Learn about the best apps to sell photos online. Start your own side business taking great photography and selling it online to those that may need stock photos!
Everyone has a smartphone these days. In fact, it’s hard to remember life before smartphones. Smartphones do make life easier and they can even help you make money.
One way to generate passive income with your smartphone is by taking photos and selling them online. Just make sure you’ve figured out the best apps to sell photos for you.
You can make money with photos whether you’re a professional photographer or you just love to take pictures. And, you don’t need an expensive camera.
Like they say, the best camera is the one you have with you. And, I’m willing to bet you usually have your smart phone with you. If you’re like most people, you have thousands of photos on your phone right now, just waiting to be printed.
Why not sell your photos so they can be seen and appreciated; and you can earn some extra cash to start paying down debt!
Who Buys Online Photos?
The big marketplace for online photo sales is something called “stock photography”. When people talk about stock photography, they’re referring to photos that are taken by individuals and then sold by photography websites for commercial use.
Shutterstock is a huge stock photography site and may be one that you’re heard of. For sellers, selling photos online to these stock photo sites can be a great, pretty passive money maker. All you have to do is take the photograph one time, then sell it using one of the great apps out there to sell photos.
The Best Apps to Sell Photos Online
These are some of the best apps you can use to sell your photos online. If you’re a photography lover like I am, taking photos doesn’t even seem like work. But why not make a little extra cash doing something you enjoy?
EyeEm could be the best app to sell photos for a number of reasons: It ranks among the best photo selling platforms with over 25 million photographers around the globe and offers you a 50% commission.
Selling prices are pretty high as well – quite often ranging in the $25 and up range. And, selling on EyeEm is non-exclusive so you can sell the same photo on another app.
500px is one of the best photo-selling apps that offers both a free and paid subscription. You can use their free photo marketing platform, and there are over 13 million members.
However, the free version lets you upload only seven images a week. The other membership levels allow unlimited uploads and more customization.
Agora is an awesome app because you get to keep all your earnings. And, Agora doesn’t charge any membership or commission fees. You’ll find different commission levels based on how high of a rating you get and as you submit better pictures, your rating increases.
Shutterstock is a huge stock photography site that you many photographers do very well on. It’s a numbers game on Shutterstock. You won’t make a ton of money per photo, but this site sells millions of photos, so the more of your photos you upload, the better your chances.
More Great Places to Sell Photos
Adobe Stock – Backed by Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Stock is a very popular stock photo site that you’ll want to investigate.
Alamy – Photos on Alamy don’t seem to sell as often but when they do sell, they sell for more money.
Deposit Photos – You upload your 5 best photos, and once approved you are an official Deposit Photos contributor.
Foap – Foap is another one of the best apps to sell photos. It’s well-known and can be quite profitable for photographers. In fact, here you’re paid 50% of the profits.
iStockPhoto/Getty Images – To apply, download the Contributor By Getty app and upload 3-6 photos. Then, wait while they review your info-usually within 7 days!
Stocksy – Stocksy’s content is exclusive, meaning if you upload an image here you can’t upload that same image to any other site.
Twenty20 – Known as a crowd-sourced stock photography marketplace, on Twenty20 you’ll sell your photos via your own personal gallery. The payout can be complicated so make sure you’re aware of how it works.
Selling Photos Online: How to Start
The first step in selling your photos is to make an inventory of what photos you already have on your phone. You’ll want to take time to sort through your photos to see which photos could potentially sell.
Make a new folder for any potential photos to sell and move any potential photos to that folder. To get an idea of what photos may potentially sell, go to the stock photo websites mentioned in this article and do some research. See what types and styles of photos are listed and then see what photos you have that are similar.
How to Make the Most Money
If you know how to take good photos, you can earn money by selling them. There’s a wide variety of places to sell photos online and most sites use apps that make it super easy to upload your photos and get started.
If you think about it, anyone with an online presence needs quality photos. Everyone from large corporations, small and medium sized businesses, bloggers, marketers, publishers and graphic designers buy and use photos online on a daily basis. All these groups need quality photos.
Rather than buying photos from an individual, many people and groups that need photos go to stock photography sites. Other people prefer to purchase photos directly from the photographer on a direct sales site. Both options are a good way to sell photos.
Stock Photo Sites: Things to Know
Stock companies have large websites and lots of contributors who sign up to sell their photos on these sites. All of these stock sites have apps for you to use so you can get on their site and sell your photos.
You’ll need to determine which app works best for you to sell your photos. It will come down to trial and error because every site will tell you that theirs is the best app to sell photos. After you sign up for a few and test the waters you’ll have a good feel for which app works best for you.
Each company does things a little bit different, so I recommend browsing the websites for all of these stock photo companies to get a sense of how their process works. For example, on some sites your photos probably won’t sell as often, but they’ll sell for a higher price when they do sell.
On other sites, you’ll have to rate other photographer’s photos and some sites have complex pay structures, so it will benefit you to research the sites and apps you’re considering.
Direct Photo Sales Sites
Etsy – You can create an Etsy store and sell your photos via your Etsy store.
Zenfolio – You create your own site within Zenfolio and then sell your photos directly to the consumer via your Zenfolio gallery.
What Types of Photos Sell the Best?
According to Shutterstock these are the most in demand photos on their site. Other sites see similar in demand photos.
Nature images that inspire wanderlust
Who doesn’t love looking at a beautiful scene in nature? Plus, you can use a nature photo in so many different applications if it is somewhat generic.
Scenes showing work from home settings as well as working from the coffee shop. Also, photos that show collaboration and cool open concept work environments do well. Business and electronic products are also big sellers.
Candid photos of family and friends
Photos of everyday moments that are not necessarily “staged”. People want photos that represent real life like candid photos do.
Top-down food shots
Photos of food from overhead have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to social media. These top-down food shots are in high demand.
Travel images that depict local culture (if you have a local model in your shot, get a release form so you can sell their photo).
Real life photos that show real people living life
This includes all people: people with disabilities, senior adults and people of color and diversity.
Color as the focus
Many businesses want images focused on a singular color.
Photos that are lightly edited
People want photos depicting real life and real people, without custom photo filters.
Lots of construction companies and builders need aerial photos of their building sites.
Tips to Help You Sell More Photos Online
Experiment with Choosing the Right App to Start With
You’ll have to experiment to see what app works best for you. After you work with the various apps for a while, you’ll find the best app to sell photos for you.
Choose One App
Once you experiment and find an app you like, stick to it. It will make things easier if you don’t get bogged down trying to figure out various apps at once.
Make Sure You Have Good Photos
You’ll need to have plenty of great quality photos to sell. Any photos that are subpar won’t make the cut. You want to make sure your photos are crisp, clear, and totally in focus.
No one will buy photos that aren’t super high quality because there are so many other photos out there that are nearly perfect. So, there’s no reason someone would purchase a less than perfect photo.
Take Multiple Shots of The Same Subject
Sometimes different shots of the same subject sell well. Some companies will purchase a sequence of shots showing the subject doing various activities or in various settings.
To make money on most sites you’ll need to upload a lot of photos.
If you’re looking to make a little extra cash on the side, selling your photos is a great way to get started! While you probably won’t become rich, a few extra dollars to pad that budget is not a bad thing!