The rapid advances in smartphone cameras over the last couple of years mean that for many of us, our go-to camera isn’t made by Canon or Nikon. It’s made by Apple or Samsung. Some of us – myself included – have taken entire vacations where our traditional point-and-shoot camera either doesn’t leave its place in our suitcase, or gets left at home altogether.
The point is, most of us have hundreds – even thousands – of random photos on our phones. Some of them are even good. Some of the good ones are even good enough to be stock photos. For those pics, there’s Foap. Foap is an app that takes ordinary iPhone photographers like you and me (or maybe just you; my pictures are mostly of my kids and my dogs) and hooks them up with people who need stock photos.
The process is actually pretty straightforward: you take pictures, upload them to Foap, and tag them. Then Foap sells them to companies in need of stock photos. Foap charges these companies $10 per photo. That $10 is then split evenly between you and Foap: you get $5 and Foap gets $5.
That, of course, is not quite all there is to it. Not every photo you upload is automatically approved. And being approved doesn’t necessarily mean it will be bought. There are, however a few things you can do to improve your chances. First of all, don’t edit the photo too much. If you go crazy on your photo with Instagram or Camera+ or one of the zillion other photo editing apps out there, you’re not going to leave a buyer much room to work with the photo on their own. Also, tag your photos. Tags help would-be buyers find your photos more easily. Finally, don’t post pictures of other people without their permission (preferably written). Otherwise you could find yourself in legal trouble for profitting from an image you had no legal right to sell.
In addition to letting companies find your photos, Foap also gives you the opportunity to go on “Missions.” That is, they take requests from companies who need a particular kind of photo. If you have that photo – or have the opportunity to take it – then you can upload it and stand a better chance of having it bought.
Foap is available in the iOS App Store for free. There is an Android version reportedly in the works, but it isn’t yet available.[H/T: GigaOm]