Put Your Smartphone to Use: How to Make Money from Your Phone PhotosCash-Back Apps and Sites
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So many people love taking photos using their smartphones almost all of the time, but do you know that you can actually make money from your phone simply by taking photos and posting them?
You don’t really need a professional or advanced camera or even a certain level of photographic skill for this. All you need is a smartphone with a proper built-in camera.
Does It Even Make Sense?
Of course, it does!
So, what about the apps or websites where you can get paid to take photos?
There are actually many companies that make a profit by buying photos from people’s phones to be used as needed.
Each company has its own strategy as to what kinds of photos they will buy and how are they going to utilize those to make a profit.
Thus, they will each have their own procedures and requirements on which photos you can sell to them.
How Does It Work?
As stated above, each company has their own methods on how their business could work. Here are some examples:
1. Selling Your Purchase Receipt on Ibotta
Ibotta is an app for getting coupons and cashback from grocery shopping.
There are actually many ways to earn cash back or coupons from this app as they have varied features and services.
One of those is that you can take a picture of your purchase receipt and upload it on the app to receive cashbacks, which you can use to buy something else later.
Ibotta comes as an app available on Android and iOS with a very user-friendly interface which makes it even easier for everyone to operate.
With such ease of use and added perks, it’s no wonder that this app has become really popular.
2. Selling Your Selfies for Surveys
Selfies are not only for showing off your beauty on Instagram — now they can also work as a source of extra cash.
This might be the easiest way to make money taking pictures with your phone because it takes the least amount of effort and time.
But how can you make money selling photos of yourself? First things first, download an app called PayYourSelfie.
Now all you need to do on PayYourSelfie is to just follow a survey. But instead of using words, you will be using selfies to answer each question.
Because the task is super easy, the fee for each selfie is low. But you will see how fun the survey instructions can be.
You will enjoy taking more and more selfies until you end up earning quite a lot.
3. Selling Your Photo for Stocks
Of all the concepts of “selling photos online for money,” stock photo business is the most common concept.
The business works by collecting good quality photos so companies or other individuals can buy those photos to be used in their marketing materials.
There are plenty of apps and websites operating based on this concept, each wits its own rules and procedures.
Here are some of them:
miPic is a mixture of social media and marketplace.
Not only can you post and see pictures, but you can also buy and sell smartphone photos. You will earn 20% share from each sale.
Furthermore, you can even get those photos printed to be sweet customized gifts if you live in the UK.
The gifts can include phone cases, cushions, wall stickers, and much more. You can even get the photos printed on clothes such as swimsuits, t-shirts, leggings — you name it!
EyeEm (pronounced as “I am”) is an app similar to Instagram but with an added market feature.
The app uses artificial intelligence in its image recognition technology. Every time you post a photo, the system will scan it to measure your photo quality, suggest keywords, and even promote it to prospective buyers.
EyeEm also has a nice selection of photo-enhancing filters people can use to improve the quality of their photos.
EyeEm is collaborating with Getty Images, a huge photo stock marketplace with thousands of people accessing it every day. Therefore, your photos can have an even higher chance of being purchased.
Foap is a great app to use to make money from your phone photos.
This app is very popular because it offers quite big commissions.
It charges $10 for each photo it sells, with 50% of the earnings going to the photo owner. That means you can earn $5 for a single photo.
The approval process for any photos posted is done by the community. So, each time you post a photo, Foap members will give it a rating.
Your photos need to get a certain amount of points to be approved. In return, you are also required to give ratings to other photos.
Foap also has a monthly campaign where they propose a special theme as a challenge.
You only need to post photos that match the theme to win extra bonus money.
Shutterstock is one of the best websites to sell and buy photos. Many people access the site every day to find the pictures they need.
This way, there’s a higher chance of your photos being seen and purchased.
The platform also has an app with an easy interface where you can snap a photo and upload it directly onto Shutterstock.
The app offers useful tips such as how can you make a good photo or what kind of pictures people search for most often.
How much you earn for a single photo purchased on Shutterstock depends on the customer who made the purchase.
Shutterstock members get discounts when buying images.
Unfortunately, that means your income gets reduced, too. On the other hand, a non-member will have to pay higher on every purchase, which means higher earnings for you, too.
Etsy is a marketplace specializing in arts and crafts, mainly those that are handmade or uniquely manufactured.
On Etsy, you can make a photography shop, post your collection there, and get buyers.
Unlike other websites and apps where you can only wait for your photos to be purchased, on Etsy you are the one responsible for the marketing process.
You will be handling your customers, answering their questions, and even get special orders. This also means that you can set your own price.
Etsy is your best choice if you are confident in your photography skills. If you are doing it seriously, you might even make a living only by selling your photographs here.
Well, of course, there are still many other apps or websites where you can make money selling pictures from your phone.
Before you approach any website, make sure you give a thorough read to their terms and policy to make sure you understand all pros and cons of working with that business.
Tips and Tricks to Make Money from Your Phone
It may sound very easy, but if you really want to make money with smartphone photos, then you need to pay extra attention and put in more effort.
Here is what you can do to get the most out of it:
1. Determine How You Want to Do It
Do you plan to post your photos for sale on a regular basis and make real money from that? Or do you just want to try your luck once in a while?
How much effort are you willing to put into a single shot of the photo you plan to sell? How much money do you expect to earn from a single photo?
Before starting to make money taking pictures with your phone, you first need to decide how you wish to go about doing it.
But you need to be aware that maybe you will not find an app that 100% matches your criteria, so you need to be flexible with it.
2. Choose Where You Want to Sell
Do your research about apps and websites where you can sell your photos to know each of their concepts and procedures.
From there, you can choose which ones are the most suitable for your preferences.
Don’t pick just one app. Choose about two to three apps so you have backups just in case one app doesn’t work out as you expected.
But if you do use multiple websites, be sure that you have the time to manage them all.
3. Check Their Credibility
Do an even deeper search about the apps/sites you choose to get more detailed information.
But most importantly, it is their credibility you need to check.
Some companies may turn out to be scammers that don’t pay their members as promised.
There are also some that do pay, but the amount is different from what they promised in the beginning.
4. Specialize in a Certain Category
Instead of selling random photos, you can focus on one or several categories or themes.
For example, you may decide to take only pictures of city scenery. Or you have a theme like micro-photography.
Buyers who constantly need a certain category of photos can follow your account and will always come back to you every time they need more images.
You might even get a special order to make specific photos as needed.
If your page contains many photos in a random theme, people can easily forget your account name.
Your page will likely be less visited or followed, which means a lower chance for your photos to get purchased.
5. Tag Your Photos Properly
Make your photos easier to find by using hashtags. Be smart when in choosing your tags to help your images show up in search engines.
Use both general and specific hashtags because people typically search with both terms.
Some people like using popular hashtags even if they are totally irrelevant to the image, simply because they hope people will stumble across their photos.
This trick will indeed help your photos to be seen more. But it is a totally ineffective method if you wish for a purchase.
That’s because your photos will appear like spam so people will just skip them right away.
In fact, your photos will only annoy the people who see them among their search results if that is now what they were looking for.
On the other hand, keep in mind that people who really need to find photos like yours will be less likely to find your pictures if your hashtags don’t match.
6. Stay Up to Date with the Trends
The trends will keep changing and you need to stay up to date to stay relevant.
Join a community, check the Internet regularly, and pay close attention to the app you are using so you know right away if there is a new trend happening.
Do Not Forget to Install A Photo Editing App
Taking photos from your phone is so much different than taking photos with a professional camera.
While a professional camera has adjustment settings for brightness, exposure, and much more, in-phone cameras tend to have considerably fewer features.
Even if your phone camera has an adjustment feature, it might not always deliver the result you are looking for.
Newest smartphones on the market do have better cameras, but if you are looking for high-quality photographs to monetize, a professional camera is the better option.
Alternately, and if you can’t afford a professional camera, try using some photo editing apps to enhance the quality of your snaps.
Take your time to research photo editing apps and install one or two apps that seem to be good for you.
Here are some recommendations:
If you are looking for an app that is easy to use but can do many kinds of minor editing, you will love Snapseed.
Snapseed is a general photo editing app with enhancement and correction features.
The app has a lot of editing tools and digital filters, yet they are all very easy to operate. Best of all, the app is free to download!
No wonder it became one of the most popular photo editing apps both in iOS and Android.
2. Afterlight 2
If you wish for something a little bit advanced so you can get more creative in image editing, go for Afterlight 2.
The app has quite a lot of basic features. But it also provides some advanced editing features like layering, gradients, and curves.
Afterlight 2 also has a double exposure tool for blending images and plenty of choices for filters to make your images look even more artistic.
This app is not free, but it will be worth every penny you spend on it so you can have limitless creativity.
Another app for seamless creativity you can use is Enlight, which is still available only on iOS.
Enlight is probably the photo editing app with the widest range of features, starting from “easy and basic” to “advanced and extraordinary.”.
It is awesome how you can remove defects from your photo using their clone tool or how you can apply filters only on a small area using their mask tool.
The app can also convert your photos into drawings, which you can then edit even more with their artistic tools.
Since you have to pay for installing the app, it would be a waste if you don’t know how to use it.
Luckily, this app is quite intuitive and easy to use. Plus, they even provide you with a built-in help menu.
Do you know how blemishes sometimes come out in your photos and you can’t figure out how to fix it?
If this happens to you, know that TouchRetouch can save the day.
Unlike any other photo editing app, you can’t really count on this app to decorate your photos or apply mesmerizing filters.
But, this app has numerous tools that you can use to handle specific issues such as dust spots, blemishes, wrinkles, or pixel errors.
Therefore, we can pretty much say that this app is essential if you want your photos to be flawless.
You even have a choice whether you want to make just a little extra money with minimum effort, or to make more massive sums by putting in some work.
So if you want to make money from your phone, what are you waiting for? Just snap a photo and get started!
Do you have any other useful tips on how to make the most of your phone photos to earn extra cash? Feel free to share them below.
Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.