Stockimo - or how to sell your iPhone photos
What do you do with your mobile images apart from uploading them to Instagram or Facebook? If you take more than selfies, sunrises and food porn shots, check out Stockimo. Backed by Alamy, Stockimo has been created exclusively with mobile shooters (iPhone only for now) in mind. Their strapline - "Cash in on your creativity" - is clear and simple. And so is the app in fact.
Its simplicity is initially almost confusing. What? No lengthy intros? No usual "we buy this, but don't try to sell us this" warnings stock libraries love so much? Nothing like that. Once you create a profile, or log in using your existing one (you can use your Alamy credentials if you already have a profile there), the app will default to your 'Home' screen and will give you two other options.
You will be able to upload a new photo - or take one using the app - and check your activity.
The activity feed is very simple. Once you upload an image this is where you see its status. On average so far I've had to wait two days, maybe a bit more, for my photos to be rejected or approved. Although in one case it only took 30 minutes or so. This is presumably where you are also informed you've made a sale. More on sales and acceptance criteria in a moment, now let's look at how the uploads work.
The process of uploading a photo is equally simple. The first thing you need to do is to give your photo a title and add a minimum of two tags.
On the next screen you are asked if your image can be used for commercial purposes, for example adverts. If your answer is yes, you'll be asked how many people are present in the picture. The usual model release rules still apply, obviously. The last question focuses on recognisable properties. If you indicate that your image does include a recognisable property, you'll need to prove you have a property release for it. If you don't, you can still submit the image, but not for commercial uses, only for editorial purposes.
And that's it. Each upload - including titles and tagging - takes me maybe a minute.
So what DO you upload and how much can you earn?
Stockimo was created for those who use their iPhone to take images. So if you're thinking you could use the app as a shortcut for your DSLR images, you'll be disappointed. Stockimo only accepts iPhone images (no idea when and if Android will be added) and presumably can read the EXIF data from the images you submit to verify their origin.
In fact, users are encouraged to submit Instagram and Hipstamatic images, so filters are ok, as long as the images are "cool" however you interpret that.
What you take is up to you. We want you to shoot what you love and be as creative and adventurous as you like. We want interesting places and happenings; we want Stockimo users to document the world.
Each submitted image is rated on a scale from 1 to 4 and if the rating is higher than 2, your image gets approved. There's no information how the images are rated, so it's impossible to dispute a rejection or even learn from mistakes. There's no feedback, just a rejection. This is definitely an area Stockimo will need to work on in the future.
But if you are using the app you presumably want to earn some cash (which paid to you via PayPal, by the way). Stockimo claims the average price for its images is $90 (around £54), but can be as low as $5 or as high as $500, depending on the rights and usage.
Stockimo obviously takes a cut. And this will probably be an important factor for many as you are not likely to make a fortune. (In fact, I think the next sentence will outrage many.) In the future photographers will get 20% of the sale price, currently they can get 40% or 50% if they were existing Alamy users.
20% doesn't sound like a lot, but if you're a prolific iPhone snapper and have no other use for your images, then it's not THAT bad. The app is simple enough and won't cost you more time to use than say Instagram.
I'm enjoying it for now, but would definitely love to see some additional features (for example: the ability to sort the activity feed) and a more transparent approval process would be more than welcome.
There are alternative apps, obviously: Getty has jumped on the mobile photography bandwagon with its Moment app and Foap has been luring mobile snappers for a couple of years now with its promise of $5 sales.
Both apps however are project- or theme-based, restricting the variety of images you can offer for sale.
Stockimo - for now at least - seems to be the easiest stock mobile photography app.