7 Best Apps to Sell Your Photos Online in 2023

Discover the top apps to sell photos to maximize your earnings and showcase your photography to a global audience.

Selling photos online just got a whole lot easier with these apps.

Whether you’re trying to sell stock photography or just pictures of feet (yes, it’s a thing), there’s a photo-selling app for you.

Some of the best stock photo sites actually create apps to sell photos online.

Then there are iOS and Android apps that are specifically designed for selling photos.

So if you’ve already read our guide on the best websites to sell photos online, it’s time to discuss smartphone apps.

Let’s take a closer look at the recommendations so you can start to make money with stock photography.

What Are the Best Apps To Sell Photos in 2023?

1. Foap

A screenshot of Foap App home page.

Key Features

  • User-Friendly Interface: The sleek app and website allow you to earn money in photography in the simplest ways. You just need to register through your email or Facebook account.
  • Mission-Based Challenges: Through Foap, you can access themed missions that brands submit regularly and participate in to win a cash prize.
  • Interaction Encouragement: The app lets you upload your photo only after you rate five other stock photos, encouraging community engagement.
  • Non-Exclusive Licensing Policy: Such policy gives you the ability to retain photos’ rights and sell them through other platforms simultaneously.
  • Reasonable Commission Structure: When you sell photos online through Foap, you can earn and cash out 50% of its price.
  • Simple Payment Process: You can cash out your payments through Paypal more conveniently and securely than other methods.
  • Mobile App Availability: You can download Foap app on your smart device, allowing you to upload, manage, and monitor your portfolio easily.

Foap provides a platform for photographers to showcase and sell their images globally. It’s a popular website with a massive stock photos database that attracts hundreds of buyers.

Through this app, you can participate in themed challenges, license your photos for commercial use, and communicate with fellow photographers.

2. Shutterstock

A screenshot Shutterstock homepage.

Key Features

  • Reasonable Commission Rate: Shutterstock pays a commission of up to 40% per sale. Typically, the more you sell on their website, the more you earn.
  • Licensing Options: The website allows you to choose from various licensing options, letting you control how buyers can use the images.
  • Higher Exposure: Shutterstock provides a massive global audience for your materials, which increases the chances of selling more content.
  • Content Optimization: This extraordinary website offers helpful tools and guidelines to create keywording for your photos, increasing their visibility in the search results.
  • Copyright Policy: You can retain the copyrights of your listed stock photos and get credit written beneath them when used on any website.
  • Learning Opportunity: Shutterstock provides a range of resources, insights, and tutorials to help you improve your photography skills.
  • Community and Support: The website has a community forum where contributors can connect with one another, ask questions, and share experiences.

Shutterstock is one of the largest global platforms where you can showcase and sell your visual creations. According to recent statistics, the website’s library contains over 400 million images.

Moreover, the website has an enormous library of videos, clip art, vector designs, illustrations, etc. So, it’s not just a royalty-free photo-selling app.

Although you may sell photos for low prices, Shutterstock is a fantastic place for beginners to start selling their artwork.

3. Alamy

A screenshot Alamy App homepage

Key Features

  • Generous Royalty Rates: Alamy offers a higher percentage of the sales price than many other stock photography platforms.
  • Easy Photo Submission Process: The platform is one of the most flexible when it comes to submitting content, imposing no restrictions on what you can upload.
  • Exclusivity Options: If you decide to make your photos Alamy-exclusive, you get to receive a 50% commission. Otherwise, you receive 40%, which is still quite acceptable.
  • Photo Upload Flexibility: You have two easy options to upload photos to your Alamy account. It’s either done through the web-based platform or the iPhone app Stockimo.
  • Straightforward Payment Process: You have multiple options to choose from when it comes to payments. Alamy offers bank account transfers, Paypal, or Skrill.
  • High Volume Traffic: Alamy is a reputable brand in the stock photography industry with thousands of buyers. Such a feature can influence higher trust and engagement.
  • Editorial and Commercial Content: The platform accepts all types of content, giving you the opportunity to contribute images for news, events, and creative projects.

Alamy is yet another huge agency that provides a platform for photographers to license and sell their images to customers worldwide.

It’s famous for its extensive collection of high-quality digital materials, appealing to many businesses, publishers, designers, etc.

Attracting thousands of clients, this popular platform offers a quite generous royalty rate than most of its counterparts.

4. Etsy

A screen shot of V app homepage.

Key Features

  • Diverse Creative Community: Etsy offers you an outstanding chance to join a vibrant community of artists and allows you to showcase your work in a unique context.
  • Customizable Shops: Over Etsy, you get to set up your own shop with personalized branding and policies. This allows you to create a distinct presence to show your style.
  • Print and Digital Sales: You have the option to offer your work in both digital and printed form, allowing customers to purchase tangible copies of artwork.
  • Various Licensing Options: You can provide the customer with different licensing options, letting them choose the appropriate usage rights according to their needs.
  • Photo Bundles: Etsy lets you create product bundles as a special offer. Such discounts encourage sales in larger quantities, leading to more profit.
  • Rating and Review System: For better credibility and to build trust, Etsy encourages customers to leave feedback on the products they bought from your shop.
  • Search Feature: Etsy’s search is fantastic, allowing potential customers to discover your products based on tags, keywords, and categories.

Etsy is an e-commerce platform focusing on handmade, vintage, and other items. Despite that, it made the list as one of the best apps to sell photos online because of its great features.

Mainly, you can consider it a marketplace where individuals create shops to sell a wide range of products. So, as a photographer, you can use Etsy to sell prints, digital images, photos, etc.

The platform charges a flat rate of $0.20 for each listing and collects 6.5% of the total order amount regardless of the designated currency.

5. Adobe Stock (Formerly Fotolia)

a screen shot of adobe stock web page with multiple pictures.

Key Features

  • Massive Royalty Shares: The average of royalty shares you get selling photos online on Adobe Stock is 33%, which is a fantastic percentage.
  • Integration With Other Adobe Apps: You can upload your edited artwork directly to Adobe Stock from various Adobe apps, such as Adobe Lightroom CC or Bridge CC.
  • Easy To Use: Adobe Stock has a user-friendly interface, allowing you to sign up and upload images easily. The app also auto-keywords your uploads for maximum visibility.
  • Non-Exclusive and Flexible Licensing: Such licensing options grant the buyer the appropriate usage rights and allow you to sell your photos anywhere you desire.
  • Convenient Payments: Adobe Stock pays you through Paypal, Skrill, or Payoneer after reaching a threshold of $25 or more.
  • Versatile Content Acceptance: The Platform accepts just about any kind of content, from stunning landscapes to conceptual compositions for maximum diversity.
  • Contributor Education: Through Adobe Stock, you get access to educational resources and tutorials to enhance your photography skills.

Adobe Stock is a stock photography service offered by Adobe, the company behind popular creative software like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere.

Although it’s not an actual smartphone app, the website provides a platform for all artists to sell their visual content of any type to a wide range of customers.

Due to its association with Adobe’s creative suite, Adobe Stock has become a prominent platform in the stock photography industry.

We included it in the list as one of the best apps to sell photos since the website is responsive and can be used as if it were a native mobile app.

6. Dreamstime

A screen shot Dreamstime app home page.

Key Features

  • Diverse Content Marketplace: Dreamstime has a massive marketplace with a diverse collection of images, illustrations, and videos.
  • Content Review and Approval: The platform reviews uploaded content before becoming available for purchase to ensure quality and adherence to guidelines.
  • Excellent Revenue Share: As a contributor, you can get up to 50% of the net transaction amount (starting at 25% and increasing depending on your popularity).
  • Timely Payments: The platform provides regular payment schedules to ensure you receive your earnings on time. However, you need at least $100 in your balance.
  • Exclusivity Options: You can increase your earnings by an additional 10% if you choose to offer exclusive images.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Dreamstime features an easy-to-use interface, making it simple for you to upload and manage your images.
  • Portfolio Exposure: The platform allows you to have a personal gallery, which makes it easier for potential clients to browse your work and for you to promote it.

Dreamstime is a stock photography agency that provides a platform for artists to share and sell their creations to a global audience. It’s been up and running for over 20 years.

What makes such a platform successful is that it’s one of the simplest and most accessible stock image libraries out there. Plus, it hosts millions of visitors every month.

Furthermore, it offers a range of licensing options and features that appeal to content creators and buyers alike.

So, if you want to start selling photos online and making money, Dreamstime can be the perfect destination.

7. iStock Photo and Getty Images

A screenshot iStock Photo and Getty Images app home page.

Key Features

  • Quality Standards: iStock maintains high standards for the content it hosts, ensuring that the platform offers a collection of professional images.
  • Contributor Refining Process: Getty Images utilizes an application process that evaluates work and ensures all contributors are up to standards.
  • Licensing Options: The platform offers various licensing models for your content, which influences users’ rights and also listed content prices.
  • Royalties and Earnings: As a user, you get to earn competitive royalties based on your content’s sales, with the potential for higher earnings as you achieve more sales.
  • Exclusivity Program: You have the option to participate in an exclusivity program on iStock Photo that offers higher royalties in exchange.
  • iStock Contributor Portal: iStock offers you a portal through which you can monitor earnings, track sales, and manage your portfolio.
  • Helpful Support: As a contributor, you have access to support resources that assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

iStock Photo is a well-known micro-stock photography platform owned by Getty Images. It’s widely recognized for its diverse and highly curated content.

That said, it might not be the easiest platform to access, especially for beginners. However, signing up is definitely worth the try, as it’s among the best apps to sell photos online.

With a sea of competition, your content on iStock needs to be of the highest quality. Therefore, it may be a great idea to purchase a DSLR camera for your photos to rise to standards.

Whether you get to join iStock or Getty Images, such platforms can encourage you to elevate your level.

Top Tips for Selling Photos Online Using Apps

Once you’ve chosen the best apps to sell photos, you need to hone your skills to make some serious money selling photos.

Here are some top tips you can use in relation to any of the photo-selling apps listed in our guide:

  1. Research the Best Platforms: Not all apps are created equal. Some cater to stock photography, while others might focus on art prints or specific niches. Popular options include Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and 500px.
  2. Understand the Market: Know what buyers are looking for. Trends change, so stay updated on what’s popular in the photography market.
  3. Quality Over Quantity: It’s better to have a smaller collection of high-quality photos than a large number of mediocre ones. Ensure your images are sharp, well-composed, and properly edited.
  4. Use Relevant Keywords: Most apps use a search function. Properly tagging your photos with relevant keywords will make them easier to find.
  5. Set Competitive Prices: Research what similar photos are selling for. Price your work competitively, but don’t undervalue your effort.
  6. Protect Your Work: Use watermarks or low-resolution images for previews to prevent unauthorized use. However, ensure watermarks don’t overly detract from the image.
  7. Diversify Your Photo Portfolio: Offer a variety of images. The more diverse your portfolio, the wider the audience you can appeal to.
  8. Engage with the Community: Many apps have a community aspect. Engage with other photographers, participate in challenges, and be active to increase your visibility.
  9. Regularly Update Your Portfolio: Keep your portfolio fresh and up-to-date. As you improve as a photographer, replace older images with newer, better ones.
  10. Promote Outside the App: Use social media, personal websites, and other online platforms to drive traffic to your photos on the selling app.
  11. Understand Licensing: Know the difference between royalty-free, rights-managed, and editorial licenses. Choose the best license type for each photo to protect your rights and earn appropriately.
  12. Read the Fine Print: Before uploading to any app, understand their terms and conditions, especially regarding commissions, payouts, and rights.
  13. Backup Your Photos: Always keep original, high-resolution backups of all your photos. This ensures you can re-upload or use them on different platforms if needed.
  14. Stay Consistent: Regular uploads can increase your visibility on the platform. Consistency can also help in building a loyal following or customer base.
  15. Seek Feedback: Engage with peers or join photography groups to get feedback on your work. Constructive criticism can help you improve and understand market demands better

What are the most popular stock photos sold online?

The popularity of stock photos can vary based on current events, cultural shifts, and emerging trends.

Some of the most popular stock photo categories and themes sold online include:

  1. Lifestyle: Authentic images of real people doing everyday activities. This includes families, friends, and individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
  2. Business and Work: Images of diverse workplaces, remote work, team meetings, and modern office spaces. With the rise of remote work, images depicting home offices and virtual meetings have gained traction.
  3. Health and Wellness: Photos related to fitness, meditation, mental health, and healthy eating. This category has seen a surge, especially with the increased focus on mental well-being and self-care.
  4. Technology: Images of people using devices, AI, VR, and other emerging tech trends.
  5. Nature and Environment: Landscapes, wildlife, and environmental conservation themes, especially those highlighting climate change and sustainability.
  6. Travel and Tourism: Landmarks, exotic locations, and travel activities. However, this category saw fluctuations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on travel.
  7. Medical and Healthcare: With the global pandemic, there’s been a rise in demand for images related to healthcare, medical professionals, research, and vaccines.
  8. Diversity and Inclusion: Authentic representation of diverse groups, including various races, genders, orientations, and abilities.
  9. Food and Drink: High-quality images of diverse cuisines, cooking processes, and fresh produce.
  10. Education: E-learning, virtual classrooms, and traditional educational settings.
  11. Abstract and Backgrounds: Simple or abstract backgrounds that can be used in various design projects.
  12. Holidays and Celebrations: Festive themes related to major holidays, celebrations, and cultural events.
  13. Home and DIY: Home improvement, gardening, and DIY projects, especially with people spending more time at home.
  14. Animals and Pets: Cute or wild animals, especially pets in everyday settings.
  15. Current Events and News: Images that resonate with current global events, politics, or social issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Apps to Sell Photos Online

How can I start selling photos on these apps?

To start selling photos, you’ll need to create an account on the platform of your choice, upload your high-quality photos, and submit them for review. Once your photos are approved, they’ll be available for customers to purchase.

What types of photos sell the best?

The types of photos that sell best can vary depending on the platform and current trends. However, high-quality, unique images with clear subject matter typically perform well. Popular categories often include travel, nature, food, people, and cityscapes.

How much can I earn from selling photos on these apps?

Earnings from selling photos can vary greatly depending on factors like the platform, the pricing model, the quality and uniqueness of your photos, and the demand for the type of content you’re providing. Some platforms pay per download, while others offer a revenue share model.

Are there any fees associated with selling photos on these apps?

Most platforms do take a commission from your sales, which can vary from platform to platform. It’s also common for platforms to have a payout threshold, meaning you need to earn a certain amount before you can withdraw your earnings. Check the specific terms of each platform for detailed information.

Can I sell the same photos on different apps?

Whether you can sell the same photos on different apps depends on the licensing agreement of the platforms. Some platforms require exclusive rights to your photos, while others allow you to sell the same photos on multiple platforms. It’s important to understand the terms of each platform before uploading your photos.

What are the requirements for photos to be accepted on these platforms?

Each platform has its own requirements for photos. Generally, photos need to be high resolution, well composed, properly exposed, and free from noise and artifacts. Some platforms may have additional requirements or restrictions related to content and quality.

Do I retain the copyright of my photos when I sell them on these apps?

Yes, in most cases, you retain the copyright to your photos when you sell them. When customers purchase your photos, they’re usually purchasing a license to use the photo, not the photo itself. However, the specific terms can vary between platforms, so it’s important to read and understand the terms of use.

Can I sell photos taken with my smartphone?

Yes, many platforms accept photos taken with smartphones as long as they meet the platform’s quality and content requirements. Some platforms, like Foap, specifically cater to smartphone photographers.

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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