These days we take some of our best photos on our smartphones. We’ve been rewired to react to many situations by reaching for our iPhones, sliding back the camera icon and snapping away. You probably do it without even realising what you’re doing, I know I do.
But what if I told you that strangers would pay you money for your iPhone snaps? Well that’s the idea behind 123RF On-The-Go, an app which not only lets you upload your photos to the 123RF stock photography service but also gives you the chance to enter contests and win money for your most creative shots.
Intrigued? Read on…
How It Works
You can think of 123RF On-The-Go as the mobile gateway to 123RF, as that’s where your photos will end up once they’re accepted. You’ll have to ensure that your photographs are up to standards and meet a few minimum requirements. These are fairly self-explanatory rules regarding good composition and lighting as well as low image noise. Images must also have commercial viability and meet the minimum image size of 5MP (and iPhone 4 or better).
New contributors will need to sign up for an account and verify their age (sorry, over 18s only) and identity by submitting photo ID, common practice among stock photography repositories. Once you’ve been accepted verified you can start submitting your photos, which will be reviewed and if successful made available for licensing. If you already have a verified 123RF contributor account, you can literally download and start uploading.
Earnings are calculated using credits based on your success with 123RF, and royalties start at around 30% and increasing to 60% in accordance with the credit-based commission structure. You’ll need to accrue at least $50 to be paid via PayPal, and $100 or $200 to be paid via Moneybookers or cheque, respectively. This preference can be specified in-app, under the settings button on your profile.
Once you’ve verified your account, you can simply upload photos when you like and 123RF OTG will notify you when someone makes a purchase. From then on it’s a waiting game till payday, and all it took were a matter of taps.
Using The App
After logging in, the first thing you’ll see is the latest 123RF stock photographs to be added to the service on the Home tab. This might seem a little odd considering you can’t use the app to buy anything, but it does give you a good idea of the competition. As you’d expect, general standards are high though not unattainably so and “decent” photos are abundant. This serves as a bit of inspiration, though you can also like, share and view these photos in Safari.
The big inviting camera icon which is used to capture or submit photos from Camera Roll. You can upload directly from your camera, though it is generally better to shoot a selection of photos then choose the best, as a rule of thumb. This way you could also use alternative camera apps, like Camera+ or Camera Awesome which should provide greater control over your photography.
When submitting your photos you will be invited to add at least two tags by tapping the photo, and tagging it accordingly. While two tags is a minimum, if you really want to sell your photos you should try and find as many unique and relevant tags as possible to secure exposure.
The rest of the app is used for managing your account and keeping Likes organised, with separate tabs for Review Status to view pending uploads and a My Earnings tab which lists your current monthly total as well as the images which have been attracting attention.
Exclusive Mobile Contests
In addition to giving you the chance to sell your photos for profit, users of 123RF OTG can access a number of mobile-exclusive contests by tapping the Activities icon in the top-left corner of the app. With $300 up for grabs for winning, current contests include Food Fame for edibles, Hands-On for shots of people using their hands and H2O for all water-related images.
Each contest features the current entries so far, including the number of photos submitted and how long you’ve got left to enter. You can quickly get an idea of what you’re up against by browsing through the submitted images so far. You can only submit photos from your camera roll or camera app to a contest, which means you cannot nominate photos that 123RF have already accepted.
Contests come and go, and provide not only an incentive to submit photographs but also to go out and take a few. There’s no limit to the number of contests you can enter, and even if you don’t win you’ve still submitted your photos to the service and increased your chances of selling a shot.
It really says something about the cameras in our devices that apps exist and enable you to monetize your mobile photography. It also proves that there is a market out there for photographs shot on “decent” cameras that are good enough, rather than the often clinical nature of a studio-lit stock photograph.
123RF OTG is an easy to use app that offers iPhone owners a chance to make some money from their dormant images using 123RF. Best of all you can manage the whole operation from your device, without having to login to a web interface. If you’re curious about turning your iPhone photos into cash, this isn’t a bad way of going about it.
Download: 123RF On-The-Go for iPhone & iPod Touch (Free)
What do you think of 123RT On-The-Go? Have you ever sold an iPhone photograph? Would you ever buy one? Add your thoughts in the comments, below.