Foap: What You Should Know About Selling iPhone Photos

As I was checking my email today, I was surprised to learn that the photo below (albeit in color) had earned me $5 on Foap.  For those of you who don’t know it, Foap is an iPhone photography marketplace that ambitiously promises to turn you photos into dollars.


Can they fulfil this promise? Keep reading to find out.

Foap was released last summer, which is when I first downloaded the app and played around with it a little. I uploaded about ten average-quality photos, got essentially no response, and decided that it was probably not worth spending time on. So I deleted the app and forgot about the photos that were put up for sale.

However, after today’s email I decided to give Foap another chance and write about it in the blog. So I downloaded the app again, cashed out my $5, and started to upload more photos hoping that people would buy them every now and then. Even if I only sell a couple of photos per month, by the end of the year I should have earned $120 for practically no work on my part.

Or so I thought.

First, I must warn you that it’s really, really painful to upload photos to Foap. I don’t know if they do it intentionally to keep people from posting their entire libraries, but you can only upload photos one by one. I had initially selected 100 photos to upload, but I soon decided to cut it down to 40. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my night uploading.

Each photo has to be individually selected, uploaded, tagged, and then you have to rate five other photos before your photo is published. Five other people will rate your photo as well, and if the average is high enough your photo will get published.

Unfortunately the upload process is made much harder by a software bug that keeps showing you the same photos and saying that you’ve already rated them. At this point you can’t just move on and rate the next photo. You’re stuck with the same photo until new ones come along in a few minutes. And then it happens again for your second photo… and so on.

Luckily, I discovered a way to get around this problem and make the rating process much faster. Just keep giving very quick 3-star ratings before the photos are even downloaded, and you’ll be done with this step in two seconds. Sure, it’s a bug that Foap should  fix as soon as possible, but for now it remains the only reasonable way to upload your photos.

But even with this trick it still takes too much time to upload new photos. I’ve decided to stop at 50 photos for now, and I won’t be adding any more unless they are sold on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be the case. It seems that there are far more photographers than buyers on the market at this point. Flipping burgers at McDonald’s would probably earn you more money than uploading your photos on Foap.

If you decide to give Foap a try, I would suggest that you make a small gallery of your 20-50 most sellable photos. And make sure your tag your photos carefully. Potential buyers will only see your photos if they type in the tags you’ve used.

People, emotions, beautiful views and famous places will probably sell better than artistic photos. Also don’t upload photos that have been excessively edited with Instagram-style filters. Most buyers are looking for photos that haven’t been edited too much.

You don’t lose your copyright when your photos are sold on Foap. Buyers get non-exclusive rights to your photos, which essentially means that after the sale you can keep using them in any way you want. It also means that the same photo can be sold on Foap more than once.

It's easy to take a quick snapshot with iPhone, but most people don't know how to take full control of their iPhone's camera. That's why we created a free video revealing 7 hidden iPhone camera features that every photographer should use.

  • Thank you for a very interesting blog post. We are always happy to get honest thoughts and advice from our users, and you really know what you are speaking about. That makes us listen very carefully to every word you say 🙂 We are aware of the uploading process and the bugs and are working on a new uploading process that will be faster and also where you can do the “job” while waiting, which will make the waiting feeling shorter. Again – thanks for your advice 🙂 (Nice picture anyway) Best, Alexandra from Foap

    • iPhonePS

      Thanks for your comment. It’s great to know that you’re listening to user feedback.

      Good luck with Foap!

    • Lindsey

      Alexandra – why can’t we upload Instagram pics? There is a too small error for the photos if trying to upload from the photo album as well.

    • Lindsey,

      If you’ve been shooting Instagram pictures with an iPhone 4 or lower, Instagram crops your image down to à 1400px x 1400px, it is too small for most buyers to use.
      And mind Instagram filters, most of the time they are too strong limit the editing possibilities for the buyer.


  • So almost a year later have you had any more luck selling on Foap? Just curious.=)

    • Not really, one more sale…

      That’s after uploading 50 photos which literally took me forever.

  • rugfoot

    Good to know – I know there’s a lot of excitement about selling photos but as you say there’s probably more money in flipping burgers. Unless you get lucky. I’ve sold one or two for good money. It’s a volume thing: if you sell 0.1% of a 100 photos, not very much, but 0.1% of 1 million photos is a lot more.

    • I wrote this article a long time ago, but since I posted it I haven’t sold any more photos even though I have about a 100 uploaded. I think too many mobile photos are taken to make simple photo selling profitable. Maybe if you position them as art.

    • kerinF

      Might be the last person to have found this app, but bugs are still there. Spent an eternity uploading, tagging, rating others….just to find the photo still back in the unsent list. Argghh!

    • Just don’t bother with it. It will be interesting to see what the new EyeEm marketplace is like, but I don’t think there’s much money to be made in selling iPhone photos.

    • Jake

      I wanna know if you haven’t verified your PayPal account on Foap can you still sell your photos? And when you sell the photo can you still keep your copy of the photo?

    • Vikki Cortez

      I uploaded a couple and its been 6 hours and it sez processing long does this take

  • Limo

    Great article, thanks for posting. You mentioned in the comments that you uploaded approx. 100 pictures on Foap and since a year you did habe many sells. As a reason you stated that there are more seller and not enough buyers around on the Foap platform. Can you suggest any other platform where the ratio is better? Thanks Limo

    • I think it’s like that everywhere. There are millions of smartphone photos taken every hour and everybody is hoping to sell them. It’s interesting to see where EyeEm goes with it’s photo selling network, but for now there are no good alternatives.

      By the way, check out the interview I did with Kevin Russ, he’s making money from his photos because he’s a big personality with a lot of media coverage:

  • T

    Other than the inconveniences the app seems safe? My fear is of hacking situations similar to what has happened to snapchat

    • From what I could tell it seems safe, and you won’t be posting anything really private other than than the photos you put up for sale. But I’m not a coder so I don’t know for sure.

  • Catherine

    I am wondering how I can get the app on my mac so I can upload the better photos that I have taken with my real camera that are much better quality than the ones on my phone. Does anyone know how to do that?

    • Gerry Creighton

      Email them to yourself and receive the email on your phone, save the image on your phone and then use the app to upload.

  • Catherine

    ABC Nightly News just did a story on Foap, so there will be a lot more interest in this.

    • That explains a lot… I couldn’t figure out why everyone was coming to this article all of sudden.

  • Frank Krieger

    Wow Im in I think I can keep up with you guys hope so I will need a push as im 77 from the sunset strip

  • chanjones

    Do this app work on phones other than the iphone

  • Niki Arian

    I’m not an iPhone user, but this information was just what I needed. Thank you!

  • sam

    I’m trying to use this ap on my Android phone and it seems to have a lot of bugs. Also, all of my pics seem to be in the processing stage. I wish they would tell me what this means. How long does it take to process them? Who knows? I can’t find that info any where. I don’t want to keep uploading photos if this thing isn’t going to work.

    • I don’t really know what that is. Do they ever get out of the processing stage?

    • Jen PT

      That’s happening to me too. The app is crap

    • david

      you need to writte a title +discription + keywords to complete process

  • Mike

    I’m a new user please follow mikeyvs. Much appreciated

  • Sherrie Jacobson

    Can you use photos from your regular camera? If so how???? Thanks for your information, very useful, please keep us informed. Hope this works out

    • Just get them to your iPhone using iTunes or Photo Transfer app.

  • RaeC

    I figured there was a catch. There always is. It seems like this is a place for someone that has nothing better to do then take pictures then sit in front of a computer and upload them. I think I am all set.
    Thank you for your input.

    • Nope, it’s certainly not a good way to earn a living.

  • JCP

    I don’t see a place on the app that let’s you upload photos??? Where do I do it?

  • Lady N.(Nicole Hill)

    I got that to. Just downloaded and app called resize and crop to change the sizes.

    • Linda

      So will this app make instagram photos useable on FOAP?

    • Well, you can’t artificially inflate image sizes, that doesn’t look good.

    • Dan Kizern

      i use an app called PICS ART, its a great editing tool with hundreds of features… and its free. Also, it doesn’t make your photos look edited, but there is an option to resize and you can make it any size you wish without stretching or distorting your photo.

  • Roni Schoenberg Pagano

    Why do they ask for your passport? My daughter wants to do it and that bothers me to take a pic your passport! Help

    • Strange, I probably wouldn’t do it myself. They didn’t have that before.

  • Ola Moore Davidson

    How do you receive payment when a photo sells?

  • Lynda Tilley

    I downloaded the app and one of my photos is already published but when it comes to verifying my account it wants a copy of my drivers license. Very uncomfortable with doing that. Seems like there should be another way
    Without showing your drivers license number and also your social security number

    • Strange, they didn’t have that back in the day…

    • Faith

      Mine doe s the same they said they are updating.

    • Maggie

      I agree I downloaded the app but no way am I sending that info out to strangers!! Any way around that that anyone figured out?

    • kristi

      I am also uncomfortable with some of their “verification” items. Don’t like one bit them want ing my PayPal info right off. And I am an admitted, self proclaimed. “Technotard” with computers , but…. got the account set up, it has my ID photo on it fine, but I thought I uploaded 20 photos but from what I read here & the fact they aren’t showing anywhere…I must have goofed! Now I can’t locate where, or HOW to upload again the correct manner. Can anybody please help? I am Android based.



    • Laine Rudolfa

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Foap, Kristi! I’m sorry to hear about the trouble. I’d suggest to contact their support via

  • Margo Renee Rodewald

    Thanks for all the info! I should’ve known there was a catch, seemed too good to be true. I still may download the app just for kicks, photography is a pretty big hobby of mine, but I’m glad to have some background info from someone who used it before trying it out myself.

    • Sharing photos on Instagram or EyeEm will probably be more rewarding, at least there are no bugs in them.

    • Margo Renee Rodewald

      I use Instagram pretty heavily, but will have to look into EyeEm, I’ve never heard of that one. Thanks again!

    • EyeEm is great, in many ways better than Instagram.

    • Margo Renee Rodewald

      I’m beginning to see that, for one thing, I like how they do not dictate the dimensions of the photos like they do on Instagram. It seems like a pretty cool app, I will continue to use it, thanks again for the info!

  • weirdedout

    I go into my FOAP app: my profile pic is of someone else, not me! I have changed it 5 times and it keeps reverting back to someone else. Anyone else experiencing this??

    • Kjwill

      Yes- so annoying!

    • Mason

      that was a HUGE bug witch is now fixed with the New App Update

    • Dorothy (DD)

      Wow! This sounds like a real big hassle to even be bothered to do this? What new app update are you talking about? The one that takes care of that huge bug? Just found out about this foap app & don’t know if you’ll see this.

  • billshootspeople

    So I have had the same issues as reported and gave up, letting my wife post them for me. Why do they want you to ID yourself with a passport or DL?

    • I really don’t know. Something to do with licensing rights?

  • Deborah Diane Carr

    Thanks for this helpful article. I will give it a try … cautiously.

    • I wouldn’t expect that much, a year later I’ve only sold two photos.

  • lilladyxo

    I got a little freaked out today when my puc that was publushed pinpointed my exact address. I immediately took it off

    • That’s a bit scary, be careful with location settings.

  • Bryan

    Thanks for Posting Emil. I just heard about this app and it was nice to see such an informative article! Keep it up.

  • minesgirls

    They asked for my DL and/or passport. I closed the window. I read that hackers did one same on Instagram trying to steal identities

    • I don’t think Foap would steal your identity, but I find it a bit strange they ask for that.

  • Notafanoffoap

    Yes same thing happened to me @weirdedout
    I just joined foap to find the next day a girls photo that is not me as my profile pic!! Wtf!!

  • Laura

    Thank you very much…I just downloaded Foap to try it…but I can’t even find an upolad button…& have already wasted enough time trying to find it. I am glad I found this article 😀

  • tstajcic

    Has anyone else had trouble downloading photos because they are too small? Foap tells me quite a few of my pics are too small that were taken by my android phone. While other pics that were taken by my phone and practically at the same time were downloaded and published.

  • Truvvy

    Y r they asking for drivers license, passport information? Y isn’t PayPal membership good enough? I’m not giving them all of my business with all the fraud going on.

    • Lt

      I agree, we just had someone liquidate money from our account and I’m not about to give them DL info or my passport

    • kristi

      Just PayPal is bothersome!

  • tom

    as i try to upload I get a message saying my pic. is to small must be at least 900 something. any help would be appreciated.

    • That’s resolution, you need to upload photos at the highest possible resolution so that the clients can use them.

  • Laniesha

    If you look at latest photos sold, 90% of them are dogs -_-

    • That’s funny – maybe there was a big client from the dog industry.

  • Msdental

    Thank you for posting. Was feeling alone. Hoping I can sell a few at least. Don’t really care for the license / I’d part. But I understand why. They have to verify each person. Wish there were more buyers tho.

    • A year ago I spent forever uploading 50 photos, and they have since sold 3 copies… I hope you’re more lucky than me.

  • Donna

    I sold 34 photos & never got paid! I contacted the service department & David Los he said ” I will look on it today”. This has been going on for 2 mo. with no further communication from them or resolution. BE CAREFUL!

  • Sassy

    I was hoping this was something I could do when I switched phones but sounds like too much work.

  • CLH

    I don’t know if you are still replying to comments on this blog but I wanted to say thank you for posting this info. I just started using Foap and for some reason, it uses the tags of my previous photo and no matter how hard I try to delete the tags, it forces me to upload the pics with those tags. So for example, my photo of a dog has tags including “Giraffe, Ice cream sundae, Dessert” and my photo of giraffe has tags like “Beach, poolside, refreshing drinks” and I emailed them to no avail. The app is ridiculously slow…is this happening to anyone else? And does anyone know how to delete tags or change them?

  • Biglite

    FOAP is a scam…build your own website. promote your own stuff. Have been on for a year and nothing. Definitely took down my pics and made my own website. A lot less frustrating and furthermore, if I’m going to sell nothing, I can do that on my own.

    • carol

      Wish I knew how to do this…..I love to make Kaleidoscopes and would love to sell the pretty images…..I have 700 already made, but this Foap thing sounds like I would not make any money and would have problems with apts, etc……I have a 4s iPhone anyway

    • Laine Rudolfa

      Glad you enjoyed the article, Carol. I still suggest you try to sell some photos. Maybe they won’t make you a lot of money at first, but who knows what’ll happen in the future. 🙂

    • carol

      maybe later after I get a jewelry order and garden done, you can give me a clue, I am 71 and still learning this tech stuff that you guys are much better at…..I just know that making the kaleidoscopes relaxes me more than anything but food, lol lol ….are you on facebook?

    • carol

      I really , really want to ……real bad… much to learn……I made this little one here beside my name and they can be printed to be about 12 x 12 inches or this small for jewelry…….thanks for encouraging me…..I need it these days, lol

  • jc

    I think
    This application has other purposes like selling information

    • denlynnallen

      Without a doubt jc, I am just at the install stage and it wants access to my contacts on the phone. Why do they need that? I think they are just building a database that they are selling on. Dont like this sort of information gathering.

  • Hildegerd Haugen

    Foap needs to give out info on why they need the Drivers/Passport Id.

    • A

      They don’t need it. It’s an optional process for users who want to give their profile more of an appearance of legitimacy. No one is required to give that info at all.

    • Hildegerd Haugen

      So why ask for it? And will the information be deleted when the accounts is deleted by the user?

  • jasminenene

    hi i am also using foap and i have a question: if i sell a picture, can i still use it or have i sold all my rights?

    • Hi. The copyright still belongs to you so you can use the photo again.

    • jasminenene

      Thank you 🙂

    • leA

      yes you can still use it and sell more than once in foap

  • constance carlsen

    I honestly am sick of Foap. I think itbis a bunch of garbage , I have over 1000 images on one account and about 300 on another account. I have sold 7 . some of the images that do sell are horrible , I see people on there with great talent that has not sold anything and have over 500 images downloaded yet a blurry picture gets sold. Give me a break. I think Foap is a bunch of u know what. And I truly feel that we should be getting eight dollars per image and Foap two. We sell one maybe in a month a make a crappy 5 dollars where Foap gets 5 for every image that gets sold. So if they sell 100 in one day they got it good where we get shit! Mind my language. Fap is truly a JOKE

  • Photos are my hobby.

    I did download the app and downloaded pictures. When I go on a separate computer to look specifically for my photos, They are Not showing them. That means they will not sell as I put in the specific words I put and 2 others show, but not my photo that has been published. I did not give them my drivers license, maybe that is why. I don’t see why I have to give personal information to actually get the photo on the market. That is not how I took it. It says you would sell more if you are verified. They don’t show up at all. To me this is a bit of a scam and a big disappointment.

  • Skip Macdonald

    I actually tried to “scan” my dl on my ipad and couldn’t do it. Anyone have any success with that? Their “help” diagram was absolutely no help.

    • Yoko

      on iphone it only works if you’re in portrait mode, landscape is useless

  • My concern with Foap is that they aren’t paying users for their photos. I work at a Farmers’ Market and one day I came across a vendor proudly displaying my images. It stopped me in my tracks because I have a policy in place no one would use my images without permission so I stopped and asked her where she got them and she told me she bought them off of Foap a month prior. I checked my account and to my surprise they were not accounted for and I was still only showing 3 sales. I found this very odd so I asked her to email me a copy of the receipt from Foap and she did later that day. It was true she bought two images from my account and I had no record of it. I forwarded the paperwork to Foap and their explanation was they were updating everything by hand and would be happy to send me the money or I could wait till the end of the month and I did just that I waited and let the entire month pass before contacting them again, again they were more than helpful they sent me the money right away after I requested it. There still is no record of the sales to this day and I got the money but how many sales have I made where they kept the money? Since there is no way to prove it other then coming across someone with your images and getting a copy of receipts it makes me wonder wether I should keep my account? I have almost 300 images on there and post them to social media daily. Let’s do the math! #msqrd2

  • Ruth

    I haven’t read this entire thread so this question may have been answered. . . . I want to verify my Foap account but am worried about identity theft. Any wisdom is appreciated.

  • They keep suggesting to “verify” your photos so they’ll sell more and then ask you to take a front and back shot of either your DL, Passport or any ID card….mmmm, nope thank you. I’ve never been asked this from another app, this is a first one and they’re not getting any of it, I’m actually thinking about getting rid of the app, it’s really hard to upload the photos and they rating system drives me crazy.

    Any other apps besides Foap and Stockimo that anyone would recommend for selling your photos?

  • letsfixit

    I started using FOAP a few days ago and have not had any issues uploading photos. The app seems to work well and photos are uploaded in a minute or two. I’ve been able to upload several at a time and then go back to each one and fill in the description and tags. Yes, it can take some time to add this info but it’s not “painful” anymore.

    • kristi

      Can you please help direct me on how to upload? I feel like an idiot! Got all signed up, can log in & navigate to “account”, “pictures”, “albums” etc, but it reflect zero pics! I uploaded 20. ..I thought. I cannot for the life of me find an ici n that leads to anything resembling “upload new photos”. I’m so frustrated I could just chew nails!

      Thanks so much in advance!


  • K. E.

    Just found this. Nowadays much as changed with FOAP. No longer do you need to verify identify with driver’s license or passport. You can just log into your PayPal account for verification. Also, uploading is much simpler. I uploaded about 20 photos all at once. It took some time to do that, but it might’ve been my connection speed vs. FOAP itself. You don’t need to rate photos in order for your photos to be ‘live.’ They have a lot of competitions running, which can earn you some $$ if you win. I find it more enjoyable to upload and tag my photos on FOAP rather than Instagram. Because at least the potential is there to make some money. We’ll see.

    • Those changes sound great! 🙂

    • Kayy

      how did you verified your paypal account? i can’t seem to find any option to do so on paypals page or on my Foap app. 🙁

    • K. E.

      When I originally signed up for FOAP, not that long ago, that was a choice for verifying yourself. I don’t remember how it was presented, but it was something I did during sign up. Beyond that, I don’t know how else to help! Sorry.

    • Nicole Jeanne Wood

      Your actual Paypal account needs to be verified- basically paypal makes two small deposits to whatever account you have on file, when these transactions show up on your account, u go back to paypal and enter the info from the transaction. Once you confirm this info with paypal, your are “verified” and will be verified through Foap (provided you have signed into your paypal account within Foap). Thr process is def much better than the above posts state. Quick, easy and fun competitions… I like it!

    • Thanks for the info Nicole 🙂

  • J C

    Nice article! Have you used an similar apps? Any ones that may pay a higher percentage?

    • Laine Rudolfa

      Glad you enjoyed the article! 🙂 Unfortunately, we haven’t had an experience with other paying apps.

  • cj

    “Flipping burgers at McDonalds would probably make you more money.” DUH. that’s so insulting. people who work at McDonalds are PEOPLE, not the baseline metaphor for a shitty amount of money. and those people are actually WORKING. this app is obviously not intended to be as lucrative as an actual job, which Mickey Ds does offer believe it or not. i’m angry, you’re stupid.

  • Jose

    I’ve 17 and have been shooting for about 3 years now and needed a little extra cash , but I’m “too young” to join any missions which makes me believe me pictures might now be on market till I’m 18 which totally loses purpose for underage people looking for extra cash (I have 2 summer jobs and photography is my favorite hobby so I have my bank account and pay pal and all I just don’t see if there’s any other reason why I can join or if there’s a way for a parent to say it’s okay?

  • Jade Johnson

    Oh question, it keeps telling me it has to be at least 1280×960, is there someway I can make it larger? I’m on a Verizon droid and all my good pictures aren’t working 🙁

    • Lisa Jo Rudy

      If your photos were not originally taken at at least 1280 pixels, you can’t enlarge them and get good results. What you’ll wind up with is a pixelated image. I’m not an Android expert, but you might want to check and see if there is any way to ensure that you are taking photos at the highest possible resolution.

  • Lily Jameson

    I think it sucks that you gave everybody’s photos 3 stars just to get through the process faster…knowing that, as you said yourself, “if the average is high enough your photo will get published.” You made it a whole lot harder for other people to get their photos published because you gave such crappy ratings, even if they deserved better.