Elia Locardi is Back

iPhoneographers Rejoice: Easily License and Sell Your Photos

iPhoneographers Rejoice: Easily License and Sell Your Photos

Have you been wondering how to make money with the thousands of photos sitting on your iPhone? Well, if you don't want to print them out, you can always sell the license and try and make a few bucks. That's the goal behind the iPhone app Foap, an online marketplace in iStock/Getty style.

The idea is pretty simple. You take a photo, you think it's pretty rad, and you upload it to Foap. If it fits within their criteria, it gets accepted and can be purchased by anyone for $10. The return is unusually generous: those who upload photos get a 50% kickback of $5 per purchased photo. It doesn't seem like the criteria they use to select photos is too strict either, as New York Times journalist Roy Furchgott discovered. He uploaded 25 photos, 21 of which were accepted.

Good news to those who hate Instagram, Foap doesn't accept altered images. They have to be unprocessed.

Be careful though, as any image you upload you forsake the rights to. As Furchgott says. "A potential hitch is that all rights are sold when the photos are sent in. If you send in a picture of your grandmother and it shows up on a poster saying, “Help Elderly Drug Addicts,” tough luck. You have no recourse."

As "iPhoneography" gets more and more popular, don't be surprised to see increasing numbers of services and apps like Foap.

What do you think? Would you use this service? Who is buying these images do you think? Foap supposedly paid out $15,000 in its first week, so someone must be grabbing them for something.

Foap is free to download at the iTunes app store.

[Via the New York Times]

Jaron Schneider's picture

Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

Log in or register to post comments

Who would want to buy iPhone photos?

Clearly someone is buying them. Small websites maybe? 

Either way, if it's a way to earn a few bucks, why the heck not??

From an article about foap...
"So, who’s buying these photos? Any company looking for stock photo art, say co-founders Alexandra Bylund and David Los. Bylund worked for a travel agency that was constantly running up against a variety of problems finding interesting, usable photos. ”It was kind of boring to see the same faces all thetime in the big stock image sites,” Bylund said in a phone call Tuesday. “And one problem was that if we found a good photo, a nice, face, the other travel agencies found the same one.”
The photos often didn’t strike the right tone — not localized enough for style or place — and she also found them boring: “It’s almost like they’re the same very well-styled photos, without a spontaneous feeling, without the natural look.”

How do they handle model and property releases?

According to the information on their site and in the app they just take your word for it and assume you have permission...

Cautionary note for those who are concerned about licensing...

"...the Seller grants to the Buyer a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide and fully-paid right of use to the Content for any purpose, whether commercial or non-commercial, including the right to modify, reproduce, publish, display and sub-license the Content, and create derivative works thereof, in any manner (the “Content License”) "

"...The Seller is aware and agrees that by granting a Content License under this User Agreement, the Seller waives all its rights to be identified or mentioned as photographer or copyright holder of the Content. Thus, the Buyer shall be free to use the Content in accordance with the Content License without mentioning the Seller. However, the Buyer shall not be entitled to state or otherwise indicate that the Buyer is the copyright holder of the Content, but may merely state that the Buyer uses the Content under license."

source: http://foap.com/pages/terms

The TOS are brutal, you hand the buyer your pictures to do whatever they want with them, including re-selling them.

You guys at Fstoppers actually think this is OK?

What are you guys smoking'.........?


Don't forget this service is primarily focused on smart phone photos. Are we worried about losing revenue on iPhone photos? Have you / will you ever sell or liscense your iPhone photos elsewhere? Snap a quick shot or two with your smartphone during a real shoot, sell them through foap and the real photos via the regular channels. The payout via foap sounds decent compared to most micro stock.

Considering that the iPhone takes 8MP stills (idk if they would be uploaded full res), the quality could be deemed decent enough to be worried.

sorry but why mobile phone photos only?

i mean is there a market especially for crap photos?

i don´t say a mobile phone photo has to be bad.... but lets be honest and face the facts. 90% ARE bad snapshots with medicore image quality.

so why not snapshots.... but at least with DSLR image quality?

It can really all be summed up with these…

but for continued discussion…

"why mobile phone photos only"
I would guess focusing on smartphone photos allows them to separate themselves from an already saturation micro stock market.  It makes them unique and gives some authenticity to their content.

--- quote ---
“And one problem was that if we found a good photo, a nice, face, the other travel agencies found the same one.”

The photos often didn’t strike the right tone — not localized enough for style or place — and she also found them boring: “It’s almost like they’re the same very well-styled photos, without a spontaneous feeling, without the natural look.”
--- quote ---

While they do apparently allow non-smartphone content, too much of it will make them just like other stock sites.  It will be interesting to see how much of that bleeds in.  A lot of the top rated stuff (not necessarily top selling) is clearly not from a smartphone.

"90% are bad snapshots with mediocre quality"
buyers are buyers.  obviously those who are buying are fine with the quality and "mediocre image quality".  in fact maybe this will push smartphone shoots to push for better quality in their own images knowing they have the potential to easily sell them.

"so why not snapshots.... but at least with DSLR image quality?"
as above technically they will accept non-smartphone images but being that more users carry smartphones than dslrs on a regular basis it makes sense to tap that market and they can ramp up much faster and have access to a much larger constant stream of content.  Sure the keeper ratio is a lot lower but they are reviewing/approving and have lower standards than traditional micro stock so they are still reaping benefits.

What it really comes down to is that the camera doesn't matter and the perceived quality is all in the eye of the buyer.  Those concerned about quality or hi-resolution uses will likely stick to traditional stock for the most part as opposed to sourcing from a smartphone based site.  Sometimes it just doesn't matter what you shoot with.

Should be named Doap....for people who give up all their rights for $10