If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably built up quite a library of iPhone images but you rarely if ever get them printed and they just languish on a hard-drive or out there in the cloud somewhere.
In this article, I wanted to explore some organisations and their apps that may help you monetise some of your work without worrying about setting up a shop, printing images, shipments, cash transactions and all the other hassles. I am referring to stock photography and it’s not just for the professionals.
iPhone stock photography
Stock photography is the supply of photographs licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost.
For a while now I’ve been following an iPhone magazine called FLTR. Finally this week I subscribed and it contains a couple of articles about two of the main stock photography providers and their mobile photography targeted offerings – Alamy and Getty. By complete coincidence, I had already been approached by Alamy’s mobile offshoot and also by an agency associated with Getty and had signed up with both.
The timing though didn’t go un-noticed and it struck me that the whole area of mobile stock photography is just starting to get going and so I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt. I am really happy with my subscription to FLTR and as they seem to be on the ball, I thought I would base this article around issue eleven of FLTR and will also discuss FLTR in more detail.
FLTR in their own words
FLTR is the world’s first smartphone photography magazine, published weekly and designed exclusively for the iPhone.
The best camera is the one that’s always with you, and the popularity of the smartphone has made photographers of us all. FLTR is the first magazine to explore this new and universal language of photography, offering an unparalleled source of inspiration and technical know-how.
British Journal of Photography
Created by the award-winning team behind British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest-running photography magazine, FLTR offers exclusive interviews with both amateur and professional photographers who have found success with their smartphones.
There are also stunning pictures, and in-depth reviews of the best photography apps and accessories for your smartphone, plus how-to guides to take your photography to the next level and take advantage of your smartphone’s capabilities.
FLTR is about you: each week we’ll invite you to submit your own images, and we’ll publish the best ones in the magazine. You can also share content with your friends from inside the app and join in the discussions online, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and EyeEm.
Some of the highlights in issue 11
The first article on Stock mobile photography is an interview in the news section with Stockimo who are the mobile stock photography arm of Alamy. I am a Stockimo supplier and my images can be seen at Alamy.
Stockimo in their own words
Use Stockimo to upload your photos and we’ll sell them on Alamy, the world’s largest website for picture buyers, where images sell from $1 to $20,000. Stockimo is the first choice app for creative people who take photos using their mobile phones, want to make money and showcase their work to a global audience.
Alamy already knows how to sell pictures, paying out $140M to photographers since it began, so you’ll be joining an established global marketplace where photos sell.
Shoot what you love and be as creative and adventurous as you like. Submit interesting places and people and of-the-moment photography that documents the world. What you take is up to you!
Uploading is so quick you can turn a spare moment into spare cash.
How it works:
Upload your smartphone photos
Describe each image with a caption and tag key features and concepts to be used as ‘keywords’ to help customers find your photos
Submit and get your photos rated
Photos are rated out of 4, if you get an average score above 2 the photo gets in
If your photos are accepted, they’ll go on sale at Alamy.com and its distribution network
The app will tell you when your photos sell
You’ll get paid your share every month if you’ve made over $10
You keep the copyright, your photos stay on Alamy to sell again and again.
The second article on Stock mobile photography is an interview with Erin Sullivan vice president of content development at the world’s largest stock image library Getty Images.
Getty has launched an app called Moments aimed squarely at the mobile photography stock market. Unfortunately for most of us at the time of writing, although it is available for all to download only existing Getty providers can contribute. It seems this is likely to change in the future and so downloading the app and registering an account in readiness is entirely possible for all now.
However, for those who would like to get in on the act now, there is an agency who sell images through Getty via a mobile app called RooM. At the time of writing a friend of mine, well known mobile photographer Richard Gray is a RooM contributor as am I. I mention Richard because he also wrote the article I discuss later about Handy Photo.
Stock Photography – Skip’s Comment
I must stress that each stock photography organisation has its own terms and conditions. It is very important that these terms and conditions are not merely regarded as small print.
Some organisations (not all) demand exclusivity meaning that for B2B sales the only place the image can be purchased is through them. This means that if you have an image for sale through them you can no longer sell it for commercial use either directly or through another third party. You are normally free to continue to offer prints and other merchandise if you so choose.
In some cases people and property waiver documentation may be required although again some organisations will accept images for editorial rather than commercial sale when paperwork may not be required.
Oliver Lang offers us some really interesting and well considered thoughts on shooting and sharing mobile photography images.
For many people this may seem a basic thing to be discussing but Oliver has researched many areas including what makes images popular. There’s something new in this section for all of us I think.
App of the week – Handy Photo
Richard Gray and I are kindred spirits when it comes to Handy Photo. As can be seen from the image Richard asks:
Why pay hundreds of pounds for Photoshop when you can achieve the same results using a phone app that costs mere pocket change?
Richard gives us an overview of Handy Photo together with a look at some of the killer features that made me include it in my article iPhone photography – 10 must have iPhoneography apps
I have also created a video tutorial outlining Handy Photo’s magic crop feature and all other articles featuring Handy Photo can be viewed at my Handy Photo archive.
Get the iPhoneography apps mentioned in this article
FLTR Magazine. Note at the time of writing a free trial period is available prior to a paid subscription (see terms and conditions).
I hope you enjoyed my iPhone photography musings and thoughts on FLTR together with the possibilities around Stock iPhoneography. Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again.