Wandering For Money

5 apps to sell stock photos (that anyone can use)

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5 apps to sell stock photos (that anyone can use)

Make money selling photos

First things first. What is stock photography? Selling stock photography which is more the type of photography you see say pictured in blogs and websites of flat desk layouts and coffee mugs and different popular themes. They do not necessarily sell for much (depending on the app but you can usually sell them multiple times with no license or royalty). But you can make money selling photos with some apps. 

Full disclosure- I have not done well on these apps but believe you should check them out because they are popular and you may have better luck than myself.

Top 5 stock photography apps to sell your camera photos

Here are my top 5 based on experience.

1. EyeEm

  • Available on App Store and Google Play.
  • Pros: great community and very supportive. Cool missions which may get you good attention (and prizes!!) but these pictures are not taken by a camera phone for the most part so can be frustrating…
  • Cons: while there are articles about success stories using a smart phone to take photos on this app, this would be a pro if most photos did not look just impossible with a phone. *you never know though!
  • Pay: Once approved for market you can get a cut of each sale and sell each photo as many times as you want.
  • I am unsure of exactly how much you make here. I believe it’s a percentage of how much someone buys it for…but beware here because people can sign up for subscriptions to buy a set amount and that will impact your sale price… so from what I hear, it can get low even if you see it advertised for more online. Those are for people that do not have these more or less unlimited access to pics.
  • Premium collection. Once selected I was very excited. After selected, you wait some (some are not long) for these pics to get accepted into say Getty’s collection. Cool huh? Well.. EyeEm and Getty split whatever is really paid for the photo (so it may say $350 online but not if the buyer has a subscription which then it’s a lot less.) Now EyeEm takes a cut of the cut they get from Getty…so your best pictures may land you a few bucks.

2. Foap

  • Available on App Store and Google Play.
  • Rundown: includes both missions and also you can upload photos outside of those for the general market.
  • Payout? Missions can pay about $50-$250.
    • Outside of missions, photos on Foap’s market pay $5 each time someone buys (licenses) your photo. Note there is no limit to how many license your photo. No exclusivity so you keep the rights and can sell it as many times as you want here and on other apps that do not grant buyers exclusive use of the photo upon purchase.
    • Note: when uploading photos anywhere you should check the terms you are agreeing to. Not all sites are like this and you don’t want to grant an exclusivity license one place and go post that photo a bunch of other places. Foap I believe for some challenges wants exclusivity so it depends. 
  • Issue here? Guess who determines if you get in the marketplace for non-mission photos… Your competition. The app’s FAQs state that a photo with an average rating (3 out of 5 stars) means you get on the market if at least 5 people rate the photo. The app has improved in that it shows what photos are on the market and it does not appear that you even need 5 ratings. Although I would imagine poor ratings do not help. 
  • Mission selection – if you submit a photo to a mission Foap’s reviewers decide whether it is actually included as a submission in the mission. Best part? You are never told if yours is in there unless you search for it. (Personally I think this is an awful system)
  • Try it out and see because who knows! I think posting a lot of photos here that follow current stock photo trends (ice cream in summer, easter eggs in spring, fall foliage in fall, etc.) may be a better strategy with this app. But if you have any ideas let me know in the comments! 

3. Twenty20

  • Available on the App Store. Or you can sign up on the website here: https://www.twenty20.com/sell.  
  • Rundown: Has competitions which have a voting period for users to determine the top photos. The top 20%, top 10% and top 20 photos are presented to more potential buyers. From among the top a winner is also chosen for that challenge.You get a badge on your profile if you make it into the top 20%, top 10%, top 20 for each competition. Just a badge..no money
  • Outside of the challenges, you can also upload other photos directly to your profile that are available for sale. Photos are automatically for sale once added to your profile.
  • Pay/commission: $2.00 per photo licensed. Each photo can be licensed an unlimited number of times.
  • You can also nominate other users’ pictures to the Signature Collection. If a nominated photo is selected for the collection, it is featured more prominently to potential buyers.
  • Nice people here. Generally I would say photo apps have very supportive users if they allow comments which this next app does not…

4. Snapwire

  • Available on App Store and Google Play
  • Perhaps the best paying one out there. You can make good money off a picture which is rare with the others.
  • Warning: first you need to prove yourself. There are missions and you can only submit so many when you are new.
    • If you win, are nominated or have a photo “selected” from your portfolio which gets it on the market for sale, then you move up levels. Then you can access more requests from buyers that tend to have higher cash rewards. Also, leveling up = ability to submit more photos for each mission. 
  • I commonly see some photos get nominated by those in higher “levels” that seem very off point (in my opinion). Some reviews complain about favoritism. Maybe that is the reason or maybe it is just easier for these reviewers to autosort and only review the photos submitted by “experts.”
    • Basically: It makes it hard to move up when you are new and there do seem to be many favorites – you will see once you use it.

5. Shutterstock

  • Rundown: To become a contributor I would suggest visiting this website first.  It is a little more involved in first becoming a contributor, whereas the other apps you just start submitting. Once you become a contributor, you can download an app in the App Store or Google Play. Note: if you are submitting photos to be sold, make sure you get the Shutterstock Contributor app. There is also an app that is geared towards browsing and buying the Shutterstock photos.
  • Approval is required for each photo uploaded to your profile. Following approval, the photo is available on Shutterstock’s webpage. If you run into issues in getting photos approved (and I would suggest doing this before you upload your first pictures), read the FAQs and guides. There are requirements that are a little different than the other apps I mentioned.
  • This platform is picky which may lead to top quality photos but they license out to buyers at very very low prices. It is a well known site so a lot of low prices can add up since these photos can also be sold/licensed multiple times.
  • Try a few out just because you never know but if you get nowhere well perhaps do not upload your best photos.

Other notable mentions

These are apps I have seen mentioned but did not catch on to. I know others like them so here you go.

1. Clashot

2. Bylined

3. Scoopshot

4. Stockimo

Stock photography is competitive (everyone has a smartphone with a smart camera) and typically not lucrative. If you have a lot of extra photos, it is worth trying out. As with most money making adventures, do not do stock photography expecting that you will make x amount of money. Or any money – there is no guarantee. If you have a lot of pictures to choose from and/or generally enjoy taking pictures, I think it’s worth checking a few out to see if it’s something that will work for you.  See my post on tips . And try some apps out!

Check out another way to sell photos by adding them to products that can be purchased and sold on RedBubble, included in my Black and White photo post here. 


And tell me your experiences with this apps and sites! Are there better ways to sell? Which ones have been a hit for you? Which haven’t?? I was lucky to get tips and tricks not just through blog posts but comments too! So share your stories!

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