8 Best Photo Selling Apps for Passive Income in 2023

By Tani Adams 8 days ago, Apps and Software

The number of places to sell photos online is virtually limitless, but this article covers the best photo selling apps you can use to distribute images right from your smartphone.

According to Photutorial, photographers who sell stock images earn approximately $0.02 pic/month, while professionals make $0.05–$0.25 pic/month.

Top 8 Photo Selling Apps

  1. Adobe Stock - Integration with Adobe tools
  2. Shutterstock - For pro-level users
  3. iStock by Getty Images - More than 1.5 million clients
  4. Foap - Missions feature
  5. Snapwire - Connection with brands
  6. EyeEm - Community of more than 8 million members
  7. Dreamstime - Real-time notification system
  8. Photerloo - Allows importing pics to many sites at once

When selecting apps for this guide, I took many aspects into account, namely: requirements. payout structures, as well client preferences. Some of the applications are in the affordable segment of the stock photography sites, which are often called microstock photography, where shooters sell pics for a small amount.

But mostly, a photographer still owns the copyright of the images and can import them across various applications to get profit.

1. Adobe Stock

Integration with Adobe tools
  • Allows importing albums right from Lightroom
  • Adobe Portfolio assets for free
  • An extensive community for creators
  • Saved Library folders are a bit complicated to navigate

Verdict: Adobe Stock is one of the best photo selling apps that lets photographers get a 33% commission on the images. The sum depends on the buyer's plan and starts from $3.30 per download.

First of all, you should sign an unspecified nonexclusive contract with Adobe. You become an owner of the taken images so you are free to distribute them on other platforms.

To become an Adobe Stock contributor, sign in with an Adobe ID and start importing pics. Users of Adobe suite can upload images, videos, and vectors to Adobe Stock for free right from Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Bridge CC, or the network.

adobe stock photo selling app interface

2. Shutterstock

For pro-level users
  • Intuitive platform
  • Guidelines and support for artists
  • Offers keywords pics and videos
  • The abundance of already imported content
  • Small payment

Verdict: By selling their images and videos on Shutterstock, authors get between 15% and 40% commission. It means that you will earn from $0.10 to $5.80 for pics and $10.20 to $39.80 for long-term licenses.

Check Adobe Stock vs Shutterstock comparison, and you’ll notice that they have similar payouts.

Besides, Shutterstock allows its members to earn some extra costs by referring new photographers or customers. Over the past 15 years, the platform has already paid contributors over a billion dollars, which is an incredible sum.

So, photos uploaded to this app will be visible to millions of customers worldwide.

shutterstock photo selling app interface

3. iStock by Getty Images

More than 1.5 million clients
  • Community of more than 250,000 members
  • Handy applications for iOS and Android
  • Content also streamed on Getty Images
  • Only high-quality pics taken by DSLR are accepted
  • Non-exclusive earnings

Verdict: iStock is another great pic selling app that allows members to earn a 15% royalty per image sold. Members of the community who claim that their content is exclusive can earn from 25% to 40% per sale. Comparing iStock vs Adobe Stock, I noticed that both apps only accept high-quality photos.

Shooters should get approval to upload images to iStock or its parent company Getty Images. To start selling your pics, download and install the Contributor by Getty Images app. The minimum number of images a photographer should upload for the agency to review is 3 (better 6).

istock by getty images photo selling app interface

4. Foap

Missions feature
  • Cooperation with major brands
  • Creation of a web portfolio is a cinch
  • As many uploads as required
  • The app is not very intuitive
  • No tips on how to use tags
foap photo selling app logo

Verdict: To start selling your pics on the Foap Marketplace, you should sign in to the Foap and import the bunch of photos. The income is split between you and the app in half. Note that your images should be of top-rated quality (minimum 1280 x 960 pixels).

Moreover, the companies submit their requests for some specific pictures they are interested in. It is great that the Foap organizes contests (or Missions) where shooters present their best images and videos competing with each other. If your submission wins, you will earn extra money.

foap photo selling app interface

5. Snapwire

Connection with brands
  • Challenges to make more money
  • Opens access to paid image Requests
  • No trouble when sharing your personal portfolio
  • Login problems
  • Occasional crashes when importing files
snapwire photo selling app logo

Verdict: Snapwire is one of the apps to sell pictures that accepts individual classic or weird stock photos. Besides, photographers can take part in competitions or provide images at a company’s request to earn money selling on this marketplace. For every sold photo, you will get a 50% of its price and the income will be transferred to your account.

Members of the community who move to higher levels will get more points as their images receive nominations. Besides, they can benefit from more sophisticated app features such as invitations to requests, direct commissions, and more exposure. Snapwire does not accept photos of lackluster quality, publishing only top-rated materials.

snapwire photo selling app interface

6. EyeEm

Community of more than 8 million members
  • Cooperation with the world’s famous agencies
  • A comprehensive set of styles, filters, and editing features
  • Magazine with useful articles
  • Occasional glitches on photos
  • Issues when connecting to PayPal account
eyeem photo selling app logo

Verdict: With EyeEm, it is easy to make money with stock photos by selling pics on the marketplace. Using its batch upload option, you can import multiple images to the platform and pick those you want to sell. The income is split between you and the app 50/50.

If you want your photos to appear in the first search results and get more income, take part in contests or “Missions” with specific briefs. Once someone acquired your photo, you will be notified. Check your inbox and open an email linking you to the earnings section of your profile. Here you will also find free tutorials and an in-app magazines to improve your skills as a photographer.

eyeem photo selling app interface

7. Dreamstime

Real-time notification system
  • Speedy registration and sign in
  • Trouble-free import from a smartphone or tablet
  • Image optimization for prime visibility of the platform
  • Bugs
  • Rare updates
dreamstime photo selling app logo

Verdict: Dreamstime provides different conditions for contributors to make more profit. For example, in case of exclusivity of sale rights, a photographer gets a 10% bonus. Moreover, Exclusive Contributors, who are not allowed to distribute their assets on other sites while staying a loyal member of Dreamstime, receive a 60% bonus.

If you are looking for a pic selling app to distribute your images in various ways, Dreamstime is what you need. The creators can earn profit by distributing your images as stock photography, as well as benefit from a range of other built-in features for importing model and property releases with ease.

dreamstime photo selling app interface

8. Photerloo

Allows importing pics to many sites at once
  • Options to select keywords and metadata
  • Integration with Instagram
  • Scheduling features
  • A free plan with restrictions
  • Rare updates
photerloo photo selling app logo

Verdict: As for me, Photerloo is one of the best photo selling apps, as it is a great time-saver. The feature of importing pics to many stock websites at once in just one button hit is a real advantage. It supports Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, and other platforms, as well as popular photo sharing apps.

What is more, Photerloo uses AI algorithms, offering photographers the most appropriate Instagram hashtags for this or that publication to increase its visibility on the platform. Thanks to machine learning technology, the app selects the ranking keywords for your content in a jiffy. The app is available for free or for $60 / per year.

photerloo photo selling app interface

Tips to Earn More with Photo Selling Apps?

tips to earn more with photo selling apps

After selecting the app for selling photos that suits your needs, create a free account. Generally, it is possible to upload any content to marketplaces, but to succeed and earn more, your images should be of top-rated quality.

Purchase quality photography equipment. Acquire a phone with great camera such as Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra or iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Check free guidelines on how to take high-quality images. Nowadays, YouTube is full of easy and comprehensive tutorials on how to take excellent pics. Subscribe to such famous photographers as Tania Cervian, Christian Cody, Neek Mason to find inspiration and come up with interesting ideas.

Import multiple images. Some photos may look the same, but actually be different in terms of brightness, the way they are cropped, and the angle they are taken to be suitable for various social media networks.

The popularity of your pics among customers also depends on such parameters as it is always better to have a ready-to-post image rather than adjusting a pic to publish it according to the requirements of some social media page.

Devote time to improve your photos. You can use Lightroom to adjust the contrast and brightness, fix the white balance, etc. But if you are tight on time, benefit from ready-made presets from professional retouchers.

presets to enhance pictures for photo selling apps presets to enhance pictures for photo selling apps

Use keywords effectively. Xpiks, MyKeyworder or ImStocker Keyworder are the best search tools, whereas Adobe Bridge is a perfect option for adding metadata.

Advertise your pics. Promotion is indispensable when it comes to selling photos. Post them on social media for photographers, in forums, or share with your friends and family. By expanding your audience, you boost your chances to sell more.

Be trendy. You can explore popular topics both on stock sites or apps and with the help of such tools as Google Trends.


  • • Can I sell images taken on my phone using these apps?

Of course, yes. Most of these apps to sell pictures accept images taken on average smartphones. But before submitting your content to this or that marketplace, be sure to check the requirements. 

  • • What photos sell best through such apps?

Usually, photos from such categories as food, people working, people in daily life, cityscapes, buildings, travel shots from beautiful spots around the world, tools such as construction sites, hammers, screwdrivers, auto parts, and nature. Use a stock photo finder to find the needed photo samples.

  • • How much money can I make with photo-selling apps?

Contributors generally earn $0.10 and $99.50 in case of royalty-free sales, while with extended licenses it is possible to make $500.