A new trend of earning fast cash has landed the spotlight in the news recently as one lucky Instagrammer, Daniel Arnold, just discovered. He started his Thursday morning with $90 in his bank account, and just that day had an epiphany. Arnold, a Brooklyn photographer regarded by Gawker as “the best photographer on Instagram” just two years prior, earned himself a new profitable living.
Though he was banned on Instagram at one point for sharing an image of topless sunbathers, his new account has over 20,000 followers and over 1,300 photos in his stream. Arnold does more than photography, he has actually written for MTV and The Fader.
Arnold’s “mode” is considered humanist, urban voyeurism that consists of street scenes, subway environment, and candid moments. The night before his birthday, Arnold decided to start selling his photos “dirt cheap” at $150 each. The next day, he received $15,000 worth of requests.
He only intended to sell his images for a 24-hour period for fast cash through Instagram, until he realized how profitable it was. Unfortunately, he is working through a pile of orders claiming to have only eaten toast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all of February.
Though he started off on a Thursday with $90 to his name, he is now able to pay rent, and much more than that.
Instagram is not the only place to embark on a tour of smartphone photography. Foap is a site people can upload photographs, of nearly any quality, and sell it for 10 dollars. Although, 50 percent does go to the Foap group.
Blogger Emil Pakarklis claims this is an iPhone marketplace, which may or may not be worth someone’s while.
The upload process might be slow for some people, and there is, or was at some point, a “rating bug,” keeping a user from being able to officially rate photos, which is problematic on iPhones since the client is bound to wait a few minutes for the next reel of images to come in; January, Pakarklis claims, there were more photographers in the market than buyers.
Unlike other photographs people may pay hundreds of dollars for, a 5 dollar purchase through Foap allegedly only gets the buyer non-exclusive rights to the photos–meaning, photos can be sold multiple times, and the photographer can continue using the photo even after someone purchases it.
Business writer, James George, with Sitepoint claims an amateur photograph can be worth $1,000. “Stock photography” websites usually give the photographer a cut of the profits for selling their work. To build a career doing this, George claims one must first form a collection of great photographs; photographs the photographer wants to sell. Finding the right group to sell the photos is another endeavor, but not as hard as many people think.
Unfortunately, some websites might be a little more challenging to become a member of. There might be quizzes and other obstacles one must work through in order to complete the enrollment. Some websites require a small to moderate fee, while others are free. A place called Shutterfly allows photographers to set up a virtual gallery with a certain amount of allotted space; the way the company gets paid is through annual fees of around $100.
Stock photography sites have popped up in recent years due to the increase in freelance graphic designers. Things like Instagram and smartphone apps can provide users with fast cash if they know how to utililize the application to their abilities. There are many avenues one can take to make money off their photographs; the virtual marketplace continues to prove itself as a prosperous medium.
By Lindsey Alexander