500px app offers a free plan with limited perks. With over 13 million members, the free version allows you to use their photo marketplace without fees; however, you can only upload seven images a week.
If you plan on going all in, the app offers three different paid plans that allow unlimited uploads and customizations. While the free version may be limiting, it may be best for those testing the waters.
8. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is among the best stock photo websites. You can directly import high-quality images, videos, vectors, or illustrations in Lightroom Classic, Bridge, Premiere Pro, and the mobile application Photoshop Mix.
Whether you enjoy photographing your latest meal or filming underwater, Abode can help turn your hobby into a profitable business. You agree to an unspecified nonexclusive contract with Adobe. You retain the rights to the images you take and can sell them elsewhere.
Photographers who want to retain the copyright to their images will find the Dreamstime app a great platform. With a 25-50% revenue share, contributors can earn a reasonable payment for their photography services. In addition, they can sell exclusivity rights for an image and get an additional 10% bonus for even better earning options.
These exclusive rights can be for 1-3 years, and photographers can also choose to sell complete rights for their photos. And if you join as an Exclusive Contributor and sell photos exclusively on Dreamstime, the revenue share increases to 60%. Dreamstime requires a minimum balance of $100 earnings to be paid; still, the higher payout makes this app a great option to sell photos online.
If you have a passion for photography, selling your images on Depositphotos is a great way to turn your passion into a source of income. Register for a free contributor account and take a brief test to ensure your photographs meet the site's standards.
Once approved, you can start uploading your digital files and get paid each time someone downloads them. But, of course, the more you sell, the higher your contributor level and the more money you can make.
With tens of millions of users worldwide and a reputation for quality, Depositphotos is a great platform for photographers of all levels to showcase their work and earn money.
Etsy may not be the first platform to consider when selling stock photos. However, this popular online marketplace offers a unique opportunity for photographers looking to showcase their work and make money.
While Etsy isn't a dedicated stock photo site, it allows artists to sell their handmade or digital goods, including stock photos or physical prints. Setting up an online store to sell your photos may take some time, but the potential payout is worth it.
You're likely to make more on Etsy than on other photo-selling apps. Plus, selling photos on Etsy enables you to carve out a niche for yourself as a specialist stock photographer.
You can offer photos tailored to a specific niche or theme, such as feminine workspaces or natural landscapes.
12. Envato Elements
In a move that significantly improved its user-friendliness, Envato purchased photo stock company Twenty20. Now, not only does Envato offer a vast selection of images, but it also boasts artists known as “authors” who sell their own creations on the platform.
And for those interested in broadening their horizons past photography, Envato has a marketplace where anything from audio to design can be sold. So whether you're a seasoned artist or a budding entrepreneur, Envato has something for everyone.
13. Istock and Getty Images
If you're looking to sell photos, iStock might be a challenging app to start with. However, it is one of the largest stock photo agencies, meaning money can be made if you can get in. To join iStock, you'll need to apply as a contributor.
If your application is accepted, you'll be allowed to join either iStock or Getty Images. Remember that the terms and conditions differ slightly for the two platforms. On iStock, your images are non-exclusive, while Getty Images only deals in exclusive images.
Each photo app has pros and cons, but if you sign up as an exclusive contributor on iStock, you'll likely have the highest potential to earn money.
How Do I Sell My Photos Online To Make Money?
Whether you're an aspiring or professional photographer, you can sell photos online to make extra money. Fortunately, this is easier than ever in the digital age.
One way to get started is to market your work on stock photography websites like Shutterstock or Getty Images. These platforms allow you to upload photos and receive a commission each time they're downloaded by a customer.
Another option is selling photos via online marketplaces like Etsy or Society6. It's also important to build a strong online presence through social media and your own website to showcase your best work and make it easy for potential clients to contact you.
You can turn your photo skills into a profitable business with persistence and a unique eye for capturing special moments.
How Much Money Can I Make Selling Pictures?
Selling photos online can be a lucrative business for photographers. Still, the earnings can vary greatly depending on the type of licenses sold and the agency where the stock images are sold.
On average, stock photographers earn $0.02 per image per month with stock photos. At the same time, professionals can make between $0.05 and $0.25 per image per month.
Royalty-free sales offer earnings ranging from $0.10 to $99.50, with extended licenses paying as much as $500.
However, if you're looking for the highest commissions, Stocksy pays up to $200 per royalty-free sale and a whopping $8,100 per extended license.
If you want to succeed in the world of stock photography, then it's necessary to upload consistently since agency algorithms favor those who regularly upload. In fact, to make a living solely from stock photography, it's recommended that you upload around 200,000 photos in total.
Tips for Using Apps To Sell Photos Online
If you are passionate about photography, consider selling your photos through apps. With so many apps available today, it can be challenging to know where to start. Here are a few tips to get you on the right track.
1. Upload Multiple Photos To Increase Your Chances of Making a Sale
Some photos may seem nearly identical, but it's a good idea to offer plenty of options as you never know what potential customers may need. For example, one image may be slightly brighter than the other or have a better angle when cropped and resized to be used on social media platforms.
These factors can affect which photos will generate more sales from customers who decide based on what they see in person rather than an edited image online.
2. Utilize a Range of Subjects To Diversify Your Photos
Taking multiple pictures of an interesting subject is essential, as it can help you capture all the details and nuances that a single shot might miss. In addition, photos taken at different angles will provide more information about your subject, from close-up shots to sweeping landscapes.
3. Don't Over-Filter Your Photos
When selling photos, editing can be an important tool in making them more attractive. However, you'll want to do as little editing as possible so they will appeal to the biggest amount of potential buyers.
4. Shoot at Full Size To Give Buyers Multiple Size Options
You should always shoot in the highest resolution your camera has to offer. This will help you get more use out of every image, which is especially helpful for those looking to sell photos online.
5. Don't Zoom
When you want to get close, it can be tempting to zoom in. This might make your photo blurry or pixelated, and if the subject is a wild animal or something that would move if you got closer, try getting as close as possible without zooming. If this doesn't work for what you are trying to achieve, the best option is to crop your photo afterward.
6. Use Your Smartphone
Since your smartphone is likely always with you, it is an excellent tool for seizing photo opportunities and making extra money. With today's phone cameras being more powerful than ever, you can take some breathtaking shots.
If you have a knack for photography and a creative eye, all you really need is a phone with a decent camera to get started. You might be surprised how much you can bring in by selling your own photos online. Who knows, it may become a profitable side hustle or even be the pathway to a new career!