Foap is probably one of the best-known platforms for amateur and professional photographers alike, which is both a good and a bad thing.
It’s good because it means there’s a huge selection of photographers and snaps to choose from for buyers, which keeps them interested, but it’s bad because it also means there’s an awful lot of competition from anyone wanting to make a little money off the platform.
As a standard, each image costs $10, and as the photographer, you get $5 of that. As it’s a larger platform with lots of users, it’s also attracted brands, so there are higher-paying (and more fiercely contested) gigs from established names too. Its most recent update brought a UI makeover, new social features, an improved cashout selection, a model release upload option and a whole lot of other tools aimed at selling your images a little easier. It’s free to download and there are no ongoing membership fees. (Download link)
Snapwire, like the rest of the apps in this list, gives you the opportunity for the amateur or semi-pro snapper to monetize their passion.
However, it’s also a little bit different to a general photo marketplace, as the emphasis really is on quality images. That means it might be more attractive for semi-to professional photographers initially, but the app has enough gamified elements to keep it interesting for amateur users too.
The ability to earn is either via Challenges or Requests, but before you can respond to the more lucrative brand requests, you’ll have to prove your skills and ‘level-up’ your account. The focus, excuse the pun, here is really on allowing the photographer to have an easily accessible and attractive portfolio of work – from there, buyers can purchase an image directly.
Scoopshot adds its own twist on the photo marketplace idea by taking the competition elements and making them last only a day each. It also lets you upload and monetize videos too, which isn’t true of some of the others on this list.
The result is an app that guarantees a daily ‘Contest’ winner (and therefore renewed daily interest from users), and a marketplace that lets you set your own prices. It also makes it nice and simple for people wanting images to find a ‘Pro’ by location, name or genre, which thereby increases the likelihood of you actually selling an image.
All you need to get started as a Pro photographer on the platform is to list your experience and location and provide a portfolio of at least nine images to give people an idea of your work. The amount you earn as a photographer is a little less straightforward than with some other options (a set fee from the marketplace from anyone who downloads your image or a share of advertising revenues if it’s purchased by a network and used on ads) but it offers a lower entry point for users than some of the ‘semi-pro’ platforms, while keeping things interesting with daily activities. (Download link)
EyeEm is one of the biggest names in this list, and with that comes positive and negative points. On the plus side, a huge network of members combined with a scheme that highlights the best new photographers can help a few people make a splash, but it also means that there are millions of other users’ photos that prospective buyers can purchase.
Unlike some of the other ones here, EyeEm doesn’t focus on just being a photo marketplace. Instead, it’s worked to bring together people who love taking and sharing photos by building filters and other tools into the app and found a good way to keep them coming back for more while monetizing the service at the same time.
You can upload any images you want to sell or license to the marketplace, and keep control over all rights (allowing you to assign different levels to different images, for example) at the same time as giving brands and agencies the opportunity to use them for a fee. Alongside the traditional market setup, there are “exhibitions, awards, magazines and Missions” to help entice users to keep coming back. (Download link)
- Market shot
Market shot (and the next item, Dreamstime) are more basic approaches on the marketplace, that focus purely on providing you with that space to sell your photos. As with others, though, Markedshot’s main money-making potential can only be realised through competitions.
Instead of a flat $5 fee through the marketplace (of which you get 50%) for each photo, competitions on Market shot are client-led projects with specific requirements – they may also require you to live in a specific location to be eligible too, as many are for local project requirements.
Obviously, the budget for these competitions varies according to client requirements and the number of images, but they tend to be from around $100 upwards. It’s not necessarily a place that will work well for semi-pro or professional photographers, however.
Like many that came before it, Dreamstime provides the now familiar marketplace features you’d expect but keeps things pleasingly simple. It also provides some good sales feedback and stats via the mobile app and tools (like model release forms) for pros that will be appreciated.
There is a range of license options available for your images too, allowing up to $12 earnings per image, depending on which you choose. It might not have the reach of the largest players, but Dreamstime is worth checking out. (Download link)
- Bonus app – miPic (iOS only)
We’re only including this one here for originality and anyone that happens to have an iOS device lying around as well. We know you’re out there.
With another spin on the marketplace and competition formats already seen in this post, miPic still manages to bring something new to the table. Like Snapwire, MiPic puts the emphasis on shining the spotlight on photographers, but it also adds new ways of monetizing images that are uploaded to the platform in a way that could appeal to consumers, rather than brands and agencies mass-acquiring images from these marketplaces.
Of course, it allows you to sell the snaps too but allows customers to print the image directly onto an item (mugs, tees, etc.). You, as the creator of the image, get 20% of each sale that uses your images. But as already mentioned it’s still iOS only for now.
If you go looking for other apps that claim to allow you to make money from your photos, there are a couple you’ll come across that are worth avoiding at this point, for a few different reasons. Clashot and Iconzoomer are the first two you’re likely to find and they haven’t been updated in over a year and over 4 years respectively!
Not only does that mean they’re probably a waste of time in terms of the time you’ll invest in creating a profile, but it also makes them a potential security risk. Apps, like operating systems, should always be kept up to date with the latest security practices, so using one that’s four years old for any financial transactions doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
If you know of any other, you can let us know via the comment section.
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