Cash in on your mobile photography with these smartphone apps

Mainstream social networks (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) have largely dominated the market as the go-to photo sharing platforms, but the odds of making money off said photos via these social networks is slim. In the lesser known reaches of photo sharing, you can download free apps allowing you to create a portfolio that anyone can access and use by paying royalties. Some of these apps lay out specific requests you’re asked to meet, some want you to document whatever you see, and some focus on one topic, like fashion. All are free, all are available for iOS and Android, and all come with the possibility of making you some money.

Snapwire (iOS/Android)


Snapwire gives you two ways to make money from your photos. The first is completing challenges set by third-party companies. These companies set categories like “Big City Icons” or “Pets,” which you then submit your photos relevant to the topics. Sometimes the challenges, or requests, show the company asking for the photos, while others are more general without specific third-party information. Other users can vote on the photos they liked best in the category and the top selections could get royalties if they end up being used. Photographers of all skill-levels are invited to participate. If you don’t want to be pushed into a box or category, you can just upload photos you’re proud of and companies can buy them directly from your portfolio.

Clashot (iOS/Android)


Clashot is for the free spirit who doesn’t want to be tied down by categories. Take photos of anything that inspires you and upload it to the app. Your followers can simply rate them or offer you money for use of the photo. Clashot sometimes features special deals in which companies will dish out up to $50 for one picture and the more you post, the more chances you have to make big money. Any photo can be sold as many times as you want and to as many people you want.

Scoopshot (iOS/Android)


You have to act fast with Scoopshot, because the challenges only last for one day. Brands submit challenges, you submit your photos, and you’ll know shortly if you’re getting paid for it. You can follow your favorite brands so you don’t miss a challenge. What sets this app apart is that you set your own sale price, so you can factor in how much work went into each photo and the price you think it deserves. It also includes a classic social media aspect in which you can go through your friends’ photos and like your favorites.

Foap (iOS/Android)


Much like Snapwire, Foap allows you to either upload anything your heart desires or choose to complete missions. Companies lay out requests that can be as specific as “Garnier Products in Strange Places” or vague scenarios like “Magic Gaming Moments.” The mission lays out the category, company name, and reward money. When the mission ends, one winner is chosen and gets the money. The more creativity you use, the higher in likelihood your photo will get chosen.

Stylinity (iOS/Android)


Stylinity is geared toward the fashion-forward selfie taker. Take a photo of your outfit of the day, then either search for the pieces online or scan the barcodes. The app links the parts of your outfit so people know exactly where they can get the same one. You get points when people purchase an item from your profile through the app or if you purchase something from someone else. You can then redeem those points for money and other prizes from the companies.

Twenty20 (iOS)

Twenty20 is available via the Web or as an iOS app.

Like Snapwire and Scoopshot, Twenty20 is a photo-licensing agency that specializes in mobile photography. It started life as a digital photo-to-print business, but after three years of building a community of photographers, it was able to launch the “world’s largest crowdsourced image catalog.” Twenty20 is free for photographers of all skill levels, and there are challenges you can participate in. But more importantly, it connects users with big brands that seek authentic photos for their digital marketing campaigns. Revenue is shared with Twenty20, ranging from $10 to $50 per use. An Android app is in the works.

Have you used a great app to monetize your photography? Share with us in the comments.

(Image via Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock)