Best Apps For Selling Photos

When you take photos with your smartphone, you don’t just want to share them with family and friends. You want to put them on the internet and make some money.

You’re not alone. In fact, there are over 1 billion people using Instagram daily, and over 3 billion photos are uploaded each day. That’s a lot of people who want to make money from their photos!

The best apps for selling photos will help you get your work out there so you can start earning money from your hobby or passion.

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Top 5 Best Apps For Buying And Selling Used Products | by Selena Kyle |  Medium

Best Apps For Selling Photos

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.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase an item through these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Please read the full disclosure policy for more info.

Table Of Contents
Best Apps To Sell Your Photos

  1. 500px
    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.

phone taking photo of beach and tropical blue ocean with city views to sell from photo app

  1. 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.

  1. Bylined
    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.

  1. Dreamstime
    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.

hiking young woman in rock cavern taking smartphone pics to sell

  1. EyeEm
    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.

  1. Foap
    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.

  1. Scoopshot
    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!

woman selling phone pics on an app of pink hydrangeas

  1. 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.

  1. Snapwire
    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.

  1. Stockimo
    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.

  1. Twenty20
    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.

Brunette woman wearing a red hat and floral dress in a sunflower field taking photos on her smartphone to sell on an app
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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

woman’s hands taking smartphone photo of pink macaroons
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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Steffa Mantilla
Certified Financial Education Instructor
Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here

selling photos online for beginners

Whether you’re a pro photographer or just like taking pictures in your spare time, you could make a decent amount of money by selling your photos online – even without a top-of-the-range camera. In fact, if you’ve got a decent phone camera and a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.

However you take your pics, there are a growing number of ways to monetise photos you’ve already taken. And there are heaps more ways to develop your photography skills (and income) from selling your Insta stock to going all out and making a photo book.

Read on to find out how to live the dream and make a living from photography.

What’s in this guide?
Essential photography equipment
How to sell stock photos online
Selling photo prints
Best ways to sell print-on-demand products
How to become a freelance photographer
Top tips for aspiring photographers

Essential equipment for photography
Before you can start making money from selling your photos online, it’s important to get good photography equipment. But, as we said earlier, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a fancy camera to sell your images.

If you’ve got a DSLR camera (or fancy getting one for a steal), you’ll have more options for selling photos to stock libraries, to sites for prints, or for print-on-demand products. This is because digital cameras will generally produce higher-resolution images.

However, some smartphones are trumping digital cameras these days, like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Google Pixel 6 Pro.

A growing number of websites are buying photos taken on mobiles, so research which stock photo site is best for you.

5 free examples of photo-editing software
woman using laptop
Credit: astarot – Shutterstock

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry leaders in photo editing. But, even with the Adobe student discount, they come with quite hefty prices. Instead, we recommend you try these free photo-editing software programmes first:

Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of tools for tweaking colours, curves and more.
PIXLR is a convincing alternative to Photoshop, and even recognises the same shortcuts. You can run it straight from a browser or through the app for free.
GIMP can do much of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it’s a tougher learning curve.
There are loads of phone editing apps to be had for free or a few pence, but Snapseed (for iPhone and Android) consistently makes the best-of lists.
Don’t forget the pre-installed image software on your computer, phone or laptop – most can make light work of the basics.
Using good software to edit your photos will make a huge difference, so it’s worth spending a bit of time looking for the best package for you.

Once you’ve found the right editing software for you, the key is to practice. Try out lots of test edits, ask for feedback from friends and family, and work hard to perfect the skill. The extra effort will pay off (literally).

How to sell photos online through stock libraries
Stock libraries buy and sell digital photos to use on websites, in books, on products and even in ads, with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each time.

Selling photos through a stock site is a great way to surf passive income ideas: you can upload a photo once and sell it over and over again, pretty much forever!

You may have to submit a selection of pics (and be accepted) before you can become a contributor to an online stock photo library. After that, some sites will continue reviewing all your submissions, and will happily bounce any that they think don’t meet their standards.

This means you’ll always need to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Don’t get too hung up about rejections, though – join multiple stock-image sites and post pics to all of them to get the best possible coverage.

Do you have a knack for fashion photography? You can make good money from selling your clothes online with the right photos.

Best websites to sell your photos online
To make as much money as you can selling photos online, try these stock image websites:

alamy logo

We recommend trying Alamy first to begin selling stock photos. Their student contributor scheme gives you 100% of the sales price of your images for two years – ideal! Your uni will need to be part of the scheme, but loads of UK institutions are already registered.

On average, images on Alamy typically sell for about £65 each, but photos could get anywhere from £15 – £360 depending on what your photos are used for.

If you’re not a student or your uni isn’t registered, the payout is still a fairly decent 50% for images that are exclusive to Alamy (you get slightly less for non-exclusive images). Selling phone pics through their Stockimo app (App Store only) earns you a 20% cut.

Visit Alamy »

picfair logo

Picfair comes with a twist: you decide how much your images sell for. Of course, the lower you set the price the more likely people may be to buy your images. But, if you have some top-quality pics that deserve top prices, this site is ideal.

Picfair adds 20% on top for their cut, but the sales price you set is what you get if your image sells.

Visit Picfair »

eyeem logo

If Instagram and Alamy had a love child, it would look like EyeEm. EyeEm is a photo-sharing site but, if you want to earn more than ‘likes’, you can also sell your images through the marketplace.

You’d earn between 25% – 55% of image sales, depending on how much money you’d made through the site in the last year. More info on this here.

As a bonus, on EyeEm there are also regular how-to articles and themed missions run by big brands. Plus you can upload photos via the web or phone.

Visit EyeEm »

foap logo

Foap is built around phone photographers, with everything handled through the app (free on Android and App Store). Foap sells photos for around £7 – £8 and splits it 50/50 after reductions of any taxes and dues.

They also run regular Missions, where you can submit photos on a theme to be in with a chance of winning extra money and perks.

Visit Foap »

dreamstime logo

Dreamstime offers up to 60% for exclusive contributors.

How much your photo sells for also goes up the more it’s downloaded: newbie images can sell for around £0.25 – £3.50.

If you’re selling photographs taken on a phone, start with the free Dreamstime app (on Android and iPhone).

Visit Dreamstime »

Getty Images
getty images logo

Getty Images hands over 15% of an image’s sales price, but promise a bigger cut if you make the image exclusive to the site (around 25% – 45%!).

Single images sell from £50, but the type of licence or subscription plan the customer buys determines how your slice is calculated.

Visit Getty Images »

shutterstock photo

Shutterstock is one of the best-known stock image sites to sell to. The amount you will earn per photo depends on the licence or subscription type, as well as your lifetime earnings (the total amount you’ve earned on Shutterstock as a contributor).

It’s worth noting that you’ll only earn 15% per image sold when you start out as a Shutterstock contributor.

The more you sell within a year, the bigger the percentage you’ll receive. But, at the beginning of each calendar year, this resets and you’ll go back to earning 15% per image until you sell more again.

Visit Shutterstock »

Tips to make extra money selling stock photos
Here are the best ways to make more money selling stock photos online:

Upload quality images to multiple stock photo sites.
Include people in your photos – but it’s worth noting that anyone you pap may need to sign a model release form to say they’re okay with you using it. Your stock library will have template forms you can print, sign and submit.
Check the T&Cs before selling photos to stock image sites, including when you’ll be paid, how much and in what currency. Also, find out what happens to your photos if you want to cancel your account later on. You may find that you could make more money by selling to a different stock library.
Sign up for contributor newsletters from stock photo sites for insights into what pictures are in demand and how to improve your camera and editing skills.
Use relevant keywords when uploading photos to stock images sites as this will help more people find (and buy!) them.

How to sell your photos as prints
Man holding Polaroid self-portrait

Before you run down to Boots to batch print your holiday snaps, there’s a little more to it. While you can sell photos printed on your home printer or at a high-street lab, better quality images get bigger profits.

That means using a proper printing lab (one that specialises in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or even selling limited or signed editions.

There’s loads of freedom in selling photo prints. You decide what to shoot, who to sell to and for how much. And, like selling through stock libraries, it can be a nice little passive income earner.

Use a photo hosting site
Photographer-friendly website hosts give you a secure place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (so you can show them off) and shopping tools (so you can sell prints, downloads and wall art).

They even handle the printing and any postage every time you make a sale. Sounds great, right?

There is a catch, though – not only do they charge for hosting your site, they also take a cheeky cut from each sale – and that’s not everyone’s cup of cocoa. If you want to give it a whirl, look out for free trials before you pony up the cash: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.

Open an online photo store
Alternatively, you can always start your own website or Etsy store and hang onto more of your profit.

Making prints or gifts to sell is also super straightforward – go for print-on-demand and you won’t have to store any stock (or be out of pocket if you can’t sell it).

Sell photos on social media
Take a tip from the students earning from their revision by Instagramming their study notes. Obviously, it helps if you’ve already got a strong online following, but if you have talent (and the right hashtags) you’re in for a chance of making money.

As an example of a way to make money on social media, you could take photos of some products that you’d recommend to your followers, then share them with affiliate links on sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

With affiliate links, you can earn a commission when people buy products through them. We go into more detail about affiliate marketing in our guide to making money on social media.

But please note, you’ll always need to signpost if a social media post is an advert (more info here).

The best thing about earning money through social media is that you don’t even need a website: your feed is your portfolio, and you’ve got a massive potential audience.

For more Insta inspiration, head to our account.

How to sell print-on-demand products
Print-on-demand is a brilliantly simple way to make money from mouse mats, keyrings, t-shirts, bags, books and more – often with zero set-up costs.

The real beauty of print-on-demand is that while you can advertise loads of products, they don’t actually exist until someone buys them. This means there’s no stock to store, lose or trip over.

Even better, there are sites out there that do all the producing, printing and posting for you, so all you have to do is take the photos.

Sell images as photo books
First stop: Blurb, the self-publishing platform.

On Blurb, you can publish eBooks and print copies of your photo book, just by importing your Facebook or Instagram images – and you can sell your finished book on Blurb or Amazon.

You can also advertise books on your own website (if you’ve got one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy!

Create personalised photo gifts
Turns out you can slap a photo on pretty much anything, from shower curtains to pet clothes and PJs – and you don’t even need a glue gun to get started.

Most print-on-demand companies let you upload your photos (or illustrations), choose which products you want to sell them on, and then give you a cut of the profits if they sell.

Running a print-on-demand store is low-fuss and low-cost – if you’re happy with the occasional sale, it can be a nice way to make cash on the side for relatively little effort.

The word from successful sellers is that, to earn proper bucks, you’ll need to put in the hours (so just like a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots of photos or designs, getting the word out, and generally keeping up an effort.

Examples of personalised gift websites
On CafePress, it’s free to set up and run a store. Royalties will vary, based on retail prices, discounts, promotional prices or as determined by them.
Zazzle lets you set your own royalty rate between 5% and 99%. But, while it’s tempting to dial it up to full whack, remember that your cut is added to the sales price. Go OTT and you may find it harder to make sales.
With Spreadshirt, the amount of commission you’ll receive per sale on the Marketplace depends on the product type.
Redbubble starts with a product base price and lets you add on a mark-up – the default is 20%, but you can tweak it as much as you like. But take note: they’ve reintroduced a payment threshold of around £20, so you can only cash out on a monthly basis if your earnings reach this amount.


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