Smartphone Photographers Sell Pictures

Posted on 7/11/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

An increasing number of mobile phone photographers in Europe are contributing images to Scoopshot. The company recently released the total number of images uploaded to the five tasks that photographers have found most interesting. Amazingly, 27,788 images were submitted to a request from WAZ Media Group in Germany for pictures of interesting coffee cups.

Here’s the other requests in the top 5.

Task Description Publication Photos
Coffee cups Most interesting coffee cups WAZ Media Group 27,788
Hide your Easter eggs Hide and photography Easter eggs in unusual places WAZ Media Group 7,092
Easter Walk Show us the nature, bunnies, hidden eggs on your Easter walk WAZ Media Group 6,626
Most beautiful spring flowers We want to see your beautiful flower photos. WAZ Media Group 3,505
Spring photos Show us your most beautiful photos of Sprint WAZ Media Group 3,243

Only 10 to 20 of the images for each task were actually purchased. In the app Scoopshooters can see the images that have actually sold.
In May and June the most interesting tasks had fewer images submitted, but still a significant number when one considers that in all likelihood very few of those submitted were actually purchased. We don’t know how many images were purchased, but we suspect that in most cases it was only one or very few. In some cases none may have been purchased because the publication submitting a task is under no obligation to use any of the images. Most of the pictures are licensed for $2.50 to $5.00 although occasionally will contact a select group of photographers for a particularly difficult assignment and offer a higher fee.

Task Description Publication Photos
Today I quit smoking Illustrate how to stop smoking 80
Thunderstorms over Berlin Thunderstorm over Berlin Der Tageswspiegel 124
President Obama in Berlin Pres. Obama and family visit Berlin. Did you meet him? Der Tageswspiegel 75
Cheers! The King! Show us how you celebrate the new head of state. Metronieuws 79
Show us your coolest football trick! Send video of best soccer trick! Uusi Lahti 16 videos

It is also important to note that the top tasks were country wide, or global and were sent to all the shooters on Scoopshot's list that could conceivably respond to the tasks. Scoopshot has over 270,000 shooters worldwide that may receive some of the global tasks. Many tasks are sent to a targeted group of shooters in a particular area. When editors submit a tasks they can place limits on the number of photographers who will be sent the information so they are not overwhelmed with images to review.

The Photos vs. Views chart below indicates the percentage of photographers that opened the task when it arrived on their smartphone.
Task Description Publication P/V
La fete de la musique Show us how you prepare for "La fete de la musique" festival 60.4%
Everything is Gray! So what? Make the lousy weather disappear with lots of color! 36.2%
Uusi Lahti-Running contest Take photos of running contes arranged by Uusi Lahti Uusi Lahti 34.5%
Spring never comes We need photos representing the spring that never comes Milestone Media 33.0%
Signs of Spring Take photos of anything that shows that Spring has arrived to the city 29.9%

While Scoopshot has an office in the U.S. so far there have been very few tasks from U.S. publications. However, it seems likely that will build as editors continue to cut staffs, look for feature photos and look for ways to engage the community and their customer base.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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