Most graphic designers and media buyers have worked with the big online microstock photography agencies like or Dreamstime. I use both regularly in my own graphic design studio. Until now, iPhone stock photography has been shunned by the big microstock agencies.

Online stock photo agency Foap went live this week, giving iPhoneographers their own stock photo market to buy and sell images. It looks like a good opportunity to make a little extra cash with your iPhone photography. Media buyers, the quality of the photography is surprisingly fresh.

Here’s what you need to know to get started. >>>

“Times have changed,” say Foap’s founders. “Almost everyone has a camera in their pockets now a days, and you don’t need to be a professional photographer in order to snap amazing photos. The smartphone cameras are constantly getting their quality improved and we want to utilize that.”

Usability is the key to getting your images in the marketplace. Foap is looking for images from a buyer’s perspective, not an iPhoneographer’s. Basically, Foap are looking for commercially and editorially usable images. Images need to be at least 1000 pixels in height or width. As a purchaser of microstock photography, I can recommend you submit at the highest resolution possible. My studio’s needs are for at least 2 MP images, regardless of whether the job is for web or print.

iPhoneographers will find quite a few restrictions on the images they can successfully submit. Foap doesn’t accept photos with frames and filters except when it’s filters that gives the photo more contrast or sharper colors (No vintage filters and frames, though. Hipstamatic and Instagram users are out of luck.). Photos need to be sharp, well-composed, properly exposed, and well-lit. A set of guidelines can be found here.

Foap currently charges buyers $10 per image — very reasonable for microstock. The photographer’s commission is 50% per sale. An image can be sold an unlimited amount of times. While shooting for stock photography often requires a different style than creating iPhone art, this is a good opportunity to generate a little extra cash with your iPhone’s camera.

Life In LoFi’s Steve Thomas was a beta tester for Foap here in the US. He’s already sold images while the market was in beta and has had a positive experience with Foap to date. “Remember to READ THE FINE PRINT and don’t expect to get rich,” Steve says.

There have been previous attempts to start up online mobile stock photography agencies, but I think Foap has a chance. Their business model is easy to understand from both a buyer and seller’s standpoint. The web interface is clean and easy to use. From a buyer’s perspective, I was impressed with much of the photography already in the marketplace. The eye of many iPhone photographers provides a different and fresh look than many traditional stock photo agencies. Foap’s curated marketplace is also adding credibility to iPhone photography.

Currently the market has less than 20,000 images. As the market grows, Foap will be not only a good outlet for mobile photographers, but a good resource for designers and other media buyers worldwide.

More information can be found on the Foap website.

Images can be uploaded directly from you iPhone with the Foap app, which is free in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Are you selling (or buying) on Do you plan to? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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