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Photographer FAQ: How to Sell Photos Online

Sell photos online with Scopio's revolutionary platform


 Who We Are and What We Do

What is Scopio?  

Hello! We’re Scopio, a search engine and licensing platform for trending images and videos on social media. We offer businesses a way to license photos with customizable messages and build libraries of visual user-generated content. Subscribers usually use Scopio to search for images posted on relevant hashtags and keywords on Instagram and Twitter. You can also contribute photos directly, and we’ll add them to our library.

We also run a grab-and-go image Marketplace. It’s similar to a stock photo site, but with fair pricing and more authentic photos and videos sourced right from Instagram.

For right now, we’re based out of New York City and St. Louis, Missouri.


How did you find my photo or video?

Curiosity! We’re social media mavens that search out all the next trends, and we’re always crawling Instagram and Twitter communities for brilliant posts. So nine times out of ten, we found your photo or video through a hashtag campaign or trend that either we or our Subscribers follow.


How can I sell my photos online with Scopio’s Marketplace?

Scopio is looking for people like you that want to sell photos online (or even videos). We know you post one great photo or video to social media but have 10 more amazing ones on your phone, SD card or computer. You can submit photos or videos directly to us for publication on our Marketplace, and we’ll promote them to brands.


Will you spam me if I add my email?

We do send out a fun stock-photo-versus-UGC newsletter. But don’t worry, we’ll never spam you endlessly or sell your information. We know how annoying spam emails from companies are. If you’d like to chat with us or follow us, you can do so by heading over to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.


What are valid file types for uploading? 

We accept png, jpeg, jpg, gif, bmp, mp4 and mov files, but you can also email different file types to [email protected] We’ll convert and upload them for you.


What is the maximum amount of photos I can upload at once? 

As many as you’d like, but 50 photos at a time is best! Uploading more interesting, high-quality photos will increase your chances of being scoped out by companies and paid. If you want to submit your work, click here.



How do I know if someone uses my image?

If your submissions are downloaded and used via the Dashboard or Marketplace, we try to send you the link. You’ll also be paid a sliding amount if your image or video is used outside of set digital purposes (Dashboard only). We’ll notify you about payouts via email, so keep an eye on your personal inbox. We do photographer payouts near the end of every month.


How much will my photo or video sell for?

If a Scopio Dashboard Subscriber downloads or uses your submission for purposes other than digital uses, we will pay you. We generally pay contributors between $1 and $20 per submission, but payment can scale depending on a photo’s use.

We’re working mostly with social media users to line their pockets with some extra cash, but we’re always working to scale up payments and functionalities for professional photographers and social media users alike. Scopio is actually a growing startup, so Dashboard payments are sure to increase in the future as we grow and get more Subscribers on board.

On the Marketplace, you’ll receive 50% of the selling price of your image.


Can I resell my Scopio photo submissions?

Yes! All of your submitted photos would be non-exclusive, and you’re totally free to re-sell them under other non-exclusive licenses.

Multiple Subscribers can also download your non-exclusive photo(s) from the Dashboard and Marketplace, so you’ll have the potential to be published and/or paid* more than once. There’s no additional work on your part for that. Your work will stay in our library to be used numerous times.

*If your post was discovered on the Dashboard, you will only be paid if a Subscriber uses your post for certain purposes, excluding digital uses.


Has someone published my photo or video yet?

We try our hardest to let you know via email. Don’t worry if your photo isn’t picked up immediately — it’ll remain in our library to find a perfect match in the future.


When do I have to download Venmo?

You can download Venmo after we email you with payment details. If Venmo isn’t available where you live, we can arrange payment via Paypal. Just let us know!


Who will publish my photo or video? 

Our Subscribers include companies, brands, nonprofits, media outlets and people sponsoring live events. These people truly want to connect with their audience and expand their name by launching a hashtag campaign or following trends on social media. They’re looking to use your unique images and videos in place of stale stock photos. Once a Subscriber reaches out to us, we curate brand-relevant images and videos from people like you.


When do I get paid? 

We pay Contributors at the end of every month. If you’re discovered on our Dashboard and are published outside of editorial or social media use, we’ll send you an email alert with instructions for payment. We will also email you if your Marketplace image is purchased.


How do I get paid? 

We’ll arrange a payment method with you over email. We generally pay photographers using Venmo, but we also use PayPal for those outside the US. Payments for images on the Marketplace will differ from those on the dashboard.


Venmo isn’t available in my country. Can I be paid via PayPal? 

Yes, in our email to you you can respond back to us requesting this.


What happened? Why didn’t you transfer my money?

We’ll notify you by email as soon as we get word that your photo has been published and requires payment to you.


Licensing and Legality

When I submit my photos, where do they go?

When you submit your work to us, it’s immediately stored on our database along with your contact information. This is private to the Scopio team.

We might choose to add your photos to our Marketplace where brands can scope it out.


Before I click into an unknown link, could you describe the picture and its purpose of use?

We’re looking for authentic pictures and videos that companies can use to tell their stories. Companies are looking for your photos because they speak to people more than stock photos do. Our Subscribers generally use photos they license from Scopio in their blogs, websites, social media feeds, ad campaigns and marketing materials.


How does Scopio protect a photographer’s work so it isn’t scrapped or downloaded without a fee?

Scopio has a button that Subscribers use to download licensed photos and videos, and this is true both for the Dashboard and Marketplace. When we log in as administrators, we can view everything a Subscriber has downloaded in each of their campaigns. And needless to say, we do keep track of it carefully.

Near the end of every month, we log into Scopio’s administrator site and see the new photos that Subscribers have downloaded. If publication of your photo or video requires payment, we then email you to set up a Venmo payment (PayPal is used if Venmo isn’t available in your country).

We also promote our images and videos, so you might see them in a blog post or social media feed of ours.


Are images watermarked by Scopio so they aren’t used freely without a license?

Besides the occasional compressed submissions we promote on our social media feeds or blogs, all of Scopio’s licensed content is only available to paying Subscribers that have a username and password. If you’re not a Subscriber of ours, it’s actually not possible to view our photos and videos, as everything is behind a secure paywall.

On Scopio’s Marketplace, we use a special feature that adds different layers of protection to your images. Among other things, it disallows saving images via right clicks, dragging and dropping them and adding them to Pinterest.


How do you ensure that the images are correctly billed for usage and what rights the Subscriber pays for?

We communicate with each of our Subscribers about how they’re using the photos and plan photographer payments accordingly. Openness and honesty is an important policy here at Scopio, and we find that when we’re real with Subscribers, they’re real with us about how they’re using the platform.


What happens after I give the rights to my photo away?

If you agree to a non-exclusive license, we request the rights to promote your photo or video to companies and brands. If it’s used by a Subscriber outside of social media or editorial use, we’ll pay you like a freelance photographer. However, Scopio still gives you additional sharing power. You can resell the photo or video under other non-exclusive provisions. Don’t worry — you can still keep the image and leave the post up on social media, as well.


Will my image be sold commercially?

Hopefully, yes! It could be today, next week or even next month. It all depends on when the company decides to use it.


Will a company credit my Instagram or Twitter account if they use my photo?

It depends. The benefit of Scopio is that we treat you like a freelance photographer. That means that though the company can see your profile information on their dashboard or the Scopio Marketplace, they don’t need to credit you for your photo. We do find that some brands credit you either way.


Do I get to resell my photo?

If the Subscriber asks for a non-exclusive license, then yes. This is the default license. You still own the photo and can sell it to anyone else you’d like under a non-exclusive provision. Additionally, your photo remains in our library and can be used by other Subscribers.


Can I agree to the conditions if I’m under 18?

No, you have to be 18 years old to sell photos online. Hang in there, slugger, or get a parent or guardian to sign the link with their email. Reach out to us at [email protected] if this happens.


Does the agreement apply for countries outside of the United States?

Of course! We live in a global village, so Scopio collects diverse content from over 80 countries. Our Subscribers search in all languages, so you may get a message in Italian or Spanish!


Can I give the rights away if it’s not my image or video?

No, and this is very important. We will only request the rights from you if you’re the original photographer. Let’s keep it real here. If it’s not your image, please let us know after we contact you, and don’t agree to the terms as the agreement will be void. Honesty is the best policy, and it’ll keep you out of legal trouble.


Will you take all of my pictures or videos from Twitter or Instagram?

No — we’ll seek permission for each photo individually, but you can submit more pictures here. We can only ask for rights of photos that are personally shared with us or ones that we’ve scoped out ourselves through trending hashtags.


Will Scopio tell me who uses my images?

Many folks on our team are artists and photographers themselves, so we’ll be sure to let you know when your photo is used. Since we collect images, it could be tomorrow or months from now when you’re published ten or twenty times a day for companies that love your amazing photograph or video. Sit back and relax — we’ve stored your email to contact you when it happens.


Submitting Photos

I have other pictures. How do I submit them?

Scopio has a submissiom guide if you’d like to add more photos to our Marketplace library. More photos from you in our library means an increased chance of being scoped out in the future.


What kind of photos are companies looking for?

We have an array of Subscribers working toward different goals, so any type of great photo you’ve taken will work just fine, especially if it includes people. Right now we’re looking for photos and videos similar to (but not related to) these categories:




Coffee shops

Workspaces, office life and entrepreneurship


City skylines

Check out our Instagram account for even more inspiration! We post photos nearly every week that are similar to ones our Subscribers want to use.


What size image do you prefer?

It’s best to submit images at the largest size you have. This ensures that they can be published in print.

Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help companies find and use the photos and videos that matter to their audience, from capturing content to evaluating the analytics on campaigns. Wondering how you can leverage UGC to help you tout your brand? Request a demo with the button below or email [email protected]

The post Photographer FAQ: How to Sell Photos Online appeared first on Scopio.

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