Mobile Apps that Pay You To Submit Your Photos

You may heard of Flickr and Dreamstime, photo websites that sell your photos and then pay you a commission from them. These sites pride themselves on offering professionally taken photos, and that typically means that you, the photographer, need to own an expensive DSLR-type camera. If you don’t, you’re going to be limited in selling your photos.

Luckily, a new wave of mobile apps have popped up that pay you for your mobile photography. These sites accept and sell mobile photography, for the most part, and share the proceeds with the respective mobile photographers. This is great if the only thing you can call your camera is your iPhone or Android-based smartphone.

Who’s buying these mobile photos? The customers vary, but they might include bloggers who are tired of using obvious stock photography on their posts and want to go with more “real-time” and original photos. Company execs and newspaper columnists are another bunch who might purchase your mobile pictures, especially if those pictures include cool visual effects (more on that later).

So, which mobile apps sell your photos? Here is a good starter list for you to peruse:


This mobile stock photo site sells open source photos for $10, with the photographer earning $5 per sale. You can sell the same photo as many times as you like, thus earning money on the same photo again and again.

When you sign up with Foap, you are first asked to review and rate five photos on a scale of one to five stars. Then, you are allowed to upload your own photos. Other “foapers” rate your photos, also on a scale of one to five stars. If the average rating of your photo is at least 2.5 stars, that photo gets included in the Foap marketplace.

If you’re not sure which photos to upload, Foap offers Missions and Contests sections that ask for photos of a given theme. The Contests section can be especially lucrative, paying $100 or more to the winning photo.

You can also promote your photos via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, email and other broadcast platforms.


This site does NOT pay you (at least not directly) for your photos. Yes, you read that correctly. Instagram is actually a social media platform for sharing photos, not a commercial app. However, there are three reasons why I’m still listing the Instagram app as a place to make money from your photos.

  • Sponsorships– You can make money from your mobile photos if you’re already on Instagram and have a lot of comments, likes or followers there. Companies (which also often have Instagram accounts) are likely to notice your social popularity and sponsor you to take photos of their products/services. This “discovery’ process is not guaranteed, however.
  • Instaprints– This website links to Instagram and enables you to sell your photos as physical prints (e.g., posters, greeting cards, mouse pads). You set your own rate for your photo, then Instaprints adds a flat fee for the physical product (which includes the Instaprints base fee). Upon purchase, Instaprints completes the printing and shipping of the physical image to the buyer. You are paid once a month via Paypal.
  • Twenty20– This site, previously called Instacanvas, also links to Instagram and maintains a gallery of your images, which buyers can peruse and purchase from for online download or for physical printing. Much like Instaprints, Twenty20 also handles the printing and shipping portions of the purchase. Unlike Instaprints, however, you cannot set your own rate. Twenty20 prices your images (a starting range is $2-$7/image) and gives you a 20% cut of each sale. Payments to your Paypal account are made once a month.


This app is a fusion between Foap and Twenty20 in terms of look-and-feel. Unlike the two aforementioned apps, however, Snapwire emphasizes the photographers, not their photos. As such, photographers get center stage here and their portfolios house their images. Snapwire also sets the image pay rate from $5 to $100, with photographers keeping 70% of the sale price.

Buyers can search by photographer and purchase their photos from the portfolios. However, Snapwire focuses more on contests (called Challenges) as a way to pay and reward photographers for their good work. Prize purses typically range from $25-$150, with the winning photos getting heavily promoted and thus having a good chance at making even more money.

This app also assigns point-based levels to photographers, with the scale ranging from Explorer>Shooter>Advanced>Expert>Elite>Pro. As you win Challenges or add more and better photos, you are assigned more points, which helps advance your status (and pay rate).


This app is offered by the biggest stock photo agency in the world, Alamy, and it was also one of the first paying apps to be offered for mobile photos. With Stockimo, you upload your photos and have the content “curated (i.e., rejected or accepted)” to fit the standards of the agency. Then, your content is priced according to the buyer’s usage intent. Example use rates include the following:

Advertisement: $500
Book use: $150
General/online use: $20

If you were an Alamy contributor prior to April 2014, you get 40% of all photo sales. After April 2014, new subscribers receive a 20% share of sales. Also, depending on the type of usage license you pick, your photos can be sold repeatedly.

Make even more money from your mobile photos

Learn to point and shoot.

Selling your mobile photos involves more than just snapping pictures of your dinner and uploading them. To make the really big bucks, you should first learn how to use all of the features on your smartphone camera, including its ISO, cropping/editing features, and (optional) effects. Also, take a basic photography course (such as through Coursera or Udacity) and learn how to compose your shots. While mobile apps don’t require that you have the latest and greatest DSLR on hand, they do require that you know a thing or two about taking pictures.

Tagging your photos is not an option.

If you wish for your mobile photos to be found by customers and companies, make sure you tag them. Excessively. In fact, there are even apps out there, such as TagsforLikes, that will help you create and store tags for social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Akin to SEO, the easier you make it for people to find your photo content, the more likely it’ll be that your photos get viewed and purchased.

Special effects can help you.

Most professional stock photo sites turn away photos that are enhanced with special effects (e.g., stickers). However, mobile photos fit a wide variety of client needs including humor, real-time reporting, personal blogging, etc. Thus, investing a few bucks in a cool filter or photo effect tool like Aviary may actually open you up to new business opportunities.

If you do start enhancing your photos, create a special area for these images and keep them separate from the “normal” ones. This way, your customers won’t be bogged down by crazy purple landscapes or odd thought balloons while looking for basic stock photography. Meanwhile, those customers who are looking for such imagery will know where to go.

Follow (and duplicate) the trends.

Going back to SEO, you should follow what images are trending on your apps and add to that content as much as possible. For example, Foap frequently showcases and sells holiday and seasonal images. Thus, you could start shooting holiday/seasonal photos a few months ahead of time and have this content ready to go for the next upcoming holiday/season.

Likewise, news media networks often need stock photos to go along with a trending story, so keep your eye on the national news and tag your photos with keywords that would fall in line with a reporter’s topic search. In short, don’t keep your photos in a vacuum.

Free Tools and Data Sources that Help You Create Amazing Infographics

People get tired of reading words all the time, and your website’s or blog’s readers are no different. Luckily, you can reignite reader interest in your content by presenting it in different formats, including those that are visual in nature. Currently, one of the most popular methods for doing so is through the infographic.

The ideal infographic contains just the right mix of appealing visuals and significant data, plus a smattering of humor or wit to break up all the statistics and reporting.

Finally, the infographic should be equipped with a tracking code that credits the source, such as a website or the blogger (i.e., you).

However, unless you are well-versed in Photoshop, it is challenging to quickly and easily represent information in a graphic manner. As a result, many webmasters and bloggers have shied away from generating infographics. Likewise, many webmasters have the needed skills, but they don’t have the time to be sifting through esoteric information sources for statistical data sets.

Luckily, there are many free or free trial tools out there that enable anyone to become a master of infographic design. Likewise, there are many data aggregator sites that present information on one handy platform.

As a result, you can now create all kinds of eye-catching infographics that will amaze your readers and bring traffic to your website or blog. Here are some of the best design tools that will quickly move you towards professional-looking infographics.

7 free online tools that help you create amazing infographics

1. Google Charts

To create pie charts, graphs and tree maps, look no further than Google Charts, a free tool offered in the Google Developers area. This tool also enables you to display your data in real-time and with animations.

google charts

2. Venngage

This site offers a free version of its infographics-generating software that includes several themes, templates, charts, icons and even ready-to-go infographics.



This tool provides you with templates that you can customize with your own data, images, etc. If you need extra images or items like arrows, shapes, etc., they are available too.


4. Piktochart

Here, you get three free themes that you can customize with your own color palette, fonts, shapes, graphics and images. You can also add your own images. Infographics generated with Piktochart can integrate with Slideshare and Evernote.



This tool provides lots of great graphs, info maps and charts for free that you can customize via the site’s custom Excel spreadsheet. You can also add your own photos and videos. Infographics generated through this site can also be made mobile-responsive.



Here, you not only get to create infographics for free, but you can also earn money. connects prospective brands and clients with talented infographics designers looking for work. So, if you want to earn money for your infographic-making skills, be sure to post your current work on this site once you’ve completed it, thus creating your own work portfolio.


7. Dipity

With this tool, you can generate infographics that include video and/or audio, provide location or time info, and which integrate with social media platforms to boot. Dipity’s paid version even offers infographic analytics and iPhone apps.


Finding reliable data sources

Infographics are only as good as the data they showcase. To find the best data without spending endless hours online or in the library, you should visit the following sites:

AIP– The American Institute of Physics publishes studies on employment, pay rates, undergraduate enrollment, etc. in physics and several applied science fields.– The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services publishes information on its policies, medical and psychiatric health outcomes, insurance providers, and the like.– From agriculture to finance to science and technology, there is all kinds of good, U.S.-based information at this site.

Data Market– This is a good place for finding information on the national economy and healthcare, agriculture and the automotive industry.

FactBrowser– Looking for marketing stats or consumer behavior information? Then look no further than FactBrowser, a site that compiles all manner of data on the latest online technologies and e-commerce trends. Some of this information is even provided as infographics, case studies or forecasts.

Google Public Data– This site publishes some rather large data sets derived from sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, World Bank, World Health Organization, U.S. Census Bureau, etc.

Google Scholar– Use this specialized tool to search on academic information including journal publications, dissertations and theses, as well as research reports published by government agencies and national laboratories.

UNICEF and WHO– World health statistics such as infant mortality rates and HIV infection stats are reported here. Social work and justice statistics are also big foci.

WorldBank– This site provides financial data from all over the world, including national GNPs, debt ratios, etc.

Wunderground– This site provides historical weather information segmented by city or zip code.


An infographic must not only be useful, but also pretty. In other words, don’t go stuffing your graphic with endless reams of information, thus making it bore the viewer. Also, viewers do want to see verifiable information, so list your sources at the bottom of the infographic and attribute all direct quotes.

If you don’t find the information you are looking for, consider doing your own research study using a tool like SurveyMonkey and reporting the collected data. You can also survey your email subscribers using a survey tool like MailChimp.

Do you have a data reporting tool or infographics generator that you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.