The ULTIMATE Guide to Foap

When it comes to apps and websites where you can sell your smartphone pictures, there are plenty of options to choose from. One particular app that stands out for me is Foap. Its business model has seen many photographers earn some extra cash just from taking pictures with their phones.

For easy to follow tips on how to increase your chances of making money on Foap, click here.

Founded in 2012, Foap has grown over the years to become one of the leading platforms for selling smartphone photographs.

So, how exactly do you make money on Foap?

There are 4 ways in which you can make money on Foap:

  • The Marketplace.This is where buyers browse through photos and pay $10 for the one they like. The photographer takes 50% from each sale.
  • Foap Missions.Companies provide a brief of what they want from the photographers. The winning submission can receive a starting minimum of $100.
  • Premium Missions. Offers rewards up to $2000.
  • These allow you to earn $0.25 for each photo you sell that belongs to another photographer.

This may seem easy enough to do but there’s a lot of competition on Foap. This article will help you completely understand Foap and increase your chances to make extra money on it.

What is Foap?

Foap is a popular free-to-download app that gives you a platform to sell your smartphone pictures and videos. It’s associated with Getty, so it really is a legitimate way to make extra money and it’s simple enough for even an amateur to use. It’s available on Android and iOS so anyone can get in on the action.

This guide focuses mostly on how to go about using Foap on Android devices. The steps and procedures are pretty similar on iOS, so you can follow along even if you’re using an iPhone.

What does Foap do?

This service basically acts as the middleman in selling your photos. Brands, agencies and businesses of all sorts are always searching for images to use commercially. What Foap does is provide a space for you to have your photos seen by these companies. When a business sees your picture and they like it, they’re likely to buy it and you get your share of the money.

Foap also has a community of photographers that you can use to better your chances of making sales on your pictures. Having a sizeable following will naturally lead to more views of your photos which could then result in higher ratings. High photo ratings could lead to more sales.

How do you use Foap?

This app is easy to download and super simple to use! First, you’ll need to download the app from either Google Play or the Apple App Store. Once you have done that, you can sign up for Foap in just a few clicks using your Facebook account. Alternatively, you can sign up using your email address although this method has a few extra steps to it as you’ll need to verify your email address.

foap welcome screen

The Foap welcome screen allows you to log right in using Facebook or to create a new account

foap facebook log in

If you choose to continue with Facebook, you'll be required to enter your Facebook log in details

create foap account screen

To create a new account, you'll have to choose a username, enter your email address and set up a password

Who is eligible to use Foap?

Foap is open and free to anyone from any country worldwide regardless whether you’re a professional photographer or just a beginner trying to figure your way around.

The only restriction is that you do have to be 18 years or older to benefit from this app.

Uploading a photo

uploading photo to foap

Once you’re registered, the uploading of your pictures couldn’t be any simpler. After signing up, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can upload your first picture.

If you’re not ready to upload just yet, you can skip this step and upload your photos later.

When you’re ready to upload your photos, just click on the “circle with a +” from anywhere in the app and you’ll be able to select which picture to upload from your phone. The first time you upload a photo, you will need to grant the app permission to access your pictures and media files.

To upload a photo to Foap from a computer, you will have to download and install a mobile app emulator on your computer so that you can launch the Foap app on it.

You can use an emulator like BlueStacks. This method is really quite a hassle and the issue of uploading via web has been around for a very long time (years!) but it doesn’t seem like it’s a priority for Foap.

The photo’s size must be at least 1280x960 pixels for it to be uploaded to Foap. Getty Missions require a size of 2048x1536 minimum.

Tagging Photos

You will have to give your photo a name and tag it with keywords. This is important so that your photos can appear in the results when someone searches for those keywords. Just make sure that your keywords match the picture you’re posting. You can add up to 100 tags!

You can always change the tags later in the “Manage Photos” part of the app. To do that, just go to the main menu and select “Manage Photos”. Open the photo you wish to tag and you’ll see an option to “Add Tags”. Select the option and change the tags or add more. Separate each tag using a comma, e.g. “nature, flower, rose,”.

adding tags on foap

When coming up with keywords to use as tags, It’s always good to imagine who might want to buy your photo, what type of pictures they’re likely to be searching for and what words they would use to find the content they need.

The keywords should be as descriptive of what’s going on in the picture as possible. If your photo is of a vase with a bunch of flowers on a windowsill at sunset, then your tags should include “flowers, sunset, vase, bouquet, windowsill, valentines, home, petals, fresh” and other keywords that best fit the picture.

If a buyer searches for “flowers at sunset”, “roses for valentines”, “bouquet of flowers on windowsill” or any other combination of your tags, your photo will come up in the results. Notice how 3 different searches for 3 different things can bring the same picture? Tags are important!

It’s good practice to shift your perspective and think what a buyer might want to do with your photo and include tags that are relevant to that and also relate to your picture. If you don’t use relevant keywords, a buyer searching for pictures of trees in the forest might come across your photo of a cat.

No matter how beautiful the picture is and however cute the little kitten is, the buyer will not purchase that picture because that’s not what they’re looking for. They just want some trees in a forest. No cat.

Tagging can be time-consuming. However, Foap does suggest tags which can be useful if you’ve run out of steam to enter your own.

You can tag multiple pictures using the same tags by simply copying all the tags just after typing them and then pasting them in the text box of the other pictures.

In summary, here are…

3 Tips on how to tag photos on Foap for better results:
  • Use many tags (I cannot stress this enough)
  • Only use relevant keywords
  • Think from the buyer’s perspective

Model Release


Before you can publish your photo, you’ll need to go through a very simple legal process. Be mindful that any picture that has a recognizable face in it should be accompanied by a release form signed by the person or people in that photograph which proves their consent to have their picture taken and used commercially.

For minors under 18, a parent or legal guardian should sign the form on their behalf. Even if you submit a selfie, you need to submit a model release form that you have completed and signed yourself.

The term ‘recognizable face’ means a face that is clearly visible and you can easily make out exactly who the person in the photo is.

The Foap model release form can be found here and all you need to do is print it, sign it and take a photo of it. After downloading the form, you could use a program like Adobe Acrobat to fill in the form and sign it.

  • The left side of the model release form is for the model to sign
  • The right side of it is for the photographer to fill in and sign.

If it’s a photo of the photographer or a selfie, I guess the photographer will have to sign both sides. Afterwards, you can upload the form to the Foap model release panel.

If your photo has no people in it, then you don’t have to worry about this.

Once you’re done with that, then you’re good to go. Your photo will be published and available for sale to anyone searching. To double check if your photos have uploaded correctly, enter your username in the “Search” bar on the website. If your photos come up, then you’re all set.

If your photos haven’t uploaded, it might be due to a poor internet connection where you are or maybe Foap’s servers are having technical issues. In any case, just try uploading the photos again. If the problem persists, try reinstalling the app or contact Foap’s support team.


There are two categories of photos:

  • Commercial- the photo will be used in ways to make money
  • Editorial- the photo will be used as part of a news story, article or text and not advertising


Photos with a commercial license can be used for commercial purposes. This basically means that whoever buys your photo can use it to market their business, advertise products and also print it on merchandise for sale such as t-shirts, caps, mugs, stickers, etc.

An editorial license is added with the commercial license automatically. These licenses are obtained after answering the legal questions. You will not obtain these licenses if you don’t have a signed model release form to accompany any photo where there’s a recognizable face in it.

Selling your photo on Foap means that you, the photographer, are giving Foap a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free transferable license of your photo. This means that you still own your photo but you’re allowing Foap to use the photo whichever way they like anywhere in the world and also share it with their partners such as Getty Images.

The agreement is non-exclusive which means you can upload the photos you have on Foap to another service. However, this doesn’t apply to photos commissioned exclusively for a Mission.

Worth noting is that the images sold on Foap are royalty-free. This means that a customer can buy a photo once and use it as many times as they wish without having to pay additional fees.

Foap does not share the information of who bought the photo with the photographer.

Deleting Photos

Go to Menu (three horizontal lines on the top left of the screen) ---> Manage Photos.

Tap and hold the text box area next to the photo you want to delete. Once it’s selected, tap on the “Trash” icon in the top right corner to delete the photo. It’s also possible to select multiple photos and delete them at the same time.

You can also delete a photo from the photo screen. Choose the Menu button in the top right corner and Delete photo.

Once a photo is deleted, it is deleted! You’ll have to re-upload it back to your portfolio if it was deleted by mistake.

If somehow the original pictures you uploaded to Foap get wiped from your phone, you can get in touch with Foap’s support staff and they will send you a link from which you can download your photos.


Foap has a large of photographers that you can interact with. You can follow other users, like and comment on their photos.

Most importantly, you can also rate other people’s photos just as they can rate yours. Of course, sometimes time may not allow for you to be interactive on the app.

Lightbox is a Foap feature that allows you to save photos you like so you can come back to them later. It’s pretty useful if you’re on the go and don’t have the time to look into the details of the photograph or leave a comment.

When you have the time, you can then go into Lightbox and interact with the photos you saved and reach out to the photographers.

How do you make money on Foap?

As mentioned earlier, there are 4 ways to make money using Foap:

  • Marketplace
  • Foap Missions
  • Premium Missions
  • Albums

Foap Marketplace

This is where the pictures you upload to Foap automatically get sent to. When a potential buyer is looking for specific photos, they’ll be searching all the pictures submitted by users across the globe that match their criteria. Foap is available to many people so the number of competitors in the marketplace is high.

That’s not to say you can’t make money in the marketplace. The really cool thing about the marketplace is that you can sell the same picture an unlimited number of times!

So if you learn and truly master the art of taking really good pictures with your smartphone, then you will get noticed and your pictures will get high ratings. High ratings mean a high ranking and a high ranking means one photograph could earn you $5 many times over.

Foap is associated with Getty Images and sometimes they transfer the best photographs over to them to sell there. If your photo sells, Foap will give you 50% of what it gets from Getty. It can be up to $80 per photo.

Remember, pictures sold on Foap are royalty free. As much as you can earn multiple times from selling the same picture to different buyers, each buyer can use the picture multiple times.

Foap Missions

If a $5 payout doesn’t do it for you, then Foap Missions is where you’ll find the big fish. These missions are basically contests arranged by companies which allow them to have a variety of pictures specific to their needs to choose from.

How do missions work?

Each mission has a description that details all the requirements for the desired photo. The first step to getting your photo selected is to follow the brief exactly.

Take your time and make sure you capture a great photo because once you’ve uploaded your photo to the mission, it will be rated by other users. Great pictures receive great ratings.

Each mission has a set deadline and only one winner can be picked. If your picture is selected by the company running the mission, you could make anything from $100 to $500!

Why a submission might get rejected from missions

Every photo that is submitted to a Mission gets reviewed by a couple of teams. These teams make sure that the submitted photographs are of high quality and match the brief of the Mission.

They also look out for:

      • Logos visible in the photo
      • Model release form (needs to be submitted only if there’s a recognizable face in the photo)
      • Composition
      • Quality
      • Adherence to brief

Premium Missions

Premium Missions are similar to regular Foap Missions but with added benefits. These missions have much higher cash rewards (up to $2000!) and each can have up to 60 winners. It’s definitely worth checking out.

premium missions example

To join a Premium Mission, you need to have it unlocked first by using Foap Coins. You can get Foap Coins online from the Foap website. The coins come in packages of 200, 600, and 1000 Foap Coins. Each package costs $4, $7, and $12 respectively. Alternatively, you can earn them for free by watching ads on the app.

One Premium Mission can cost up to 100 Foap Coins. Once you have enough coins, you can upload your photo into a Premium Mission by joining the mission you want and uploading your picture to it.

Remember to add a description and tag as many keywords relevant to the picture as possible. If you can’t get that many in now, you can add more later in “Manage Photos”.

It’s currently not possible to move a photo from your portfolio and add it to a mission. If you have a photo in your portfolio that you’d like to submit to a mission, then you have to re-upload it to that mission.

As with the Foap marketplace, you get to keep 50% of your earnings in both Foap Missions and Premium Missions. Foap takes the other 50%.

How to get Foap Coins

how to get foap coins
  • Go to
  • Choose between packages of 200, 600 and 1000 Foap Coins
  • Click “Buy Now”
  • After that, log in and enter your details
  • Fill in all the required fields
  • Choose either PayPal or credit card for payment
  • Click “Buy”
  • Once the payment has gone through, the Foap Coins will only reflect in your account once you restart the app


Video Ads

  • Open menu in the app
  • Tap “Foap Coins”
  • Select “Watch Now” and watch the full ad

The ads on Foap vary in length but the longest is 30 seconds. Each ad you watch will add 5 Foap Coins to your account.

How are Foap Premium Mission winners picked?

The process of selecting a winner is split into two phases. Every photo that is submitted to Premium Missions is reviewed by Foaps Content Studio members. In the first phase, these members choose all the best pictures that will proceed to the next phase.

The second phase is evaluation. This is where points are awarded to photos according to the following criteria:

Mission Description- read the mission details carefully and stick to them exactly. Don’t do your own thing. If a mission asks for a spontaneous photo and you submit a staged one, you will not score the maximum amount of points in this category.

Story Telling- each photo should tell a story. The easier it is for the story in the photo to be seen, the more points the photo will score. The harder it is to understand the story, the fewer the points scored.

Overall Quality- this looks at technique, composition, lighting and colour balance. High quality smartphone photos will receive favourable scoring.

Wow Factor- just as it suggests, the photo has to stand out from the rest. It can be different because it’s a whacky idea or a unique technique. Creativity scores you points here. If your photo is really good but looks just like any other, you won’t score as high. This is a very important category as it’s usually the final decision maker.


Read the terms and details of the mission carefully! Some missions may allow you to sell your pictures to someone else after the mission is over. However, if the company stipulates that the mission is exclusive, then that means that the company gets ownership of the photo.

Even if you did not win a mission, it’s not uncommon for companies to buy photos from the other participants in the mission. These pictures go for $10 (or $60 in Premium Missions).


You can create an album and collect pictures from other photographers on Foap and put them in the album without buying them. If a buyer finds the picture he/she is looking for in your album, then you get $0.25.

That’s right, each picture that belongs to someone else that you sell from your compilation album will earn you $0.25! And the original owner still gets their $5 share. It works the other way around, too! If someone sells your picture from their album, they get $0.25 and you get $5. Everybody wins!

In order for you to be able to add photos to your album, you need to have a verified account first. This means that both your email address and your PayPal account must be verified.

Once that is done you can start adding photos to your album. Bare in mind that doing this does not mean you can download the photo. Only the person who buys the photo gets the original full size version.

Adding photos to your Foap album

  • In Foap, open a photo
  • Tap 3 dots on top right corner
  • Choose “Add to album”


To add photos from your own album

  • Open your profile
  • Open the photo you want to add
  • Tap 3 dots in top right corner
  • Choose “Add to album”

Payment Structure

Currently, Foap pays out via PayPal and only PayPal. It does so monthly.

How to add PayPal

Firstly, you need to have a verified PayPal account. If you don’t already have one, you can sign up for one by clicking here. It’s totally free and shouldn’t take long to register.



  • Go to menu
  • Tap settings
  • Select “Cash out settings”
  • Enter and confirm the email address you use for PayPal



  • Go to menu
  • Tap “Withdraw money”
  • Select “Withdraw now”
  • Enter your PayPal email address
  • Select the gear icon on the same screen if you need to change your PayPal email address.

To see how much you’ve earned, you can go to “Your Sales” (Android) or “Withdraw Money” (iOS). If you’re ready to withdraw, just tap “Withdraw Now”.

Meet the Foapers: The Foap Community

Foap has a fantastic community of photographers which you can actually use to gain more visibility on the platform.

People in this community are called Foapers and following other Foapers is a good way to engage with the community and meet new people. Every photo screen has an icon with a “+” next to the username. Tap on that icon to start following that Foaper.

Members of the Foap community can rate each others photos on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low and 5 being high) according to how they see the quality of the photo.

You can rate photos from the Newsfeed, Recently Added, Latest Sold and the “0/200” screen. To rate, go to the “Explore” tab and tap on the star icon in the top right corner.

To see your photo’s rating, go into your portfolio and, if you’re using Android, you should see the rating once you open the photo. To see the rating on iOS, open the photo from your portfolio and then tap rating of the photo when it’s open.

You can also leave comments on other Foapers’ photos. Just tap on the photo and select the icon in the bottom right corner and start typing your comment.

You can mention other Foapers in your comment by tagging their username (e.g. @Foapster98) and they’ll get notified. The author of the photo will get notification of comments whether they were mentioned in them or not.

The pros and cons of Foap


  • The app is free, simple to use and allows you to upload photos directly from your smartphone
  • Large supportive community
  • Missions give you exposure to big brand companies and have a high payout potential
  • Except for exclusive missions, you keep ownership of your photos and can sell them multiple times anywhere
  • No minimum required to withdraw your money
  • Only the buyer gets the photo at full resolution so your work is protected
  • You have access to photos that have been sold and have won missions so you can gauge the standard and quality of others
  • Albums increase the possibility of your work being found especially if someone with a high ranking has your photo in their album



  • Foap being accessible to anyone means there’s lots of competition which could make it harder for your pictures to be noticed
  • The 50/50 split of earnings might not sit well with some people
  • Having only one payment method might be inconvenient to others
  • No upload option on the website which means you have to have a smartphone with the app installed on it. The alternative is just an unnecessary hassle.
  • Foap requires time and effort. If you think you can just take one photo and sit back while the money rolls in you’ll be sorely disappointed
  • If you go out of your way and spend money to complete a mission, you might find yourself losing money especially if you don’t win
  • It may take a long time before you make a sale in the marketplace, which can be frustrating if you’re not patient

If you are seriously considering signing up for Foap, I highly recommend you read my article on how to increase your chances of success on Foap. I cover 13 points that can help you better your chances of making some money on Foap.

Comments 5

  1. But what can I do to the person who take my photo and put it in their album and saying it’s their collection?they don’t ask permission to have my photo

  2. What if some commercial company buys my photo and uses it, and makes a lot of money using my photo. I get nothing ? Just what I got from Foap ? $10 ?

    1. Post

      Unfortunately, that’s the case. Once a company has purchased the licence to use your photo, they can use it however they please without compensating you any further no matter how much money they make from using it.

  3. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual
    effort to generate a superb article? but what can I say?
    I put things off a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

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