Published on 14 March 2018 | Updated on 17 January 2020
A few years ago, most of the stock photo agencies offered for sale only stock photos. Pond5 was one of the few exceptions, which initially offered stock videos only, and later started accepting photos and illustrations. Increasing competition in the stock media market forced the major stock photo agencies to change their policies. They started selling stock videos, music tracks, sound effects, 3D projects, website templates, PSD files, and more.
Current development of mobile technology and the increasing popularity of advanced mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) started a new trend in the stock media market: mobile stock photography apps. Now, almost every stock agency offers to its users, both photographers and photo buyers, mobile stock photography apps with many useful features.
Photographers can easily access their statistics about accepted images and sales. They have the ability to upload photos taken on mobile devices directly to their online portfolios. They can also fully describe and keyword the images.
Customers can quickly search for perfect shots from millions of images offered by stock photo sites. They can purchase stock photos directly from their mobile device.
Shutterstock Mobile Stock Photography Apps
One of the first stock photography apps introduced to microstock contributors was simple application from Shutterstock called Contributor Mobile. Recently it has been replaced by Shutterstock Contributor. With this app you can check your monthly / daily sales and monitor the performance of your portfolio. You can upload and submit images for review straight from your smartphone, and describe / keyword your images that you’ve already uploaded. You also get an overview of your image downloads and receive notifications when buyers add your images to Lightboxes. The app lets you discover what visual trends are and what Shutterstock customers are looking for.
It is a simple, yet offering accurate information tool for every photographer. To avail of all the features of this app go to submit.shutterstock.com and register your contributor’s free account.
Shutterstock designed an application for photo buyers called simply Shutterstock – Stock Photos. It is a photo search with mosaic view where customers can browse Shutterstock stock photo collection, check image details, keywords, and purchase directly from within the app. They can also create lightboxes, as long as they have registered free account at www.shutterstock.com.
Fotolia Instant Collection
IMPORTANT UPDATE – The Apps are no longer available.
Fotolia Instant is the Photo Application that allows photographers upload and sell their stock images in Fotolia Instant Collection on fotolia.com website. Instant Collection is an online library of creative stock images taken on smartphones. It is simple yet professional camera app with manual control of exposure and aperture. With this app photographers can easily keyword and upload stock photos to Fotolia’s image library. It also offers easy creation and uploading of model releases.
The app requires iOS 7.0 or later, it is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and it is optimized for iPhone 5. It is also compatible with Android 2.2 or later. Download it on the App Store or Google Play.
Fotolia iPad App has been designed specially for photo buyers. It allows you to search Fotolia‘s royalty-free stock image collection, download images directly to your iPad or send to Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also create and manage your own photo collections.
This app is designed for iPad only. Download it on the App Store
Dreamstime Photography Companion app allows photographers easily upload images directly from iOS and Android devices to Dreamstime. This app allows contributors track their sales (real time notifications), current earnings, as well as other image statistics. You can quickly sign up within the app, otherwise visit Dreamstime Registration Page and set up your free contributor account.
IMPORTANT UPDATE – JULY 2019 – Clashot App is no longer available.
Depositphotos Clashot mobile stock photography app gives photographers opportunity to take, publish and sell photos. Images go for sale after review and you can earn money from every sale. Each shot can be sold unlimited number of times to unlimited number of people. All photos published at Clashot are available for Depositphotos buyers. There is no need to pass through exams typical of stock agencies. All you need to do to become a Contributor is complete a short verification procedure.
Clashot is not only one of the stock photography apps for photographers. It is also a social media site, where your uploaded stock photos can be viewed by other users and receive likes. The more likes your image gets, the better chance of selling the image you have. Clashot has easy interface and provides detailed statistics and financial information. You can register your free account from within the app or you can visit Depositphotos Contributor Page and sign up there. Users can also log in and register with social media accounts.
This app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices. Download it on the App Store or Google Play.
Depositphotos App for Stock Photo Buyers
Customers can now download application called Depositphotos. It is a powerful tool to get instant access to millions of high quality royalty-free stock photos, vectors and video clips. Photo buyers can search and download stock files from anywhere. With its smart, elegant interface the app displays hi-res images with options to easily save and organize favourite files.
123RF Mobile Stock Photography Apps
IMPORTANT UPDATE – 123RF On-The-Go App is no longer available.
123RF On-The-Go mobile app allows shooting stock photos directly from mobile devices and uploading them to 123RF.com website for sale. From the On-The-Go app stock photographers can tag relevant subjects in the photos, describe photos and simply upload to 123RF image collection. The app offers interesting contests with the opportunity to earn Stars to be redeemed for cash or other prizes. Contributors can check their earnings and sold images in real-time. The “Home” tab provides the best and latest stock photos picked by 123RF’s editors.
This app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices. Download it on the App Store and Google Play.
123RF (Search & Download Images) App
In October 2014, 123RF launched an application for designers, bringing its large image collection to a wide mobile audience.
The 123RF stock photography app offers quick access to millions of impressive Royalty-free stock photos, editorial images and vector illustrations. Users can now browse, share, create and manage their own lightboxes with a simple yet powerful user interface. Search results can be searched by keywords or categories, and sorted by upload date, most downloaded, most popular, etc. All search results can be viewed on one single page.
The app is optimized for Retina Display so get enhanced browsing experience with high quality image previews. Stock images can be easily added or removed from lightboxes with a single tap.
Available for Apple devices only, Alamy Stockimo app is designed for uploading and selling stock photos on Alamy Website and its partners. Once you upload, photo experts rate your images, and once you average score is 2, they go on sale. The App will inform you when your photos sell and you get paid monthly once you reach $10. Stockimo is free and allows for unlimited uploads of filtered images, including photos taken with other apps, such as Instagram, Hipstamatic or Snapseed.
This app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. Download it on the App Store.
iStock Photography Apps
For stock photo buyers:
iStock – Stock Photography (iOS) and iStock by Getty Images (Android) are stock photography apps released by Getty Images for iStock users. Buyers can search, save, download and share stock images from iStock collection, create lightboxes and more. They can filter search results and save photos to existing lightboxes, as well as new ones. Images and lightboxes can be shared via email, and inspiring photos from the contributors can be followed.
Getty Images app is designed for Getty Images Premium Access, Easy-access, Editorial Subscription and UltraPack customers. They can search, view, download and share stock images from an impressive Getty Images collection. Buyers can also find and follow their favourite contributors to see more of their images.
IMPORTANT UPDATE – Thinkstock By Getty images App is no longer available.
Thinkstock by Getty Images is another app offered by Getty Images to their subscription customers. Photo buyers can explore over 10 million stock images picked from Getty Images and iStock contributors. Smart and simple design, editor-curated galleries, continuous scroll and one-tap access to search and filters are main features of the app. User can also tap for high-resolution viewing, pinch and zoom to take advantage of retina details. Saving to and toggling quickly between lightboxes is nice and easy.
This app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Download it on the App Store
For stock photo contributors:
IMPORTANT UPDATE – Getty Images Moment app has been replaced with ‘Contributor by Getty Images’ app.
Getty Images Moment is the app designed for Getty Images and iStock photographers to submit photos directly from their iPhone.
Each time you open Moment you’ll see new requests for photography in your dashboard. Requests include descriptions written by the editors, easy access to your camera and Photo Library for upload, and you can see submissions from other contributors.
This app is currently intended for existing Getty Images and iStock contributors only. Users without contributor contracts can view requests and content submitted by other photographers, but cannot submit photos. Getty Images are intending to allow new submissions in the near future.
This app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Download it on the App Store.
Stock Photography Apps: Our verdict
There is no such thing as the “best” stock photography apps because even if they offer similar functionalities, they have completely different features. Some apps are simple tools to check your statistics, while others can be used to take photos and to easily upload them to the agency’s image collection. And some are designed for photo buyers only. The apps are free so it costs nothing to download them and see if they can provide you with information and tools you may need while you are on the go. Maybe with these stock photography apps you can turn your smartphone into cash making device. Have fun!