The picture quality of smartphone cameras has been improving rapidly year by year, and even more so in the past decade. So much so that it is now possible to make money with the photos taken with a mobile phone.
What was once only the realm of photographers with large dedicated cameras has now shifted to include those who choose to capture amazing photos with their phones.
This means that now anyone around the world can make some extra money online with their smartphone photos provided they have a smartphone with a good camera.
In this article, we’ll at look several different ways that you can explore to make some extra cash on the side while doing you what you love-- taking photos with your phone.
Photo selling apps
Photo selling apps are a great way to make a little bit of cash on the side. These apps basically allow you to upload photos taken with your mobile phone onto their platform and sell them to clients.
There are quite a number of these types of apps available on the market. I have done quite a bit of research on several of them and used quite a few of them too. For my thoughts and recommendations, read this article.
But basically, they all work pretty much the same. You sign up for a free account, and once that is done you’re good to go. You can upload your images into what is commonly known as the “market”, where people can search and find your images and buy them.
As simple as that. The more people find and buy your work, the more money you make.
What these apps also have in common are the assignment-based contests where you are asked to capture a specific type of image. You are given a specific amount of time within which to complete the task and be entered into the pool.
Once the contest is over, a winner will be selected and awarded a cash prize in most cases.
The main difference between how these various photo selling apps operate is in the remuneration structure. They all payout differently. So, it’s up to you to do your research and find out which one works best for you.
The downside of these apps is that they’re quite competitive. So, if you don’t know how to take amazing photos with your smartphone, you might struggle to get noticed.
But if you’re interested in exploring this avenue, improve your chances of getting noticed by improving your smartphone photography.
If you haven’t done so already, download the 5 Ways To Improve Your Smartphone Photography ebook. It’s free.
The good thing about photo selling apps is that each photo you upload onto the market can generate you some money over and over and over again. So, the more pictures you upload, the more you stand to make.
Plus, you retain full ownership of the image, so you can sell it somewhere else and stand to make more money there.
Stock photo sites
I’m pretty sure almost everybody is familiar with stock photography websites. That’s where you find all those generic photos of a happy family having a picnic or business people shaking hands. Some popular stock photo sites include Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Depositphotos, to name a few.
But stock photo sites are more than just a well of cheesy, generic photos. There are plenty of stunning photographs on these sites, and people are making money selling them. And so can you.
Selling on stock photo sites works pretty much as it does on photo selling apps. Once you have created an account, you can begin uploading your images for potential buyers to find. Every site has its own way of doing things, so the commission structure differs from site to site.
This is actually my favourite way of making money online with mobile photos because it’s just so exciting or me. Instead of just selling photos, print-on-demand (POD) sites give you a platform to have your images printed on products such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, stickers, fridge magnets, wall art, and so much more. How awesome is that!
What’s also great is that all this happens without you having to lift a finger. That’s right, all you have to do is upload the image to a POD site and in most cases, they’ll take care of everything from printing to delivery.
Once someone finds your images and designs on the site, they can choose what product they want it to be printed on. Once the sale is completed, you’ll get notified of it and get your cut from the sale.
How much you stand to make really depends on the site you use, the product you sold and the site’s profit share model. There are plenty of sites you can look up and compare such as TeeSpring, Redbubble, and Teepublic to name but a few.
I personally use Teepublic and have sold several products. In the beginning, you probably won’t make a lot of sales and it might feel disheartening seeing a measly $4 or so trickle in every now and then. But these numbers can add up.
The more images you upload with relevant hashtags, the greater your chances of making more sales.
And this goes for a lot of other POD sites, too. Be persistent. Upload a lot of quality photos. Make it easy for people to find your works by giving them descriptive titles and brief explanations of the images. Don’t forget the hashtags. They’re super important. That’s how people will find you.
For the most part, POD sites are free to join. They make money from the sales profits, not membership fees. So, you can set up shop, upload lots of great images and pretty much forget about.
As long as the site stays up, you can keep making some cash. Also, you retain the rights to your images, which is great.
Set up your own website
Of all the ways of making money with your mobile photos outlined in this article, this is perhaps the most involved of them all and probably geared towards the more serious and advanced photographers.
Having your own website allows you to put up your works and sell them to the public without having to go to a third-party website. As a blogger, you can install Fotomoto on your blog, which is a POD plug-in.
So, instead of having to upload your images to another site, Fotomoto allows a visitor to your site to purchase a print of your image without leaving your site. It essentially turns your blog into an e-commerce site.
Speaking of which, setting up an e-commerce site to sell your images is another way of making money with your smartphone photos. I personally have not yet created an e-commerce site but I’ve heard many reports of people doing well for themselves with e-commerce sites.
The downside of e-commerce sites is that they are very hands-on and not passive like the other methods mentioned in this post. Once a customer places an order, you have to fulfil it and respond to any customer queries and complaints.
Also, betting up your own website can be quite costly. You have to buy a domain name for your brand and get hosting for your website. And if you aren’t web-savvy, you might need to get someone to design the website for you. These costs add up.
That being said, the payout from having your own site can be much, much greater than from the above methods. So, if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards could make it worth it.
The nice thing about making extra money online with your mobile photos is that it can keep generating you money over a long period of time. As long as your work remains available.
Again, I want to make it very clear that none of what is said in this article will make you money overnight and make you rich. So, you shouldn’t try any of it with that mentality.
However, you can make a nice amount of passive side money. You just need to put in the work and make sure the images you want to sell look amazing.
For useful tips on how to capture great photos with your phone, check out the 15 Tips on How To Take Amazing Photos With Your Phone.
If you want to learn more about how to improve your smartphone photography, download the 5 Ways To Improve Your Smartphone Photography ebook here. There’s a lot to learn in its 22 pages of content and it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!